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Laurie Anderson, David Byrne, and a Keyboard-Playing Terrier

It was a Walker reunion 32 years in the making: After both gracing the Walker stage for 1980’s New Music America Fest, Laurie Anderson and David Byrne were together again Sunday in the McGuire Theater. Byrne, who was in the audience for Anderson’s “startingly hypnotic” performance of Dirtday!, is in town to present his gigantic […]

David Byrne and Laurie Anderson in the McGuire Theater. Photo: Philip Bither

It was a Walker reunion 32 years in the making: After both gracing the Walker stage for 1980’s New Music America Fest, Laurie Anderson and David Byrne were together again Sunday in the McGuire Theater. Byrne, who was in the audience for Anderson’s “startingly hypnotic” performance of Dirtday!, is in town to present his gigantic sound installation Playing the Building at Aria (formerly Theater de la Jeune Lune) in the Warehouse District. Featuring an organ wired to various architectural elements of the space, PTB’s Minneapolis run starts tonight and runs through December 4. Both artists have long histories with the Walker: Byrne’s engagements include the premier of The Knee Plays in 1984 and  Rock the Garden in 2004, while Anderson–who recently shared her thoughts with us on war, politics, and the Occupy movement–performed her work Happiness here in 2002.

Laurie Anderson leaves her mark on the Walker’s backstage wall. Photo: Julie Voigt

Before leaving, Anderson engaged in a Walker ritual–signing the theater’s backstage signature wall. Among the drawings she left behind was one of Lolabelle, her late rat terrier, who (as she recounted in Dirtday!) had a special skill: she could play the keyboard.

Anderson’s drawing on the McGuire backstage wall. Photo: Paul Schmelzer