In my practice, I bring together two art forms: classical music and photography. I am particularly focused on the visual essence of the objects which produce the sounds of the music, and depicting as tangibly as possible the fundamental relationship of such objects to the sound of the music itself.
Extensive explorations of this relationship have led me to my Musicsapes photography series which considers that with particularly compelling images of the instruments generated with scanography, which my presentation animates and energizes with customized and contemporized renditions of the vocabulary and oeuvre of the classical musician.
I seek to emphasize the material nature of an ephemeral, immaterial art form such as music. The functional parts of instruments in my work are still engaged in a performance, but now they are removed from the familiar context of the concert hall and given a pictorial spotlight through photography. The elements evoke only a vague resemblance of their original context as they are playing a part in a totally new environment, serving as building blocks for an entirely different performance. The close and attentive viewpoint, along with theatrical stage setting, frames their function in a new light, giving them a certain dramatic character.
Some of the compositions are intentionally static, figuratively speaking: in this form is captured the silence from which the musical work is born. In others, the images themselves create an impression of the rhythm and melodies the appeal of which make music a free art form, so easily accessible for individual interpretation. It is my work’s loving exploration of music’s multiple dimensions, through the integrated multi-media compositions, to which that aspiration has led me.
The NY-based composer Octavio Vazquez was inspired by my photographs to collaborate and composed The Suite for Violin, Cello, Double Bass and Piano, (the same instruments I used for my compositions). Piece was finished in April 2011, and recorded in Baltimore in June 2011 by Monument Piano Trio and Baltimore symphony musician Jonathan Jensen, and presented here as part of my Musicscapes.
Note on Process
In 2009, I began using the scanner. I enjoy exploring the beauty of musical instruments and am constantly inspired by the serendipitous understandings and new relationships that this technique reveals to me. I select objects (parts of musical instruments) based on my intuition of what they are going to look like separated from the instrument’s body. I study the shape and color of the objects before I scan them, then I edit out details to fit the subject inside a small frame. The creation of a composition takes up to 6 hours.
The high level of detail in the prints is the result of the scanner’s ability to create extremely large digital files of about 500 megabytes. My technique starts with an Epson 1000XL scanner (with the top removed). The objects are placed over the scanner surface and covered with the background. I use different colored backgrounds for my arrangements, photographs of sky to create the atmosphere of the musical objects.
After minimal adjustments in Adobe Photoshop, most images are printed using archival inks with an Epson 7600; the larger prints with an Epson 9600.
|Suite for Violin, Cello, Double Bass and Piano|
|I. Nocturne||II. Grinder||III. Ballade||IV. Scherzo|
Double Bass strings
Cello and Double Bass Strings