Laurie Anderson

After Party in the Bardo: A Conversation with Laurie Anderson

Thursday, November 12, 2020 at 7:00pm
YouTube Live

FREE! RSVP required for access to virtual event.

This event will also be streamed to Facebook Live.

Writer, director, visual artist, and vocalist Laurie Anderson has spent the last five months of this extraordinary year creating extended radio conversations with musicians, artists, writers, and poets on “Party in the Bardo,” which aired on WESU Middletown 88.1FM. As a coda to her journey, Anderson offers a free, virtual conversation about the nature of time and the intimate art of listening.

Anderson was joined for this conversation by three previous guests: writer Jonathan Cott (Episode One and Episode Eleven); poet Paul Muldoon (Episode Three); and writer, therapist, and pleasure activist Don Shewey (Episode Six); along with WESU General Manager Benjamin Michael and Wesleyan's Campus and Community Engagement Manager Rani Arbo.

Premiered on Anderson’s 73rd birthday (Friday, June 5, 2020), Laurie Anderson’s “Party in the Bardo” concluded with Episode Eleven on Friday, November 6, 2020. The entire series will be re-aired on WESU Middletown 88.1FM in 2021. “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 premiered on Friday at 4am, when thoughts drift and new connections become possible — and a time, in 2020, when many of us were awake and wondering at the moment we are living though. Each episode also aired again the same day at 4pm.

Each of the episodes of “Party in the Bardo: Conversations with Laurie Anderson” bring listeners into intimate conversations between Anderson and her friends and colleagues who share Anderson’s zeal to ask questions, explore, and understand the world. Writers Jonathan Cott and Don Shewey, poet Paul Muldoon, artist Marina Abramovic, and musicians Bruce Odland, Arto Lindsay, Jason Moran, ANOHNI, Kevin Hearn, and Christian McBride each supplied songs that fascinate, delight, and move them, and provide a jumping-off point for their wide ranging, free form conversations.

“Party in the Bardo" was dedicated to producer Hal Willner and musician Lou Reed, who co-hosted the show "New York Shuffle" on SiriusXM Radio.

“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” 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.