I never doubted that we would get along. We never actually met. But I never doubted it. We both expressed our excitement at collaborating. We did it through electronic letters, emails filled with punctuation more than words. Like two children about to jump out of their bedroom windows at night and sail away on a boat to nowhere they swear they know. If there was one thing that I took away from this, it was that Katie loved doing this little film as much as I loved making it.
Having said that, I’m not even quite sure how much conscious input I had when putting this together. Pianists are tough to film in this style because not only would we have to find a working and available piano somewhere but the musician would also have to be completely stationary which leaves everything to how you operate that one camera. I catch myself thinking too much in cases like these. In the end, the only thing I could do was to just let it all happen. I just let the camera ride along to Katie’s solo renditions of her songs. These images are the afterthoughts to Katie Costello as much as the echoes that resonated from that piano and into the walls of that little room.
I’m a big fan of stripped-down songs. It wasn’t a surprise that I was swept off by the solo-version of “Ashes Ashes.” And by the time she played her second song, it was so intimate that I felt like I wasn’t supposed to be there. Katie had her eyes closed the whole time and with the lone, solitary light above her, she had made a bubble of night around herself. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was encroaching.
I was at least conscious of whose house we were filming in. “Do you know who Dan Romer is?” she asked me. “No,” I said. I’ve never even tried to picture the face of the very talented producer that help shape the Jenny Owen Youngs and Allison Weiss records that are constantly blasting in my apartment. I’m a big fan. Even when he shook my hand and left us alone to film with his piano, I felt like an interloper.
She believes in ghosts, she says. She made me into one that day while she played. A spectator in the dark, watching something beautiful unfold.
Wanderer Session #59: Katie Costello (Part 2)
Music by Katie Costello
Images, Sound, Edit by Kevin de Wilde
Filmed in Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York
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