Sound photography – Morning dream

In February of this year, Stuart Fowkes from the website Cities and Memory sent out an open call for sound artists to take part in his latest project. The idea started from a question:

What is the relationship between photography and sound? In today’s visually-dominated culture, how can we use sound to respond to what we see around us?

Stuart first asked for photographs, and received 100 from six continents and more than 30 countries. Those images were then made available for sound artist to create a piece based on one of them.

I responded to the open call and found myself immediately attracted to Mala Foar’s image:

Mala Foar – Sunrise in Toulouse

I found the shot very soothing but also unsettling.
The sunrise, the clouds drifting, and the bird made me pause and relax. But the fact that the photo is upside down brought another dimension to it.

Before working on the track, I spent a lot of time with the image, letting a story unfold in my imagination. I pictured the scene and music, and when I had the track in mind, I began composing. I worked with a lot of field recordings and Roli Lightpad Block to create the feeling the image left with me. When composing, I seldom looked at the photo, relying on my feelings and memories of it to guide the track.

I imagined a gap through time. The bird would be the messenger and anchor, bringing the observer into another era. Beyond the gate, I pictured a palace or a mansion, and people of the past listening to music. Gradually, the sun would rise enough to light up the park, and the spell would be broken with a beat of the bird’s wings. The park was just a park. The magic of dawn replaced by everyday life and the need to leave the bench for work.

Find out more about the Sound Photography project https://citiesandmemory.com/sound-photography/
Find out more about Mala Foar https://mala-foar.weebly.com/

Credits:
Field recordings from Freesounds.org:

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Rediscovering film photography

Photographs used to be an art form. At least for me.
They were also a way to store holiday memories but that was a secondary meaning.

A single photo was a creative act.
First there was an active presence in a place to try to capture something of it.
Then there was intent in the choice of subject and angle.
After that came the forgetting and I would be back in the space outside.
And finally there was the excitement of getting a set of prints in my hands.

It was slow.
It was a little scary too.
But mostly it was fun, challenging, creative, and engaging.

It was a craft in which I was a full participant.

Getting a digital camera did not change much of that.
I was still full of intent, presence, and creativity. But it was less scary.

New doors opened and I explored a lot of avenues.
More than a decade later, I have lost my way a little bit.

I don’t create. I shoot, and it’s all too easy.

A month ago, I remembered the old SLR I found at my grand-parents house.
I was told I could keep it. So I did.
The camera was beautiful, an object that carried weight and memories.

I took care of it. I placed it on a shelve high above the ground and I kept it dusted and clean.

Until one Wednesday afternoon when I opened an old roll of film, loaded it in the camera and began shooting again.

Subject: Madrid, Spain

Camera: Minolta SRT 101 / Film: Lomography 400

Subject: Madrid, Spain

Camera: Olympus Pen EE2 / Film: Over ten years expired 200 film