A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Geoff Massey's Eyebrows & Biber's Fantastic Music
Friday, December 24, 2010

Our traditional cena de nochebuena (Christmas Eve dinner) promises to be a good ending for a day that began with a punctual ring of the bell at noon. Architect Geoff Massey was at the door to pick up a couple of 8x10 prints of a picture I took of him earlier in the year. I wrote about it here.

But I managed to convince him (without too much prodding) to pose for my Mamiya in my dining room where I found a suitable blank wall after I removed a large painting. I took 8 shots of the man with the wonderful eyebrows. Other people from the past that had these eyebrows that I photographed were Peter C. Newman, Robertson Davies, Pierre Berton but alas not Brooke Shields!

It was Peter C. Newman who the first time I photographed him pulled out a special eyebrow brush from his shirt front pocket. As soon as he would put the brush back his eyebrows would jump back to their previous condition much like a couple of porcupines in attack mode. Years later I ran into Newman at a bookstore. I stared at him. He looked at me and instantly understood. With a smile on his face he then told me, “I now have them done professionally.

Massey was a much easier man to photograph. I took a couple of Fuji instant pictures (I call them Fujiroids). Like most architects Massey shows an interest and fascination for everything. We sat at my monitor with the scanner on the side and I scanned one of the Polaroids. Massey was charmed by the whole operation and loved the shot which we then attached to an email that I sent to him. “I will send this to all my family.”


As I write this, in an hour I will begin to barbecue our Christmas ham, I am listening to Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber von Bibern's Rosary Sonatas (sometimes also called the Mystery Sonatas). The CD (Andrew Manze, violin, Richard Egarr organ & harpsichord with Alison McGillivray on cello in Sonata XII) was given to me my friend Graham Walker who has introduced me to the wonderful music of the 17th century (called my many the fantastic period)  of which Biber, a Bohemian violinist, was one of the best. Our local Pacific Baroque Orchestra and Early Music Vancouver have given me ample opportunity ot further explore this music.

Biber pioneered a way of de-tuning or alternate tuning a violin which is called scordatura. The music sounds to me as fresh and as avant-garde today as it must have sounded to his contemporary audiences. For me this is more Christmas music than anything else I might listen to on the radio or in a shopping mall. I has the wonder of the yet to be explored, the very wonder we should all feel for a coming and brand new year.

Bieber's Sonata XIV, The Annunciation II



     

Previous Posts
Red - The Colour Of Christmas

Early Music Vancouver - Concerts With Friends

Hair

Riding Shotgun With The Boss

Perdido (a)

The Reports Of The Death Of The Formal Portrait Ar...

Glowing In The Dark - Not

Zantedeschia aethiopica & Friend

John Sexton's Aspens They Are Not

Blake's Vision



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12/18/16 - 12/25/16

12/25/16 - 1/1/17

1/1/17 - 1/8/17

1/8/17 - 1/15/17

1/15/17 - 1/22/17

1/22/17 - 1/29/17

1/29/17 - 2/5/17

2/5/17 - 2/12/17

2/12/17 - 2/19/17

2/19/17 - 2/26/17

2/26/17 - 3/5/17

3/5/17 - 3/12/17

3/12/17 - 3/19/17

3/19/17 - 3/26/17

3/26/17 - 4/2/17

4/2/17 - 4/9/17

4/9/17 - 4/16/17

4/16/17 - 4/23/17

4/23/17 - 4/30/17

4/30/17 - 5/7/17

5/7/17 - 5/14/17

5/14/17 - 5/21/17

5/21/17 - 5/28/17

5/28/17 - 6/4/17

6/4/17 - 6/11/17

6/11/17 - 6/18/17

6/18/17 - 6/25/17

6/25/17 - 7/2/17

7/2/17 - 7/9/17

7/9/17 - 7/16/17

7/16/17 - 7/23/17

7/23/17 - 7/30/17

7/30/17 - 8/6/17

8/6/17 - 8/13/17

8/13/17 - 8/20/17

8/20/17 - 8/27/17