Monday, October 04, 2004

The End of the Moon

An interview with Laurie Anderson about her new solo work The End of the Moon as well as other current projects. Laurie Anderson will perform in Austin on Tuesday, October 5, 8pm at the Paramount Theater.

Q: Tell me about “The End of the Moon”. Will it feature new music and new tools?

LA: Definitely new music. Music will be a big part of this work, bigger than in the last piece “Happiness”. Partly it’s because I’ve been working with some great new systems. Technically my rig is shrinking at incredible rates and I’m so excited at how much power there can be in this software. I hate to sound like a salesman but really it used to take two huge trucks to carry what I can now put into two briefcases. Now suddenly I have a huge amount of flexibility, I can play so many gorgeous new sounds. It’s like I’m finally learning how to improvise. There are still a couple of analog things in my set up but basically it’s almost invisible now.

Q: Is there a general theme to ”The End of the Moon”?

LA: I would say that time is the overall general theme. Our perception of time and how it affects us, how it changes us. That, as well as stories, the stories we tell ourselves so we can go on. And of course this is such a good time for stories! Election season is all about stories and it just comes down to whose story you like better, which one you can relate to. None of us are actually going to go out and take our own surveys.

Q: How did the title come about?

LA: “ The End of the Moon” is, I guess, a phrase that has some of the melancholy I feel at the moment. Not just melancholy really. More like loss. Like I lost something and I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. Actually I think what I lost was a country. The last three years have been pretty tough, pretty alienating for a lot of people. And in this piece I’m trying to look at some of those things. On the other hand I see this as sort of a report that I’m making to wind up my time as artist-in-residence at NASA. So there are lots of colors in it.

Q: Where do you draw your inspiration? How do you decide which storieswill be included in your work?

LA: I keep huge notebooks filled with stories, and fragments. I’ve kept these journals since I was twelve. I check these out and then I decide what to work on based on things like- maybe it would make somebody laugh? Maybe because its incredibly sad. Almost never because I think it expresses who I am. I’m not trying to express myself. That’s not my goal at all. My collaboration is truly with the audience. Maybe part of that is flirting with the audience; part of it is having a kind of rapport with them. I try to imagine this collaboration and based on that I edit it.

The full (6 page) interview is here in pdf format.

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