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Laurie Anderson Brings 'Delusion' to Harris Theater
Chicago Art Magazine
December 13, 2010

America’s Most Daring Creative Pioneer Laurie Anderson Brings Delusion to Harris Theater

CHICAGO (December 1, 2010) – Laurie Anderson, one of America’s most renowned and daring creative pioneers, returns to the Harris on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 7:30 pm for the Chicago premiere of Delusion, her latest full scale work of performance art. The epic piece, which received its World Premiere in Toronto as a commission by the 2010 Winter Olympics, combines the spectacle of violin, electronic puppetry, music and visuals to tell its story in the colorful and poetic language that has become Anderson’s trademark. Tickets, which range from $35 – $80, are available at the Harris Theater box office located in Millennium Park at 205 E. Randolph Dr., by calling 312-334-7777 or by visiting Harris Theater Chicago

Delusion is a meditation on life and language. In Delusion, Anderson’s unique world view shapes what was conceived as a series of short mystery plays, jump-cutting between the everyday and the mythic. Inspired by an eclectic mix of artists including Honoré de Balzac, Japanese filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu and 18th Century English novelist Laurence Sterne, Anderson employs a series of altered voices and imaginary guests, including golems, nuns and archeologists, to tell a story of longing, memory and identity. Anderson explains, “The electronically altered voice I’ve used for many years, the one that turns my voice into a male voice, has been gradually evolving into a more nuanced one, now with the name of Fenway Bergamot. I’ve written Delusion as a conversation between that voice and my own.”

The stories in Delusion come from many worlds—technical, scientific, personal and mythic—and from various states of consciousness, dream, and meditation. They range from the mystic origins of the Russian space program to theories of time and speed, ancestors, control, silence, and animals. At the heart of Delusion is the belief that words and stories can create the world, as well as make it disappear.

In Delusion, Anderson performs vocals, violin, and keyboards, is joined by Eyvind Kang (viola) and Colin Stetson (horns), who employ their improvisational skill to make each performance unique. Invoking a surreal atmosphere, Anderson delivers her script, passing her voice through electronic filters, mixing it with digital rhythms and the sounds of her own distinctive and hypnotic violin playing. Two pieces from Delusion are drawn from Anderson’s recently released and critically acclaimed record Homeland.

Acclaimed by Rolling Stone as “a singer-songwriter of crushing poignancy,” Laurie Anderson is one of America’s most renowned and daring creative pioneers. As writer, director, visual artist and vocalist she has created groundbreaking works that span art, theater, and experimental music, and have challenged and delighted audiences around the world for more than 30 years.

Ms. Anderson’s recording career, launched by O Superman in 1981, includes the soundtrack to her feature film Home of the Brave and Life on a String (2001). She has published seven books and her visual work has been presented in major museums around the world.

Ms. Anderson’s live shows range from simple spoken word to elaborate multi-media stage performances such as Songs and Stories for Moby Dick (1999). In addition to her major works, she has also collaborated countless times with an array of artists from Jonathan Demme and Brian Eno to Bill T. Jones and Peter Gabriel. As a composer, Ms. Anderson has contributed music to films by Wim Wenders and Jonathan Demme; dance pieces by Bill T. Jones, Trisha Brown, Molissa Fenley; and a score for Robert LePage’s theatre production, Far Side of the Moon.

Recognized worldwide as a groundbreaking leader in the use of technology in the arts, Laurie Anderson was appointed the first artist-in-residence of NASA in 2002 which culminated in her 2004 touring solo performance The End of the Moon. She was also part of the team that created the opening ceremony for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Recent projects include a series of audio-visual installations and a high definition film, Hidden Inside Mountains, created for World Expo 2005 in Aichi, Japan. In 2007, she received the prestigious Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for her outstanding contribution to the arts.

In 2008, Anderson completed a two-year worldwide tour of her performance piece, Homeland. In June 2010, Nonesuch released her most recent recording Homeland, which spans the music of Homeland and her newest solo performance Delusion. This stunning new work debuted at the Vancouver Cultural Olympiad in early 2010 and is currently touring internationally. A retrospective of her visual and installation work will open in October in Sao Paolo.

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