laurieanderson3Laurie Anderson

Renowned experimental musician/artist Laurie Anderson has been exploring her conceptual pieces since the late 1960s while an undergrad at Barnard College and graduate student at Columbia University. She became something of a cult figure thanks to her piece "Duets on Ice," in which she played a violin fitted with a tape head and a bow strung with audiotape -- all while wearing ice skates with blades encased in a block of ice. The piece ended when it melted. She eventually moved into the world of recordings, leading to her minimalist 1981 single "O Superman," which hit No. 2 on the UK charts.

"I was trying to stop smoking and I had the Nicoderm patch, which is basically speed. You wake up in the morning and you think, 'I'll rearrange all the furniture in the house!' So I was doing that and I had this show in Spain in a couple days, and I thought, 'I'm going to have it translated and do it in Spanish -- a language I don't speak.' So it was a show with lots of words, but it also had a lot of images (projected). I slowly read the Spanish, and by the end of the show I thought it went really well. But I looked out and every single person had gone. There was no one left in the theater. Then I walked offstage and all the production people were looking at the floor. I'm saying, 'Wasn't that great?' They were like, 'I'm working for a crazy person.' The show -- which was normally about an hour -- took four hours. My timing was -- well you couldn't even say it was off. It took four times longer than it normally would. It was ridiculous. Nicoderm is a powerful mood enhancer, I guess."

— Laurie Anderson