Molly Thompson


Shadow of Corinth

Image from Anney Bonney’s video for the song Goodbye

Shadow of Corinth is a video song cycle created in collaboration with Anney Bonney (video/visualization) and Sara Wintz (lyrics). The project re-imagines the ancient myth of painting’s origin. According to the legend, a Corinthian maiden, distraught that her lover is leaving, picked up a piece of coal from the fire and traced her lover’s shadow on the wall. The likeness became a presence in his absence – the first portrait, the first instance of drawing as the basis of painting and sculpture.

The myth comes with a long history. Roman scholars (notably Pliny the Elder in his 1st century AD encyclopedia Natural History) committed the Greek story to writing. During the Renaissance, Giorgio Vasari, Leon Battista Alberti and Leonardo da Vinci helped revive it; and in the Age of Enlightenment it enjoyed its widest audience. 300 years later, with the Shadow of Corinth project, we want to recall how a young woman transmuted her longing, passion and sorrow into an art that might transcend it.

We performed the first songs from Shadow of Corinth at the Flea Theater’s Music with a View Festival (curated by Kathleen Supové) March 2011. Another segment from the project was performed at Music at First (a music series curated by Wil Smith) December 2011.  The next segment will be performed on Oct 7, 2012 6pm at The Cornelia Street Café. You can hear a taste of the music at vimeo. I’ll be sharing the evening with the lovely and talented audio/visual artist Jennifer Stock who will be performing Shivelights, a cycle of piano miniatures with found sounds, live processing, and video.