The Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed-curated festival Vivid LIVE at the Sydney Opera House culminated this weekend with a number of events, including one that captured the hearts of Sydney's canine community and the attention of news media across the globe: Music for Dogs, a 20-minute piece Anderson wrote and performed for an audience of purebreds and mutts alike. Anderson called it "a highlight of my life."
The Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed-curated festival Vivid LIVE at the Sydney Opera House culminated this past weekend with a number of events in which Anderson herself participated, including Friday night's multi-artist Slow Music Night concert, the Day for Night Movies marathon film screening session set to live scores on Sunday, and, in between, the event that captured the hearts and ears of Sydney's canine community and the attention of news media across the globe: Saturday morning's Music for Dogs, a 20-minute piece Anderson wrote and performed for an audience of purebreds and mutts alike.
News outlets the world over, from China's Xinhua news agency to the BBC to the CBC to AP, Reuters, and the New York Times picked up the story. The weather was kind enough to cooperate at last: After a week under rain-soaked surroundings in Sydney, the sun shone on the festival in time for the event, which took place on the boardwalk outside the Opera House. Once the hundreds of dogs attendees, and their human companions, settled in, such as they would, Anderson and her band played music specifically designed for the canine ear, with higher pitches audible only to them, as well as some other sounds the humans could enjoy too.
Anderson explained that the idea for such an event had come to her about a year ago, during a discussion backstage with famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma in which they concluded that dogs would make the perfect audience. At the concert, she called it "a highlight of my life." You can hear more from the artist and a few of her more vocal audience members in the video coverage from the BBC at news.bbc.co.uk and from Reuters at news.yahoo.com. There's even more footage from the event at play.sydneyoperahouse.com.
From dogs to fishes, Anderson and Reed are set to lead the Mermaid Parade on Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York, as Queen Mermaid and King Neptune, on June 19. That's just days before the release of Anderson's first studio album in nearly a decade, Homeland, out on Nonesuch on June 22. To pre-order a copy, head to the Nonesuch Store now.
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