Pre-order the Atlas Obscura Book now and Receive a Free Enamel Pin.
Mini book a30976e9da7a24921cf3be4abf80181ccad21053999e5b9c9eff280eeaa1806b

An NYC Concert So Experimental, Only Dogs Can Hear It

Dog music has gotten way better since they invented subwoofers.

Dog music has gotten way better since they invented subwoofers. (Image: Francis Barraud/WikiCommons Public Domain)

Are you one of the many New Yorkers who resolved to expose their dogs to more avant-garde art in 2016? Head to New York City's Times Square tonight, where pioneering performance artist Laurie Anderson is unleashing her newest project–a special concert just for pups.

Starting at 11:30 p.m., Anderson will perform low-frequency compositions audible only to canine ears (while high pitches are a more traditional way to get a dog's attention, they are too exciting for such a late-night performance).  Special guests will include K9 first responders from a number of units, along with their handlers. They and other humans in the know will be able to tune in through special wireless headsets, while those walking by will just see a bunch of people and animals listening raptly to nothing.

Anderson has spent her decades-long career ruffing up concert halls, inventing new instruments, and bringing experimental music to the pop charts. She first tried this particular trick five years ago, when she hosted "Music for Dogs" in Sydney, Australia. That show drew hundreds of four-footed audience members, and received a barking ovation–a review Anderson marks as "one of the happiest moments of my life."

Tonight's concert will be capped off by a short "Midnight Moment" film screening–three minutes before the clock strikes, most of the billboards in Time Square will simultaneously broadcast a small segment of Anderson's acclaimed documentary, Heart of a Dog. The film explores art, love, death, and the afterlife, all expressed through "the unraveling dreams" of Anderson's late dog Lolabelle.

The whole shebang starts at 11:30, and is free and open to the public. All the dogs that can fit in Duffy Square will be able to hear the low-frequency speakers, but humans who hope to participate might want to get there early, as only 350 headsets will be distributed. 

Every day, we track down a fleeting wonder—something amazing that's only happening right now. Have a tip for us? Tell us about it! Send your temporary miracles to [email protected].

Enjoying this story?
Get our latest, delivered straight to your inbox.