Louis Thomas Hardin (May 26, 1916 – September 8, 1999), known professionally as Moondog, was an American composer, musician, performer, music theoretician, poet and inventor of musical instruments. Largely self-taught as a composer, his prolific work widely drew inspiration from jazz, classical, Native American music which he had become familiar with as a child, and Latin American music. His strongly rhythmic, contrapuntal pieces and arrangements later influenced composers of minimal music, in particular American composers Steve Reich and Philip Glass.
Due to an accident, Moondog was blind from the age of 16. He lived in New York City from the late 1940s until 1972, during which time he was often found on Sixth Avenue, between 52nd and 55th Streets, busking, selling records and performing poetry. Regularly appearing in a cloak and a horned helmet, he was recognized as "the Viking of Sixth Avenue" by thousands of passersby and residents who were not aware of his musical career.
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