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Mike Patton, Laurie Anderson and Rubin Kodheli vs Qi Jiguang at SF Jazz

excerpt of the Laurie Anderson improvisational performance feat Mike Patton & Ruben Kodheli at SF Jazz based on the Jixiao Xinshu martial arts manual written by Qi Jiguang
Mike Patton and Laurie Anderson

Mike Patton and LaurieAnderson perform live improvisational soundtrack at SF Jazz

Got the unique opportunity to attend a performance by SFJAZZ Resident Artistic Director Laurie Anderson featuring mischief maker Mike Patton and cellist Rubin Kodheli at SF Jazz last night.

Laurie Anderson & Mike Patton at SF Jazz
creative collaborators from L – R are Rubin Kodheli on Cello, Mike Patton on vocals, percussion and electronic treatments, Laurie Anderson on vocals, violin & electronic loops

Focused around the text from “Quanjing Jieyao Pian,” Mike Patton and Laurie Anderson combined creative sonic forces to interpret the final chapter of Jixiao Xinshu – the famous military manual written in the 16th century by Ming dynasty general and Chinese national hero Qi Jiguang. Translating to “The Fist Canon and the Essentials of Nimbleness,” the text delves into ideas about unarmed combat exercises as physical training, and is the first known written document of martial arts instruction. Laurie told the audience that her late husband Lou Reed was an avid practitioner of Tai Chi and had been working on a book about these concepts shortly before he died. Having inherited Lou’s martial arts writings (as well as weapons) caused Anderson to delve deeper into the text, which she found oddly poetic despite its more pragmatic nature. The performance also featured cellist Rubin Kodheli who helped build the musical pieces into dramatic and foreboding crescendos that captivated a sold out crowd at SF Jazz Center on Fell St in San Francisco.

Mike Patton on the mic while Laurie Anderson plays violin at SF Jazz under the drawing of Lou Reed and his exploding heart

Here’s an excerpt of the performance I recorded like a dirty creepy bootlegger from a mic hidden inside a coat in the audience (just like ReRun did on that episode of What’s Happening when he went to see the Doobies with Roger). This audio is the tail end of the set feat. Laurie Anderson with Mike Patton and Rubin Kodheli 1 25 2020 at SF Jazz

Some of the introductory text from the performance seen below…

Laurie Anderson's notes from the show
Mike Patton's "Rig" of electronic vocal effects and apparent gamelan
Laurie Anderson's stage set up including keyboards, tablet controllers and Apple laptop
Laurie Anderson describes her experience studying VIPASSANA meditation at a Thai Buddhist meditation monastery in Western Massachusetts in the 1970's, when she was trying to learn to focus her thoughts like a beam.

Laurie spoke of her experiences on a VipASSana meditation retreat where she hoped to learn to focus her mind like a beam, but instead really learned about pain. Surreptitious clip by ROBLEYE

pic by Robley Evans

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