Eminent performance artist/director/musician Laurie Anderson is curating the type of all-encompassing tribute to former husband Lou Reed (who died in October 2013) that only a skilled multi-hyphenate such as herself could. For Lincoln Center’s annual Out of Doors Festival, Anderson, along with Reed’s former producer Hal Willner, is bringing a whole day’s worth of Reed-reverent entertainment to New York in the event titled, The Bells: A Daylong Celebration of Lou Reed.
The event’s official lineup of artists remains unannounced, but it promises everything from live performances to screenings of documentaries about or related to Reed (including Julian Schnabel’s 2008 film, Berlin: Live), to readings of Reed’s lyrics performed by artists and actors, to…a Tai Chi class. Yes, in honor of Reed becoming a Tai Chi master in his later years and writing Hudson River Wind Meditations — an album made specifically for the practice of the martial art — Reed’s teacher Master Ren Guangyi will be leading a lesson the middle of Lincoln Center. The public will also enjoy/be subjected to Anderson’s three hour “feedback-based composition,” Lou Reed: Drones.
The actual tribute concert will take place in the evening in Damrosch Park — Lincoln Center’s outdoor bandshell area. A press release describes this as “an evening concert featuring performances by a raft of artists across a range of music genres.” The release also notes that the only event among Reed’s family and friends that marked his death happened at Lincoln Center in November 2013 — it was just a collection of his music spanning 45 years, played for the hundreds of people who’d gathered after a post went up on his Facebook page.
Similarly, Reed’s music will be broadcast throughout the day-long tribute, which will take place July 30.