Corey Cerovsek - The Sequential ViolinistMonday, December 01, 2008
In Saturday's fine Eugene Onegin both Tatyana's mother and nurse say:
Habit is sent to us from above in place of happiness.
I would agree with that stament yet I can see some exceptions. Here is one.
I knew I was going to be taking Corey Cerovsek's photograph today as a very pleasant routine or habit that started in 1987. I am fascinated by taking pictures of people, over and over as one can see time at work. In the case of Cerovsek you can see the boy become a man.
The Onegin quote on habit made me think of Malcolm Parry who once (around 1987) disgustedly told me, "Alex, you are not taking good pictures anymore. You are just making the motion." I was extremely angry and insulted even though Parry may have been right. I have never forgotten his disdain and I have always tried to do my best photographically and to somehow not lose my passion for it. I don't habitually smell my roses every spring. To me in spite of the memory of their scent in my head the experience is a first-time-again one.
Since 1987 I have photographed violinist Corey Cerovsek 6 times. The first time and the second time where in that first year. The folks at Saturday Night wanted me to capture the "devil behind his genius". This I did in my old studio in Yaletown. The second shot was in the back yard of a friend and sponsor of Cerovsek. The bicycle was there (not his) and the T-shirt was mine. I wanted to convey for Vancouver Magazine the fact that the 14-year-old Cerovsek was really, first, a boy.
The third very elegant shot I took in a Yaletown beer parlour. As we left I remember Cerovsek saying, "I wonder what would have happened if I had forgotten my violin case that was under the table on the floor. After all it is a ....million dollar Strad." In other years it became fun to find some way of making the picture slightly different for laughs. In 2006 I used a ring flash and a wideangle lens. There was a slight problem with that series as Corovsek's fianceé in Paris (both live in Paris) thought the raised hand looked to much like a Hitler-Jugend salute.
This year, this morning to be accurate, I decided to incorporate just a bit of that ...million dollar Strad. There are no other tricks, no wide angles or weird lighting. Here you see Corey Cerovsek at age 36.
Tonight Rebecca's mother Hilary (Rebecca is not allowed to go anywhere cultural during the week, or much of the rest of it) and I will be listening to Cerovsek play the 1903 Violin Concerto in D minor, opus 47 by Jean Sibelius. After the concert, at the Orpheum with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, we will go back stage for a visit.
Habit does not always preclude happiness!