Seeing a Dark Hand & Lamplight show is enchanting. You are taken into a world that’s romantic and inspiring, slowly immersed in a thing part concert, and part pop-up book.
Toronto’s Doug Paisley sings stories with his guitar, while Shary Boyle paints and animates live artwork on an overhead projector. The combination creates an encompassing experience, tranquil and endearing. Often tinged with sadness, and always very beautiful.
You sit trying to predict the possible ways of manipulating her drawings through the projector. She’s thought of them all. Transitions that falsify focus and depth to the flat images. Ways to have her characters travel down long rivers and experience varying emotions. Ghosts and birds even take flight over the audience as she moves the projector itself.
It’s a performance from the start. They dress as pioneers, and enter by candlelight. There are brief visual/musical interludes between longer pieces. And the projections and soundtrack of each regardless of length, are choreographed to cue and sync together on beat and in tone. Each song relates to each scene, but do not explain one another, and the viewer is left with their own impression of the whole.
[mov] Dark Hand And Lamplight – Digging In The Dirt