Saturday, July 28, 2012

Laurie Anderson

Laurie Anderson is a performance artist who sings and plays violin and keyboard. She began in the late 1960s  but probably the peak of her fame was in 1981 when her song "O Superman" reached no. 2 on the pop charts in the UK. I think she counts as a composer in that zone between contemporary classical music and alternative popular music. Her music can often be hypnotic and compelling and the lyrics interesting. Here is "O Superman":

"O Superman" is part of a larger work called "America" and was also included on an LP titled "Big Science". Here is the song that gave its title to the album:

I think my favorite song from the album is the first track, "From the Air":

You might locate Laurie Anderson's compositions as being somewhere on a line drawn between Philip Glass and Bob Dylan, but with a strong visual component. She has a coolly ironic angle on American culture and combines it with some simple, but eerie and expressive musical ideas.

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