Monday, May 6, 2013

Kathy Supové at The Flea Theater: 4/26/2013: Digital Debussy

The best pianist living in New York you probably never heard of is Kathy Supové. I've written about her before, and photographed some of her performances, but every time I hear her again, I reaffirm what I already knew: I know what I'm not missing. 
Last week she did it again, with four performances at The Flea Theater on White Street in Tribeca, called "Digital Debussy." I was lucky enough to be there for the Friday night performance. Kathy was simply sizzling and all three pieces were beautiful. I cannot understand it when people tell me they don't like "contemporary music," meaning art or classical music. All that means is those people simply haven't opened up their ears or the pathways between their ears and their brains.  The three pieces she played were all contemporary riffs on Debussy by Joan La Barbara, Annie Gosfield and Nick Didkovsky. As befits three works by three very diverse composers, all sounded different and all three looked different as well. Kathy is an excellent showman her collaborators go to some effort to show her off, just as she shows off their music. La Barbara's work, "Storefront Diva" featured a set dressed up like the inside of a Joseph Cornell vitrene, with projections onto the piano as well as several small video screens. Annie Gosfield's work had Kathy playing with recordings of a storm - Hurricane Sandy according to the notes and Nick Didkovsky included Kathy reading from Betty Page's autobiography, quotes from the Lizzie Bordon trial and a performer acting out the Betty Page role as Kathy played and narrated.  
My photos try to capture some of my impressions of the performance, the music and the place. I've been playing around with the noise that is generated in the image when it is shot in near darkness, as well as the chiaroscuro effects of shooting into a dark stage lit by spotlights. I try not disturb the performer of the audience, and I hope I was successful in both.

 For more information about the show, visit this link on The Flea's website.

I want to thank Kathy for allowing me to photograph her while she played, and The Flea Theater and it's managing director, Beth Dembrow, for facilitating my efforts.

"Storefront Diva: A Dreamscape" by Joan La Barabar included video by Aleksandar Kostic and was staged and designed by Marija Plavsic Kostic.

"Shattered Apparitions of the Western Wind" by Annie Gosfield was staged by Jeremy Bloom.

The Triumph of Innocence" by Nick Didkovsky was staged by Jeremy Bloom featuring Georgia Ximenes Lifsher AKA Corvette Le Face.

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