Fenderhardt, the title of this blog, comes from “Meela Fenderhardt”—a pseudonym derived from another pseudonym, “Myla ven der Heart” (oddly, pronounced the same way), created by Laura Maguire, who likes to be clever and hide. Many years ago, Laura invented the name to write poetry she never showed to anyone. There is little poetry here, thank God.
These days, she mostly writes about music, dance, and the performing arts.
Laura is originally from Dublin, Ireland, where she studied Philosophy at Trinity College. She moved to the Bay Area over two decades ago to pursue her graduate studies, but ended up becoming a San Francisco slacker instead. She eventually graduated with a PhD in Philosophy from Stanford University.
After moving to the Bay Area, Laura studied many forms of dance and movement, most notably Argentine Tango and Contact Improvisation. She co-produced a number of multidisciplinary dance performances with Avy K Productions, which she co-founded in 2008 with visual artist Vadim Puyandaev and choreographer Erika Tsimbrovsky. With musician/composer Alex Pinto, she was co-founder and co-director of SF Offside, a jazz festival with an exclusive focus on Bay Area composers and musicians. For two years, she was the main music programmer for (what was) San Francisco’s sweetest little underground venue, Viracocha, sadly now closed. Since 2010, she has been writing about local musicians and composers under the moniker Live ‘n’ Local SF.
For most of 2010, Laura lived in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai where she taught classes in Contact Improv, formed the still-thriving Dance Chiang Mai community network, produced several multidisciplinary art and performance events, collaborated with local Thai performing arts collective CNX Art Connex, started this blog, hung out at the North Gate Jazz Co-Op, and ate a lot of delicious Thai food. The vital Bay Area music scene and a quarter-long teaching gig at Stanford lured her back to San Francisco in the Spring of 2011. Although she had been planning to return to Chiang Mai, forces conspired to keep her by the Bay.
Since Fall of 2011, Laura has served as Director of Research for the nationally syndicated public radio program Philosophy Talk, and her philosophical writing regularly appears on the blog Philosophers’ Corner.