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Pianist Laura Leon

FOUND IN NATURE: Music Visualizing a Photographer's Compositions (2008)

MUSIC by Leo Kraft PHOTO BOTANICALS by Barry Rosenthal DIGITAL ANIMATION by David Tennent
PIANIST Laura Leon

I had been thinking about the program for my 2008 NY recital, American Images From The Piano: Neo-Classic to Nature 1946-2008. The idea of a second collaboration with photographer and close friend Barry Rosenthal evolved.

We had collaborated on the live Yamaha-sponsored work PRO.JECT back in 2001. I asked him if he'd like to consider doing a new live work together with music to his new images Photobotanicus. He said yes right away.

I then asked Leo Kraft, whose music has been a very important part of my life as a pianist for decades, if he would compose the music for Found In Nature. Though he had never composed within this context, he was intrigued by the idea of composing for the piano, where both music and instrument would be--not front and center--but alongside a screen.

He too, was inspired by Barry's images, and Leo Kraft gives the pianist the opportunity to be part of the visual experience in a richly colorful yet subtle way. Digital animator David Tennent joined us.

Found In Nature was premiered on April 13, 2008 at Yamaha's Piano Salon in New York City. It was also performed at the Mannes College of Music, and Queens College's Two Places: New York and Prague, as part of a lecture-recital in conjunction with Czech artist Anna Matoushkova's exhibition: Places: Homage to Leo Kraft.

(Screened photo: Spring No. 3 from Barry Rosenthal's Photobotanicus.