Artist Laurie Anderson’s 2015 film Heart of a Dog features multiple sequences of her rat terrier Lolabelle playing an electronic keyboard. As we regularly encounter singing goats, dancing cockatiels and theremin-playing cats on YouTube and Instagram, we are tempted to focus on the silliness of animals in musical contexts, or whether animals can truly have an aesthetic experience. This interactive presentation, through a survey of artwork, performance anecdotes and news reports, will ask different questions, including: Why do we find animals in musical situations funny? How can we understand our own reactions to animal performances? And how did Lolabelle actually learn to play?
About the Presenter
Kate Altizer is an educator, researcher and pianist working toward her PhD in Musicology at Indiana University with a dissertation on animals and music. She currently is an instructor at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, where she teaches an introductory music course and courses in Western music history and film music. Previously at IU, she taught a wide range of classes and gave presentations for the public library and local businesses.
This presentation is offered through Zoom. You will be able to ask questions during the presentation.
As the pandemic continues, ticket buyers agree to follow all health and safety protocols in the Center's venues, including face coverings and proof of vaccination or testing. Buyers also accept responsibility for any risk associated with the visit.