I was, just this week, honored to be in the same room as Manu Chao. He’s a huge joyous spirit in a physically-small high-frequency package. He evokes a wonderful, encompassing, enthralling Muse that any, and all, can access and feel….At some point I looked up and everyone in the studio was really dancing hard, in the furious grip of the music that pours out of the man. I was reminded that just as friendship is one spirit living in two bodies, a cluster of pulsing dancing music-making humans could conjure up a mutual genie that was much bigger than all the individually lonely parts–when guided by a master such as Manu Chao. I’m glad I’m alive now, the same time as he is….
I want to share one of the things I’ve learned along the way: become part of the never-ending web of life. In other words: procreate. Pass yourself on. It makes you part of the thing much larger than yourself….and that’s where happiness lives. This is one of my wonderful granddaughters, Zadie. She has it all: looks, smarts, energy and attitude. I can only imagine her boundless future…but I want to talk about the shot. She’s at the apex of her jump; it’s the decisive moment–all of that frozen energy launches from her eyes at the viewer. Zap! You’re there, sharing that innocent exuberant joy. At it’s most useful, photography is symbol and allegory and metaphor. Even a shot as simple as your granddaughter bouncing on a trampoline becomes all children bouncing into life everywhere and always…if you can see it that way.
I like posting shots here because the only criterion is whether I think there’s something out of the ordinary about the shot, or the person, or both…It’s up to me, period. I love finding quality in places I don’t expect and watching it manifest through the unfolding of time. Alison Krauss is pure elegant quality. She’s also unexpectedly funny. She is, as H Ross Perot used to say, “World Class”. I like to think of her as a great bandleader in the tradition of Bob Wills…her band, Union Station, is the cream of musicianship personified. She doesn’t compromise. She’s one of the very best. …and her current musical partnership with Robert Plant is unexpectedly great, too…What can’t she do? I don’t know…..
Here’s a glimpse of my current favorite band in action. This Montreal-based group seems to swarm the stage and throw musical roundhouse punches simultaneously…they’re unique both visually and aurally. Often, when you’re trying to convey the experience of a large freewheeling band like Arcade Fire, you have to find a snippet of action that conveys the overall spirit of the group; this shot is one of those–not representative of all the bands’ members, but in one shot it comes close to catching a snapshot of who they are. They’re great. They’re different. They put on quite a show.
I haven’t posted for a while but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working. I still shoot lots of music and politics, but I currently find more personal expression in the act of discerning, or revealing, compelling visual forms all around me…. This medium, with its low res limitations, doesn’t really show off the wonderful details, but, nevertheless, the Flow is there for all to see. As an irascible curmudgeon, I especially identify with the dry rock in the lower left.