one woman's view into a world of creativity

O Superman

Lyrics: O Superman, Laurie Anderson

Today in Modern Art we watched O Superman, a 1981 performance art piece created by Laurie Anderson.  It unexpectedly rose to #2 in the UK charts.

This piece is so unusual, yet so catchy I had to share it with you.  It really has some neat visual effects, such as the glowing mouth at 1:50, silhouette gestures at 2:27 and the shadow-art arm at 6:30.  I also love the light changes paired with the sharply contrasting costumes and backgrounds.  I’m also digging her pixie cut.  It’s such a creative music video.

The lyrics are really powerful, and politically charged.  Some of my favorite lines include:

  1. “This is the hand, the hand that takes.
    Here come the planes.
    They’re American planes. Made in America.”

  2. ” ‘Cause when love is gone, there’s always justice.
    And when justice is gone, there’s always force.
    And when force is gone, there’s always Mom. Hi Mom”

  3. “So hold me, Mom, in your long arms.
    Your petrochemical arms. Your military arms.
    In your electronic arms.”

But what originally made me investigate this song further is its coincidental similarity of sound with Imogen Heap, a music artist I enjoy listening to.  The fuzzy, computerized voice is likely the greatest similarity, but the soft, flowing style of singing/speaking reminds me of Heap’s style.   Hide and Seek, by Heap is the song that comes to mind first when I listen to Anderson’s O Superman.

I apologize, but I can’t seem to find a YouTube video of Hide and Seek that you can watch through this post.  If you actually want to see the authentic video, you’ll have to go to YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYIAfiVGluk  Please do.  I think you’ll enjoy hearing the sound similarities between the two artists of different eras, if you take the time to listen to both.  Thanks for reading.

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Comments on: "O Superman" (1)

  1. It’s kind of hypnotic.

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