A Video Catalogue of the Art of Xiang Yang

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“I am an observer of life, a non-participant who takes no sides. I am in the regimented society, but not of it.”
— Moondog, 1964

The music is a Theme from the classical composter Moondog. Used without permission or profit.

The Genius of Moondog, New York’s Homeless Composer

For thirty years, a lumbering, blind “Viking” roamed the streets of New York City.

Armed with a six-foot, steel-pointed spear, a horned, leather-embossed cap, and a long, wispy beard, he’d find a spot along Sixth Avenue, set up his array of homemade instruments, and stand placidly for eight hours, like some ancient humanized statue. Amidst the shrill horns, screeching tires, and tumbling foot traffic of Manhattan, the sightless giant would gently rap on his drum, advertising his wares — a set of albums and hand-written poems — to anyone interested.

Louis Thomas Hardin (May 26, 1916 – September 8, 1999), also known as Moondog, was an American musician, composer, theoretician, poet and inventor of several musical instruments. He was blind from the age of 16.

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Hardin lived in New York City from the late 1940s until 1972, and during this time he could often be found on 6th Avenue, between 52nd and 55th Streets, wearing a cloak and a horned helmet sometimes busking or selling music, but often just standing silently on the sidewalk.

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He was widely recognized as “the Viking of 6th Avenue” by thousands of passersby and residents who weren’t aware of his musical career.

 

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