Laurie Anderson Hosts a Violin Concert Only Dogs Could Enjoy

The performance artist played her instrument at a frequency only canines can hear.

Image via Guardian video screenshot.

About 50 dogs took their humans out to enjoy a chilly concert in Times Square on Monday, where the famed performance artist-cum-musician Laurie Anderson performed a very special violin performance that only canines could hear. Anderson played a violin that she herself invented—the tape-bow violin, which replaces the traditional horsehair with magnetic tape—at a frequency only dogs would hear.

Anderson started playing, and music emerged from the speakers, but nothing that humans could listen to (at least, not without the special headphones that were made available to humans in attendance). Firsthand reports from the concert indicate that some of the dogs began to bark once Anderson began playing, but it remains unclear whether these were barks of joy or boredom.

After the performance, a three-minute excerpt from Anderson’s new documentary (and Oscar contender), Heart of a Dog, began to play on the Times Square billboard. According to The New York Times, the film “tackles a wide range of themes: mortality, love, art and even post-9/11 surveillance.” It features footage of her rat terrier, Lolabelle, who passed away.

“Oh, it was lovely,” she told The Guardian. “There was so many types of dogs, I really hadn’t imagined that many would show up. I was really impressed.”

This wasn’t the first time she’s performed a silent concert. In December, Anderson performed a mini concert before a screening of Heart of a Dog at a Los Angeles theater, and she held a full-fledged canine concert six years ago, at the Sydney Opera House.


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