I was given my first camera at an early age and became quietly obsessed with taking pictures of everything. Looking back at some of the surviving early pictures I can see how I was trying out framing ideas and playing with contrasts between colours and textures. I knew what I was doing back then but didn't have the language, or the awareness of others' work to put it into context.
In recent years I've turned autodidact and have been reading about and enjoying looking at the work of the photographers who speak to me. I've also tried to work out why I don't like certain people's work. That can often be more revealing.
I've had a growing love of street photography too. It's something I'd love to do but can't, because I'm too shy. People like Joel Meyerowitz and Brandon Stanton have captured what some might think of as the mundane and ordinary people on the streets of New York City, but they remind us that no one is unimportant and 'ordinary' is a highly relative term.
So I was thrilled this week to discover a documentary called "Everybody Street" which can be bought or rented through Vimeo. It features a host of great NYC based street photographers and I found it completely inspiring.
This time round though I haven't managed to get to the required 50,000 words on time. Well, if I can write 10,000 words tonight I could, but that just isn't going to happen.
Although it won't get finished on time it will get finished. Once upon a time I was a person who couldn't finish anything. Now I can't let anything remain unfinished. More importantly, I've left the main characters in a car park and it wouldn't be responsible to leave them there.
My new, self imposed, deadline is Christmas.
Well it did, and I resisted. This was easy since I don't have a film camera any more (my last two were stolen).
But then, at my mum' house recently we found my granddad's camera. He used to develop his own photographs and I have plenty of pictures taken by him. But now I have the device he used. It seems obvious that my dad, who inherited it, didn't take a lot of shots as it's in great condition. I'm going to have to work a bit to find the appropriate film for it but, ladies and gents, here is the Piccolette, pocket camera, made in the 1920s. Once I get the film I'll post some results.
We took a theme from a previous get together and turned it into a more full piece. Then we jammed for the rest of the night, producing a sort of rock/jazz/sometimes samba hybrid that sounded at times like six people were playing. It was huge fun.
Playing upright instead of my usual elctric bass was special too. You stand and play differently. I was trying to sum up the feeling and could only say it was more physical. Future sessions will have to use a mix of both basses as I'm not relinquishing that feeling, but I have to admit the regular electric bass is better for more complex, better intonated work.
There has been a fair bit of stres in my life recently (still is) but sessions like this put me in another place where the energy flows and good things happen. It's nearly 24 hours since last night's session and I am still buzzing.
There is plenty of good music coming my way though. Juana Molina has a new album and thanks to Trey Gunn I found this fabulous album/DVD by Snarky Puppy and friends. My iPod has a playlist of music I should have spent more time with this year and it’s slowly being caught up with.
The last musical adventure of note (to me at least) is my plan to rescue and renovate my Squier Jazz bass. Squire are often seen as Fender’s cheap cousin, which they are, but this bass dates from 1983 when the Squire instruments were made properly in Japan. Something is telling me to fix it up and experiment although no instrument will fully tempt me away from the wonderful Ibanez Gary Willis bass.
In the non-musical world, I am in the middle of writing a novel for NaNoWriMo. At the time of writing chapter thirteen should be finished. Almost certainly this will be another ‘practise’ novel, getting me ready for the day when I write the one I’m really pleased with. As well as all this I have been creating a set of sound effects cues for a friend’s play, dealing with the horrors of our house situation, writing a lot of letters and, you know, being a dad and going to the dayjob.
The one thing I’m falling down on is catching up with friends. Now, there’s a resolution to be made.
Here's a track from Snarky Puppy with Lalah Hathaway. Stay to the end and be treated to some wonderful and spooky chord singing.
The storm on Monday was nothing like the big one that hit the UK in the 1980s. I remember that because I was having an argument with my then girlfriend while we were sitting in my car. The argument went on so long the sky changed from light to dark and at one point I noticed a small tree, flying horizontally past the windscreen.
This storm was brutal further south, but not so bad here. My drive to work was interupted by this fallen section of a tree, and the roads were layered with smaller branches and twigs, but that was it.
The Eclipse Trio album should be out on Friday 1st November through Bandcamp. I'll post a link when it's ready.