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Torn Curtain™ is Alethea Bodine & Rick
1998 - PRESENT
Listen to Torn Curtain
ERIE LIFE MAGAZINE - October 2008
Torn Curtain is not the band you go to for background noise on a Saturday night. You need to watch and listen. And the experience may make you uneasy. But that is lead singer Lea Bodine's intent. "Sometimes people see a performance and wonder what I am doing." says Bodine. "It can border on ugly sometimes, but I like to put people off-center. Some people don't know how to take it, and that's okay. Not all art is comfortable."
Torn Curtain crosses numerous music genres. Where most bands are fearful of abandoning the crowd by experimenting in different styles. Torn Curtain is eager to challenge their audience. Much of their music has an epic, cinematic quality to it. "Get Closer" is an elegantly slow song that features Bodine's sensual vocals and melodic voice over a hypnotic electronic beat. The song plays as if it belongs in the repertoire of soul singer Sade. "A Lesson from Mr. Bond" is the band's tribute to Henry Mancini and the spy genre, with DiBello playing a Vick Flick-esque riff and Bodine mimicking Shirley Bassey, although she will modestly claim her voice is soft. "My voice is like Julie Andrews on crack/' says Bodine. "It is not a powerhouse. You would not hear it in a rock band. It is more cabaret"
The grandiose sound of Torn Curtain can be compared to British acts Portishead or Goldfrapp, but how they exquisitely match their music with their stage performance is uniquely their own. Bodine, who refers to herself as a dancer at heart, received a degree from Mercyhurst College in Dance Performance and has been involved in several dance and theater groups, including the Pennsylvania Master's Artist Program and the Lake Erie Ballet. But her style is of a more unconventional nature.
Bodine and her creative partner Rick DiBello formed Torn Cutain ten years ago when DiBello expressed a desire to work with Bodine to develop a style that would best combine his guitar work with her vocal styling. The duo started with old jazz standards by such artists as Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. As the act grew, they began to write original compositions and added a full band to many of their performances. The addition of drums and electronic instruments has further enhanced Torn Curtain's performances, but they hope to include more, particularly homs and strings, in the future. Bodine reveals it is her dream to someday work with the Erie Philharmonic. "We are a quality music experience." says Bodine. "It's not to tune out it's to experience, listen, and be a part of. We want you to take something away with you."
To further add to the experience of a Torn Curtain performance is the band's use of set designs and costumes. Bodine will play with lights, shadows, and fabrics to create what she describes as "a beautifully twisted David Lynch experience." While most of their performances, which occur only a handful ot nines in Erie, are relatively safe from becoming too risque, Bodine does admit to donning vintage dresses and wigs to take on a "disturbed housewife" persona.
"It's a \ery luxurious experience. I like to take it to the limit when we get the opportunity. We get the whole gamut of reactions. For the most part people are intrigued. Sometimes it moves you to move. sometimes it moves you to sing, sometimes it envelops you and takes you somewhere else, and sometimes that might be a dark place" says DiBello. "But oftentimes it elevates you. I will take you down, but then I will bring you back up, I promise.'
-Mark Toriski -Erie Life Magazine October 2008