On one hand, it’s pretty easy to describe the type of work Deborah Johnson does under the name CandyStations: visual backdrops and concert environments that add thematic color and light to live musical narratives. But that’s too simple. Working with a wide variety of artists and projects — from touring war horses like Wilco, Sufjan Stevens, and Ray LaMontagne to one-offs like the Stevens, Nico Muhly, and Bryce Dessner collaborative song cycle, “Planetarium” — CandyStations is actually following in the footsteps of Joshua White and Candace Brightman, reimagining what the staging of a live musical event could look like when one’s primary tools are sensitivity to the text and a good imagination. Utilizing an art-school background, creative engineering know-how, and a mixture of digital and analog tools, CandyStations makes going to a concert a full audio-visual, psychedelic experience.
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