“Sunny in the Furnace”
New York, NY
March 8, 2014
by Martha Sherman
copyright © 2014 by Martha Sherman
All the stuff on the stage of Aki Sasamoto’s work has meaning – it’s just hard to figure out quite what that is. In “Sunny in the Furnace,” Sasamoto tells the story of a friend’s suicide, played against the 1966 pop tune “Sunny,” by Bobby Hebb, which he composed in 1963 in the 24 hours after both the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the murder of his own elder brother. The song stares down grief with hope; Sasamoto does the same, using images, words, physical landscape, and movement to create a dense collage about the human condition of coping. While she’s at it, she has plenty to say about artists’ condition of coping, as well.