New York Times Features Lighting Designer for Phish
August 14, 2023
New York Times recent article, "How Phish’s Lighting Designer Jams With the Band" by Marc Tracy highlights the work of Phish's longtime lighting designer Chris Kuroda who has "brought more than 1,750 of the group’s shows to life since 1989, handling one of the most complex gigs in the business: responding in real time, without a set list." Below is an excerpt from Tracy's article.
"Phish’s method of improvisation makes Kuroda’s task particularly challenging. Unlike, say, a jazz act, whose members might take turns soloing while the others keep the rhythm and backing chords, Phish’s four members — which also include Jon Fishman on drums, Mike Gordon on bass and Page McConnell on keyboards — strive to move together. Gordon has compared it to dozens of buffaloes suddenly turning in tandem mid-stampede.
Kuroda must make the lights change exactly when the band does, and reflect each jam’s mood. His fingers must match McConnell’s quirky chord-rhythms or Anastasio’s rapid-fire staccatos. He must do this musically, but in the form of light: angry reds, cool blues, slowly building pans, bursts of brightness, all on beat and in harmony."