Chasing the music

In my “First Post” I wrote about what I was trying to achieve in these photos, which will be added to the “Musicians and Music” folder in my portfolio. Briefly, the intention was to try to capture some essence music itself which the musicians were creating spontaneously. There were no scores, no pre-arranged pattern, just listening and responding.

This first picture is particularly poignant to me. Cathy was taught to play violin and viola by her mother when she was young. She had learned that her mother had died a few hours before this session but wanted to play with the group anyway as part of her own healing process. It feels, to me, like her grief is pouring from her instrument with the music.

My technique for these images is to use a long exposure, typically one or two seconds, and move the camera in response to the sounds being produced. The piano makes a wonderful subject because the high contrast between its various components leave amazing trails.

Similarly, the flute has a lot of reflective surfaces which translate into flowing lines which, hopefully, reflect the music that my wife, Susie, was playing at the time.

Cathy’s partner, Udo, is an exceptionally accomplished guitarist who manages to produce a bewildering variety of beautiful sounds from his instruments.

Instrumentalists of all sorts would turn up to these sessions. As well as the four we have above there could be trumpet, piano accordion, harp, saxophone, clarinet, voices and various percussion instruments which will feature in future posts. We would even get a full drum kit occasionally.

8 thoughts on “Chasing the music

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