ITHACA MUSIC FORUM: "On the Origins of Laurie Anderson's 'O Superman': A Detectivre Story," presented by Dr. S. Alexander Reed

Join us for the last Ithaca Music Forum of 2019!

Laurie Anderson's 1981 breakout hit "O Superman" remains one of the strangest and most mysteriously compelling moments in late-20th century music. A crossover between minimalist new music and icy new wave, the song reached #2 on the charts and was instrumental in launching both performance art and music video as popular media of the 1980s.

In this talk, Alex Reed displays previously unseen and unheard elements of the song's curious beginnings and details the detective work that uncovered them. The presentation is adapted from his forthcoming book with Oxford University Press on Laurie Anderson's debut LP Big Science.

Dr. Reed is author of Assimilate: A Critical History of Industrial Music and co-author of a volume on the music of They Might Be Giants in the popular 33 1/13 series. A scholar of post-punk and avant-garde musics, he has published in Perspectives of New Music, Popular Music and Society, the Journal of Popular Music Studies, the Journal of Musicological Research, the Journal of Popular Music Education, and ImageTexT. He is Associate Professor of Music and Integrative Studies at Ithaca College.

Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 5:00pm to 6:00pm

Whalen Center for Music, 3106 (Green Room)

Individuals who would like to request accessibility accommodations should contact We ask that requests be made as soon as possible to ensure they can be met.

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School of Music





Free and open to the public. Reception to follow

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