Laurie Anderson

Party in the Bardo: Conversations with Laurie Anderson—Episode Eleven

Friday, November 6, 2020 at 4:00am
WESU Middletown 88.1FM

Friday, November 6, 2020 at 4:00pm
WESU Middletown 88.1FM

Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 10:00pm
WESU Middletown 88.1FM

The eleventh and final episode of “Party in the Bardo: Conversations with Laurie Anderson” features a conversation about love between writer, director, visual artist, and vocalist Laurie Anderson and the return of her first guest, writer Jonathan Cott, a contributing editor at Rolling Stone and the recent author of Listening: Interviews 1970-1989 (University of Minnesota Press, April 2020), on WESU Middletown 88.1FM.

Each program will be available to stream from WESU's show archives for two weeks following the initial broadcast.

The eleventh episode includes Anderson's "Langue d'Amour" from "Mister Heartbreak," "One Beautiful Evening" and "The Island Where I Come From" from "Life on a String," and her collaboration with the Kronos Quartet on "CNN Predicts a Monster Storm" from "Landfall;" music and recordings by Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, The Miracles, Hespèrion XXI, Geechee Gullah Ring Shouters, John Coltrane, Aretha Franklin, Triakel, The Beatles, and Buddy Holly and The Crickets; two tunes by Otis Redding; and three tunes by Lou Reed, including "The Power of the Heart" which Anderson describes as “probably my favorite song of all time and space…written the year we got married…every word rings in so many different ways for me.”

Anderson and Cott also read poetry by Tracy K. Smith, Jayadeva, Nâzım Hikmet, Frida Kahlo, Emily Dickinson, Yehuda Amichai, Nina Cassian, Constantine P. Cavafy, Sappho, Rumi, D. H. Lawrence, William Blake, and Marina Tsvetaeva, and excerpts from the "Song of Solomon" from the King James Bible.

Their first episode together, about hesitation and ways of looking at time, aired on Friday, June 5, 2020 on Laurie Anderson's 73rd birthday. Cott also took part in "After Party in the Bardo: A Conversation with Laurie Anderson" on Thursday, November 12, 2020 at 7pm

Laurie Anderson has created groundbreaking works that span the worlds of art, theater, and experimental music. A renowned and daring creative pioneer, she has contributed music to dance pieces by Bill T. Jones and Trisha Brown. Her 2018 recording with the Kronos Quartet, "Landfall," won a GRAMMY Award. Her most recent collaboration is 2019’s “Songs from the Bardo” with Tenzin Choegyal and Jesse Paris Smith.

“Since the early ‘80s, I’ve dreamed of...having a radio show in the middle of the night” said Laurie Anderson. “When time slows down, where the lines between sleeping and waking, between dreams and reality, are getting blurred, and when people’s defenses drop away, and logic just seems to be very limiting.”

“Party in the Bardo: Conversations with Laurie Anderson” brings listeners into intimate conversations between Anderson and her close friends and colleagues—artists, writers, and thinkers who share Anderson’s zeal to ask questions, explore, and understand the world. “Party in the Bardo” was created for this moment in time, when our global and local communities are grappling with the new reality of COVID-19. In Tibetan tradition, the “Bardo” is the in-between: a state of existence after death and before one’s next birth, when consciousness is not connected to a physical body. By design, each episode will premiere on Friday at 4am, when thoughts drift and new connections become possible —and a time, in 2020, when many of us are awake and wondering at the moment we are living though. (For those who sleep well, “Party in the Bardo” will also air again the same day at 4pm.)

“Party in the Bardo” was created and hosted by Laurie Anderson as part of her 2019-2020 artist residence at Wesleyan University, and is funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Philip J. '71 and Lynn Rauch Fund for Innovation, with support from Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts and WESU Middletown 88.1 FM.

Image of Laurie Anderson by Ebru Yildiz. Thumbnail of Jonathan Cott by Rachel Papo.