Friday, May 14, 2010

Wowing the bow-wows?

It seems that Sydney, Australia, is to host a concert of a different kind.

Will they play Bach? Or Offenbach? What about something by the Pet Shop Boys?

New Yorkers Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed will outdo Spencer Tunick's naked photo shoot by staging one of the strangest events to be seen at the Sydney Opera House as part of their Vivid Live festival next month.

Music for Dogs - a high-frequency concert that aims to captivate canines while being inaudible to their owners - takes over the northern boardwalk on June 5. It has been inspired by the music that Anderson, a legendary performance artist who is curating the festival with her rock legend husband, has been playing to her beloved rat terrier, Lollabelle, for 11 years.

"She likes things with a lot of smoothness but with beats in them,'' Anderson said from her Manhattan loft. ''Things with voices and lots of complicated high-end stuff. Chk-chk-chk-chk-chk ... that kind of stuff."

The free morning concert will be as short as, well, a chihuahua. "Dogs don't have a giant concentration span - 20 minutes tops,'' Anderson said. ''Actually, I think a lot of shows for people would be improved if they were 20 minutes. Shows are too long - my own included. I dream of making something that's a perfect half hour and then it just goes on and on."

How will humans know if anything is being played? "You can just about hear it sometimes," Anderson said. "And you look at it on the meters and you see what it's doing. And your dog's ears will be twitching."

Anderson doesn't anticipate any canine crowd problems. "We won't be playing any sudden noises," she said. "We don't want them to get super-excited. But it's OK with me if they run in circles. ''They can express themselves and make a little mosh pit if they feel like it. Maybe we'll have a buffet later as a reward for coming to the show."

There's more at the link.

Hmm . . . I smell opportunity here! I could stage a performance for pooches (charging a stiff admission fee, of course), play nothing at all, and get away with it because the human audience wouldn't be expecting to hear anything anyway! If they complained that their dogs didn't seem interested, I could always put it down to canine distemper . . .


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