Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: The Art of the Straight Line by Lou Reed

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,501

    The Art of the Straight Line by Lou Reed

    Lou Reed’s Writings on Martial Arts Set for Release, With Laurie Anderson Foreword
    The Art of the Straight Line collects the accomplished shadowboxer’s unpublished writings on tai chi, music, and meditation
    By Jazz Monroe
    January 5, 2023
    Lou Reed performing a tai chi session
    Lou Reed, June 2010 (Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
    A new book will compile the writings of Lou Reed—an accomplished tai chi practitioner from the 1980s until his death—on music, meditation, and martial arts. The Art of the Straight Line: My Tai Chi, out March 14 via HarperOne, features a foreword from the late artist’s partner, Laurie Anderson.

    The book comprises “unpublished writings on the technique, practice, and purpose of martial arts, as well as essays, observations, and riffs on meditation and life,” according to the publisher. Reed, who studied with Master Ren GuangYi, discussed the practice with artists, friends, and other tai chi practitioners, such as Iggy Pop, Tony Visconti, Julian Schnabel, and the late Hal Willner. Those conversations also appear in the book.

    Anderson edited the book alongside Stephan Berwick, Bob Currie, and Scott Richman. Faber will publish The Art of the Straight Line in the United Kingdom and Ireland on March 16.



    All products featured on Pitchfork are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
    Related threads:
    The-Lou-Reed-issue-May-June-2003
    Lou-Reed-Ren-Guang-Yi-Sep-Oct-007
    Lou-Reed-s-Got-Qi!-(10-10-Entertainment-Weekly)
    R-I-P-Lou-Reed
    Lou-Reed-Tai-Chi-Day
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,501

    The Art of the Straight Line - Lou Reed



    I just received an advanced galley and am very proud to have been included in this work. My contribution is currently on pages 255-257 (but that might shift depending upon the final layout).
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,501

    WildAid Tiger Claw Champion prizes

    As a special prize, the top three 2023 adult finishers in the WildAid Tiger Claw Championship will receive the new book, The Art of the Straight Line: My Tai Chi by Lou Reed & Laurie Anderson.



    2023-Tiger-Claw-Elite-Championships-amp-KUNG-FU-TAI-CHI-DAY-May-6-7-San-Jose-CA
    WildAid-Tiger-Claw-Champion
    The-Art-of-the-Straight-Line-by-Lou-Reed
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,501

    From Scott Richman's fb page

    Scott Richman is in New York, NY.
    Yesterday at 2:45 AM ·
    A celebration of Lou Reed’s life, music, and meditations in the Winter Garden
    We invite you to celebrate the upcoming release of, The Art of the Straight Line: My Tai Chi, a collection of unpublished writings by the late musician, Lou Reed, on the technique, practice, and purpose of martial arts, as well as essays, observations, and riffs on meditation and life.
    The celebration falls on Lou Reeds 81st birthday and the fourth annual Lou Reed International Tai Chi Day. Join us for Tai Chi demonstrations, a public class, and presentation by the book editors. The event will culminate with a performance of musical improvisors set against Lou Reed’s Musical Drones.
    SCHEDULE:
    5:00 PM | Lou Reed’s Musical Drones performed by Stewart Hurwood
    5:30 PM | Tai Chi demonstration by Master Ren Guang Yi and students. Stephan Berwick MC
    6:00 PM | Free Tai Chi class with Master Ren Guang Yi
    6:30 PM | The Art of the Straight Line discussion with book editors, Laurie Anderson, Stephan Berwick, Bob Currie and Scott Richman
    6:45 PM | Lou Reed’s Musical Drones resume
    8:00 PM | Guest performances by Kevin Hearn, Sarth Calhoun, Shahzad Ismaily, Laurie Anderson and others.
    The Art of the Straight Line Celebration is presented by Laurie Anderson, Stephan Berwick, Scott Richman, HarperCollins Publishers and Brookfield Place New York

    The-Art-of-the-Straight-Line-by-Lou-Reed
    Lou-Reed-Tai-Chi-Day
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,501

    Our latest sweepstakes. Enter to WIN!

    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,501

    For anyone near NYC

    This event is posted on Facebook, which doesn't always copy well here on our forum.



    Laurie Anderson + Editors: The Art of the Straight Line by Lou Reed
    Actions Panel
    Like Event
    Mar 14
    Laurie Anderson + Editors: The Art of the Straight Line by Lou Reed

    Join us for an in-person event with multi-award-winning artist Laurie Anderson, for a launch of the new book The Art of the Straight Line.

    By The Strand Book Store

    When and where
    Date and time
    Tue, Mar 14, 2023, 7:00 PM EDT

    Location
    Strand Book Store 828 Broadway 3rd Floor, Rare Book Room New York, NY 10003
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,501

    Barrons

    Rock Legend Lou Reed's Tai Chi Book To Be Published
    By Maggy DONALDSON
    March 14, 2023

    Rock pioneer and poet Lou Reed began writing a book in 2009 on an art at the heart of his lifestyle: tai chi.

    But the project went unfinished, remaining a collection of scattered notes when the groundbreaking musical experimentalist died in 2013 aged 71, after complications from a liver transplant.

    Those unpublished writings, including conversations with his fellow artists, friends and tai chi practitioners, come out this week, a decade after his death.

    "He started it, we wanted to finish it," Laurie Anderson, the composer and artist who was Reed's longtime partner, told AFP.

    "The Art of the Straight Line" features essays and riffs by Reed, a meditation on his three decades as a dedicated tai chi practitioner.

    The ancient Chinese tradition helps reduce stress and anxiety and is often described as "meditation in motion," according to the leading medical center Mayo Clinic.

    The book offers insight into the gentler facets of the once hard-living Velvet Underground frontman, whose deadpan demeanor and cantankerous interactions with the press meant his testy side occupied a fair amount of the public's attention.

    "Not to get too flowery here but I want more out of life than a gold record and fame," he wrote. "I want to mature like a warrior."

    "I want the power and grace I never had a chance to learn. Tai chi puts you in touch with the invisible power of, yes, the universe. Change your energy, change your mind."

    Reed fostered a long collaboration with Master Ren Guang Yi, studying for hours most days when he wasn't touring.

    He was so committed to the practice that he took his final breaths while "doing the famous 21 form of tai chi with just his musician's hands moving through the air," Anderson said at the time of his death.

    Reed began studying tai chi in the 1980s when he was still heavily into drugs, according to Anderson.

    The prolific artist behind classics including "Walk on the Wild Side" and "Sweet Jane" also penned the frank "Heroin," an agitated depiction of the experience of using.

    "Not the greatest time to start, but you know, what's a bad time to start?" said Anderson, who was married to Reed at the time of his death.

    "He was very, very persistent," she said, referring to his tai chi practice. "He managed to keep going for decades and become very, very proficient."

    Reed was not alone as a rock star who was into tai chi, but he was an early devotee when the ancient practice became popular in the United States.

    "It's all one big power chord in a certain way," Anderson laughed, when asked how tai chi corresponded to rock. "They're running along the same frequency."

    She recalled seeing members of Metallica do tai chi with Reed, adding that "they were very fascinated by it."

    The alt-rock icon and heavy metal band collaborated on the 2011 album "Lulu."

    "Lou was, like, kind of their grandmaster" both in terms of the record and "how to be kind of a grand old man," Anderson said.

    "These are no longer bad boys," she said, explaining that tai chi "teaches you how to get old, in a country where old people are kind of made fun of."

    Releasing Reed's writings on his beloved practice was a natural progression that followed his decades of promoting its benefits.

    He "was not shy about talking to people about it," Anderson said.

    "He was looking at people going, 'You have terrible posture. Have you ever done tai chi? You're a wreck,'" she laughed.

    "He did that to his surgeon before he'd done his liver transplant... this is the guy who's just about to take a knife to him."

    But it came from a genuine desire to help, she said: "He was the most supportive person you can imagine."

    "He really wanted in every way to improve his life," Anderson said. "It was really inspiring."

    "He was not someone who would sit around and mope about how bad things were."

    mdo/dw/dhw/leg
    I didn't search for the original AFP article...
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,501

    The China Project coverage

    Lou Reed’s posthumous book ‘The Art of the Straight Line’ reveals a Tai Chi master
    Society & Culture
    Lou Reed was a visionary rock ‘n’ roll musician. He was also a dedicated practitioner of the ancient Chinese martial art of Tai Chi. That passion is the subject of The Art of the Straight Line, a posthumous collection of Reed’s writing on Tai Chi and conversations with friends and teachers that is the subject of this conversation with Laurie Anderson and Stephan Berwick.

    Susan St.Denis Published March 13, 2023


    From “The Art of the Straight Line” by Lou Reed, copyright 2023.

    If you’re in New York tomorrow, click here for details of a live event with Laurie Anderson and the other editors of The Art of the Straight Line.

    “Not to get too flowery here, but I want more out of life than a gold record and fame. I want to mature like a warrior. I want the power and grace I never had a chance to learn…Tai Chi puts you in touch with the invisible power of — yes — the universe. The best of energies become available, and soon your body and mind become an invisible power.”
    — Lou Reed, from an original letter published by The New York Times, October 25, 2010
    Lou Reed was a founding member of the legendary rock band The Velvet Underground, and had a groundbreaking solo career that spanned five decades until his death in 2013. His many collaborators included Andy Warhol, John Cale, Robert Wilson, and Metallica. Reed’s influence continues to be heard in the music of every generation of artistic outcast that yearns for a sound that reveals tenderness underneath a rough exterior.

    Some might be surprised, however, to learn of Reed’s other great passion: Tai Chi (太極拳 tŕijí quán), a martial art that originated in China some 2,000 years ago. Reed’s dedication to the form began in the 1980s and continued all the way to his very final moments in 2013, as you can read below.

    Before Reed passed away, he left behind scattered notes about Tai Chi for a book. His wife, the musician and artist Laurie Anderson, worked with Stephan Berwick, Bob Currie, and Scott Richman to bring together his writings and create The Art of the Straight Line. The book shares the story of Reed’s physical, mental, and spiritual journey through the challenges of Tai Chi, and is also something of a how-to guide for aspiring Tai Chi practitioners.

    I talked to Anderson and Berwick about the book last week. This is an abridged, lightly edited transcript of our conversation.

    —Susan St.Denis


    From “The Art of the Straight Line” by Lou Reed, copyright 2023.

    The China Project: How did you two first meet and get to know Lou Reed?

    Stephan Berwick: I first met Lou in 2003 at a large Chinese martial arts event out in California with his teacher Rčn Guǎngyě 任广义, who insisted that I come with him. He really wanted me to meet Lou. Master Ren, as we all called him, was just getting started teaching Lou, and right off the bat I saw what kind of relationship they had.

    Laurie Anderson: We met a few times, but we were in different sorts of circles. When you think of the New York art world, art music world, there’s about 25 different circles in there. You can revolve around your own little circle, in a little eddy of your own, and never meet other people within their little so-called art world. Our first date (I didn’t realize it was a date at first) was at the Acoustical Engineering Society. We went to see two microphones. We both loved microphones, and we went to look at them. We were together from then on.

    Lou began this book in 2009, but unfortunately was unable to finish it before his passing. What led you to take on the task of picking up where he left off and bringing this book to completion?

    Laurie: My experience after he died was pretty much like a 15-story building fell on top of me. I was suddenly responsible for the whole estate, for the music — for everything, and being the one who had to make all those decisions. So, I did that very gradually, and hired a couple of people to help me.

    The book was always on my mind, but it wasn’t number one. It took us maybe three or four years after his death to kind of go, “All right, let’s finally do the book. Let’s try to gather these pages up and see what we can make of it.”

    There wasn’t enough for a book, in terms of pages; there was enough for a pamphlet. So we decided to expand it and talk to his friends, to his fellow practitioners, and to his various teachers of all kinds, and kind of make a collage…it was always for us. The idea was not to make a portrait of Lou, but it was to inspire people to do tai chi, period. It was going to be a handbook.

    Stephan: Lou was just overwhelmingly passionate about promoting this particular piece of Chinese culture. He was a ‘Kung Fu head’! He loved Chinese martial arts, like so many people do all over the world. But he didn’t come to it like a Sinologist. He didn’t come to it like so many folks of a certain age, maybe the Gen X age, who, when China first opened up, ran over to China to study the language and taste an exotic new world. He really came to it as a brilliant artist who was open and hungry for something to improve himself.

    He wanted the world to know, to understand, what this is, not on the mystical side, but on just the practical side. He seemed to understand what is powerful about this piece of culture. And whether you speak the language, whether you have immersed yourself in the culture socially or personally, it doesn’t matter, you can still get something out of this rich and deep art form. And that was the message he wanted to get out there. That’s honestly what fueled us to get this book done
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,501

    Continued from previous post


    Notes from Lou Reed’s Tai Chi notebook, from “The Art of the Straight Line” by Lou Reed, copyright 2023.
    You mentioned that he would often say that Tai Chi was more important to him than his music, and I think that’s something that might shock a lot of his fans. Did you ever have a moment, in the process of working on this book, where you learned something surprising about Lou that you didn’t know while he was still with us?

    Laurie: Well, first of all, that thing about being more important than music, that’s a bit of a misquote, I think. In the last three or four years of his life, he decided to do tai chi every day. And he was still doing a lot of music. But he did say that tai chi was his priority at that point. But of course, that’s the end of his life.There were many other times in his life where he had to find a balance between doing this thing, because he was a really busy performer and person. It takes time to learn these things and to work on them, which he really wanted to do. So, I would not say it was more important than music — no way. He was a writer, and he loved all of those things. They influenced each other. His writing influenced tai chi, his tai chi influenced his writing, and his musical style, in particular his stance, and the way he held the guitar, and the way his feet were firmly planted.

    When I look at some of how he did some of the forms, the relaxation in his hand, I think, “That’s a guitar player’s hand.” I just saw him doing Tai Chi when I saw him play guitar. It was really about the way he was holding the instrument, the way he held his stance as a musician. And, of course, when Master Ren came on tour, that was even more obvious when you saw Lou standing there, you thought, “That’s the way a martial artist stands.” It was such a shocking and beautiful thing to see that in his body, in his hands, his arm, his back, that was his training. It was astounding.

    Stephan: Yeah. One of the people we interviewed in the book — and we interviewed about 80 people from all walks of life who either knew Lou very well, taught him, or who trained or worked with — one of the most insightful personalities we spoke to was Chén Bǐng 陳炳. Chen Bing is possibly the most famous of the younger Chen Family Masters in China. We’re talking about the family that created Tai Chi, born and raised in the founding family village of Tai Chi, Chenjiagou, Henan Province.

    Chen Bing is a very interesting because of the wide variety of folks he’s taught and worked with. In our interview, he talks about how he worked with other musicians in some form or another in China. And he said that what he saw in Lou, seeing Ren Guangyi on stage with him performing in all types of venues, in the David Letterman Show and on Top of the Pops — very commercial, mainstream venues — he said it always struck him how Lou and Ren were able to bridge a lot of gaps between the freewheeling feeling of Western rock music with this more strict, traditional kind of rules-based discipline of Tai Chi that goes back very far.


    Lou Reed and Master Ren performing at the Sydney Opera House from “The Art of the Straight Line” by Lou Reed, copyright 2023.
    The whole East-West thing, how do you combine something like this? How do you combine very rich rock with high poetry behind it with the performance of Tai Chi, and very traditional Tai Chi, not interpretive Tai Chi?

    Chen Bing, thought that was extraordinary. He described how he had never seen that happen before. For him, it was like a big pioneering act, of seeing these cultures — actually two expressions of two very different cultures — somehow coming together in a way that just makes perfect, perfect sense. That’s another important message. We talk quite a lot about what is multiculturalism? How does one culture affect another culture? How does one culture help another culture? For me, this is where Lou was going with this, and his active promotion of Tai Chi is a testament of that.

    How did Lou meet Master Ren, and what was their experience working together? What was the impact of Master Ren on Lou’s life?
    Laurie: I have to say it was really pretty crazy because I had been going to other schools with Lou since ’92 when we met. We’d been experimenting with different things, but eventually I thought, you know what? I don’t want to do every single thing my partner is doing and follow him around. I asked around, and I can’t remember who told me about Master Ren, but I started going to his class on Lafayette Street. It was probably only a couple of months after that that I said to Lou, “I hate to say this, but my teacher’s better than yours, and you’d better come and check this guy out.” And he did. I will never forget when they met. I will never forget…Lou just came to the classroom, went, “Wait a second. This is the real thing.”

    And then I was a third wheel. I think it was easier for Master Ren to have a friendship with a man than a woman, for sure. He’s very egalitarian in terms of his class. In fact, most of his students now are women, and he treats women very, very respectfully. And he challenges us to do things. He is not at all patronizing, not for one second. But I did feel like the third wheel, I went slinking off, and I didn’t really return to the class. Once in a while I would go with Lou, around 2006, but the bonding between them was so…they became brothers.
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,501

    Continued from previous post


    Lou Reed and Master Ren playfully wrestling from “The Art of the Straight Line” by Lou Reed, copyright 2023.
    Martial arts presented challenges to Lou which he had to overcome. How did this reflect in his later life, and what changes did you notice in him?

    Laurie: He used it as a way to help him get old, as a way to help him die. He was fierce. That was the way he chose to do that. He died doing martial arts, literally. I was the only one with him, and I saw that, him doing “cloud hands” as he died. That’s an amazing thing, that it takes you right to the last moment of your life, you trusted it that much. It becomes so much a part of you that it is like breathing.

    But it was also his weapon: he used meditation as his weapon. We’re going to put out a record, Hudson River Meditations, that will be a kind of compliment to the book. And that’s going to be coming out hopefully at the end of the summer. The record will have what I had hoped the book would have, which is a poster of one of the forms. After all, what’s a how-to book without a step-by-step showing you what to do?

    Stephan: Lou got into martial arts around the early ’80s, so it actually goes back pretty far. His second teacher, Leung Shum, had been a longtime pioneering teacher of Chinese martial arts in New York. Lou first studied Eagle Claw under Leung Shum, which involved a lot of the gymnastic stuff that Laurie talked about earlier. But he also taught a form of Tai Chi, Wu-style, that’s very popular in Hong Kong, which is where Leung Shum is from. He’s still around, thankfully, and was one of the first people we interviewed.

    At one point Leung mentioned to us, “Oh yeah, I remember Lou recorded a song about Tai Chi.” And we were like, “What? Are you…” It was early in Lou’s training. When Leung mentioned that to us, it kind of freaked us out. Then a few years later, one of our co-editors, Scott Richmond, while conducting research in the Lou Reed archive at the New York Public Library, found the song. It’s called “Invitation to Tai Chi,” and — you’re going to be blown away when you hear this — he actually sings about his very first Chinese martial arts teacher, Peter Morales, who by the way, was one of the very first Americans who trained in China back in the early ’80s in Nanjing. That song is an anchor to so many things, so many periods of his early odyssey through Chinese martial arts.

    What do you hope this book can show people about China, beyond the political sphere that we tend to look at when we think about the country?
    Stephan: We hope to show the world that there are certain aspects of Chinese culture that are accessible to everyone. Tai Chi, a couple of years ago, was finally placed on the UNESCO tangible cultural heritage list. It took a lot of effort from mainland China to do that. But it was something that I was happy to see because one of the big misconceptions about trying to delve into any other cultures is that if you don’t speak the language, if you don’t live there for 10 years, if you don’t marry someone there, you’re never going to be brought inside. You’re always going to be an outsider.

    But with Martial arts that’s different. Tai Chi has a universal accessibility and appeal that I think people just don’t fully realize. We hope this book will show people how accessible it is, how you can have a piece of this cultural heritage. And for many people, and even for many China experts, they often describe Tai Chi as perhaps the one art form and cultural expression from China that most represents the Chinese psyche. It is something powerful that everybody can and should be doing.

    Laurie: And of course this is an American interpretation, but I think that one of the things that Lou and Master Ren shared in terms of just personality traits, and you could say in very broad strokes, are things that Americans and Chinese share: A very practical approach to the world, one in which you can improve yourself. These are both very basic to our cultures.

    We’re not the French or the English. We are much closer to Chinese people in this…I mean, I’m talking obviously in ridiculous broad strokes, but I feel that the times I’ve been to China, I feel a rapport that is down to earth…And I see that in the brotherhood of Master Ren and Lou. I saw that sense of the physicality, the body, the practicality, the work ethic, it was very, very much there in that friendship. That’s something to be celebrated in the relationship between our two cultures; it’s very important to see that. This is a gift in many ways, not just to Lou’s fans, but to Chinese culture.

    This is an American artist who fell in love with Chinese martial arts and Chinese culture, and wanted to bring it to the world through his music. He wasn’t ever pretending to be an ambassador, but he wanted to say, “Here, look what I learned from this, and it’s my spin on it. So, it’s not a perfect spin, but I fell in love with this, and I want to show this to you.” We’re very proud of the book, and from that point of view, it feels to me very much like a gift to all of the ideas and practices that come from China.

    Stephan: There’s a very high level of elegance to any high art form. There’s elegance throughout all of this — Lou’s own elegance, the elegance of Tai Chi, the elegance of Master Ren. These are things that anybody can relate to and anybody can hold up high. And that comes with a deep, mature development of these art forms. There’s an elegance there that is so universal, it’s almost beyond culture.


    Tai Chi enthusiasts practice at a Chen Xiaowang seminar held in Queens, NY from the “The Art of the Straight Line” by Lou Reed, copyright 2023.

    Susan St.Denis is The China Project’s TikTok editor and flow manager. She has a Bachelor’s in Communication from the University of North Florida, concentrating in production and journalism, and a Master’s in Asian Studies from Florida International University.
    Nice long interview
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •