Kathleen Supove is featured in Cool Hunting 25, a showcase, presented in partnership with Cadillac, of 25 creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.
Photos of flaming grand pianos and vintage uprights smashed to smithereens. YouTube clips of Liberace sledgehammering his ivories on “The Monkees” variety hour. Kathleen Supové gets a kick out of all of it, and thanks you very much, friends and fans, for sending them her way. But her “Exploding Piano” pieces aren’t quite that literal. The contemporary pianist blows up conventions of the instrument’s uses and recitals—not to mention the catharsis from taking her seat behind one of her custom-designed instruments. She rigs her Yamahas with electronics that amplify and distort the chords, outfitting them with a spandex screen that fits the inner lid like a glove, showcasing projections that further her performances. “It’s like a 21st century version of the ornately inscribed harpsichords from centuries ago,” says Supove of the imagery shown on the lid, which an extra-long pole lifts to a nearly 90-degree angle so it functions like a video screen.