Saturday, April 12, 2014
Listening to music one
has never heard before makes the music new. If it happens that the composers of
that music were born in the 17th century that does not change our perception.
My violinist friend,Marc Destrubé, who performs such music, has often told me
that playing it is no different from performing new music of this century and music of the last,
something he also specializes in. To him it’s as exciting. As a listener I
In a world where anybody with a computer
can write and “publish” and anybody with a camera is a photographer you can add
to this rampant trend towards amateurism the idea that anybody can be a
journalist and practice criticism. Perhaps the easiest way to call that the
emperor is indeed not wearing any clothes is to the posted pictures of food in
social media. Food photographers in a recent past were well paid and did a
marvelous job of not making food look like a dog’s breakfast.
Musicians, particularly those who use
period instruments of the 16th, 17th and 18th
century, are the exception to the rule. You can either read complex music, play
it with consummate virtuosity or you cannot.
Our 21st century coddles in an
unpainted corner of professionals, our engineers, our brain surgeons, our
architects, our scientists and our musicians. Outside that unpainted corner is
where we (or at least this present scribbler) live and abide while looking in
with a question mark of total ignorance and confusion, sort of like seeing
those “nasty” Masons of old shake hands. And to make it all worse is this
knowledge that “they” know and do something we will never understand. I could
use that modern contemporary word, “whatever” and move on and watch a movie on
Or I could (and I did) attend a baroque
concert presented by this city’s splendid Early Music Vancouver. Last night I
not only was witness to The Vocal Concerto -17 Century Cantatas for Bass from a
centre first row seat but I also had an unusual glimpse of the machinations of
the evening by almost stepping into that unpainted corner with the true
professionals of our day.
For reasons I cannot yet reveal I was
allowed access back stage during yesterdays rehearsal ( they started at 5:30,
finished at 7 and then played at 8), after surprisingly wearing wonderful
elegant clothing, applying makeup, just the women, of course.
I was back stage to photograph the hand
(not hands but one hand) of violinist (and Artistic Director of the Portland
Baroque Orchestra) Monica Huggett, bass soloist Harry van der Kamp, and guest
artist, chitarrone player (can one say chitarronist or use the English and
French term for this lofty instrument, Theorbo?), Stephen Stubbs.
But during the interval between the
rehearsal and the performance I managed to take some snaps of the violas da
gamba (called viols by the connoisseurs) the violone (a sort of baroque version
of the modern string bass) and that lofty (it is over 6 ft in height)
chitarrone with my Fuji X-E1 (a digital and modern equivalent of an Amati
violin in my amateur opinion).
Being back stage made it possible for this
mortal (me) to witness the communication (sometimes quite ordinary) among the
musicians, gods in my book, who came in, unpacked their instruments and sat
down to play. The banter between them as they practiced and stopped and started
again was nice to hear and see. Their smiles, proof that what they do is
pleasant, made it all seem like they were a family from my seat in the still
empty Vancouver Playhouse. The musicians were happy to be in a real theatre and
commented on the excellent acoustics. They reveled at being able to come in
from both sides of the stage. This was something they could not do in the
crowded halls and churches of the previous 6 concerts in the tour.
These musicians, true artists can be
difficult. I noticed how my friend, former bass singer, theorbist and
lutenist, Ray Nurse, who was in charge
of tuning Early Music Vancouver’s compact, Quebec-made baroque organ, winced
every time Jillon Stoppel Dupree would move the organ and then move it again. I
have now learned that perhaps the fussiest instruments of an orchestra which at
one time I thought to be the harp we can now include that compact baroque
Now remember, these musicians are not
necessarily difficult, their baroque string instruments usually are strung with
gut. Gut is sensitive to temperature and humidity. In baroque concerts there is
a lot of tuning between pieces.
The crux of the programming was to show us
that composers (in this case they included only German and Austrian) before
Bach which until recently were all but forgotten or unknown were surprisingly
fantastic. I use that word because music of the 17th century (Bach
was born in 1685 so is a composer of the 18th) has often been called that
because of its virtuosity and exploration into sounds and methods of playing
not practiced before.
The list of composers (my musical
grandmother from Seville would have called them “ilustres desconocidos” or
illustrious unknowns) included Samuel Scheidt (1587 - 1653), Johan Michael
Nicolai (1629 -1685), Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber von Bibern (1644 -1704),
Dietrich Buxtehude (c.1637/39 – 1707), Romanus Weichleing (1652 – 1706) and
Johan Christoph Bach (1642-1703) who was J.S. Bach’s uncle, a man our Bach
While listening to the concert I subtracted
the year of birth from death of these composers, 66, 56, 60, 69, and 61 and
figured that at 71 I am in borrowed time but as I am not a musician I have more
years of being able to look into that painted corner with the help of my ears.
My ears told me that Dutch bassist Harry
van der Kamp has a voice I have never heard like before. His talking voice
(coming out from a handsome and slim man who wore a dark suite, a starched
white shirt and a very red tie) was similar to my friend Ray Nurse’s. I made a
comment to Nurse who immediately said, “If I had a voice like that I would be
Van der Kamp’s reading (as in
interpretation) on Dietrich Buxtehude’s Ich bin eine Bluze zu Saron (Song of
Salomon 2:1-3) was profound, emotional and if I happened to have spoken German
I would have said his diction was perfect. I expected in my ignorance that a
bass singer would sound almost unpleasant but this was not the case and van der
Kamp’s command of an unusually high upper register is what makes him unique.
Van der Kamp had a musical “mano a mano”
with violinist Hugget. They stood side by side (with a small continue ensemble of three in
the background) in Biber’s Nisi Dominus aedificaverit domum (Psalm 127) which
he sang in Latin. And in Bach’s uncle’s
Wie bist du denn, o Gott, in Zorn auf mich
entbrannt, in German again van der Kamp proved why it is Bach admired his
Except for the Biber instrumental, I have
his Five Joyful Mysteries usually called the Rosary Sonatas, and I have some
Buxtehude, including his Membra Jesu Nostri, I had never ever heard this music before. Josh
Lee on viola da gamba (in a most unusual viola da gamba evening which featured
three, two with 7 strings, one with 6) played solo with Stephen Stubbs’s
chitarrone and I believe perhaps only the organ), Buxtehude’s Sonata in D Major
for bas viol, BuxWV 268. I had to smile
at Lee's performance and when he stood up with his grin and his architect’s
little round glasses I could feel the tension and the strain of my day
Of Huggett’s playing I cannot here explain
it. I am not a critic. But I can ascertain that she is a “fenómeno” one of those one-of-a-kinds like Spanish
matador Manolete who was deemed a fenómeno by his Spanish fans.
Only once have I ever
had CD, Monica Huggett and Galatea'- Paul Beir Galatea, music of Biagio Marini, autographed by a performer. I did a few years ago when I attended a
Monica Huggett concert at UBC’s Chapel. When I approached her I felt
butterflies in my stomach. This was not Iggy Pop, or Gerry Mulligan, nor Ella
Fitzgerald, in fact when you happen to (if you are lucky to be in her presence)
see her you might think she is part of Elizabeth II’s very small and intimate
This was confirmed
when I took pictures of her hand holding her violin. Her accent is not
different from her queen’s. I told her, “You might not want to talk to me. You
see I am an Argentine”. She stopped on her tracks (we were walking to where I
had set up my light backstage) smiled at me and shook my hand. When I told her
my grandfather was from Manchester she told me
in a most excited way that even though she was from London
she had lived in northern England.
Last night’s concert
was extra special for me (and for few others, I am smug to boast) because I
heard Romanus Weichlein’s Sonata No. 3
in A minor from Encania Musices, Opus 1 (1695) twice, in the rehearsal and in
the evening’s performance. This work’s second movement is a ground or chaconne.
I discovered my love of grounds, which usually have a background almost like a
drone of often repeating bass accompaniment in my desert island album, Corelli
Violin Sonatas Opus 5, Trio Sonnerie (with Monica Huggett, naturally!) and
Nigel North. Corelli’s version of an old ground, Sonata No.12 in D minor “Follia”
(sometimes listed as La Folia with one l).
And that was not the
only fabulous ground of the evening. Josh Lee played one. It was one of the
movements of his Buxtehude Sonata.
And evening with three
grounds! None nicer.
The musicians of the
Portland Baroque Orchestra with guests Harry van der Kamp, bass and Stephen
Stubbs on chitarrone were:
Monica Huggett, violin
Erin Headley viola da
Carla Moore, violin
Josh Lee, tenor and
bass viola da gamba
Elisabeth Reed, bass
viola de gamba
Curtis Daily, violone
Friday, April 11, 2014
I would like to caution anybody reading
this that I am not a musical critic, therefore I have no qualifications to
indulge with anybody why it is that you should pay a moderate sum of money to
attend a concert of 17th century music brought to us by Early Music Vancouver.
All I have going is an enthusiasm of many years of listening to this fantastic
|One of my desert island CDs with Monica Huggett|
The Vocal Concerto
Friday evening, 11
April 2014 at 8:00 pm | Pre-concert chat with host Matthew White at 7:15 pm
Vancouver Playhouse | Queen Elizabeth
Theatre complex, 600 Hamilton Street, downtown Vancouver
This is the line-up of
A PORTLAND BAROQUE ORCHESTRA PRODUCTION:
artistic director & violin
Harry van der Kamp
chitarrone (guest artist)
Headley viola da gamba (continuo)
tenor & bass viola da gamba
viola da gamba
Curtis Daily violone
Jillon Stoppels Dupree
I might explain to you
what exactly what is a chitarrone. You might be vague on violones and a tad confused
on the difference between a cello, a baroque cello and viola de gamba. But I am
not. There is always Google. As for a detailed explanation of the works being
played and of the musicians Early Music Vancouver has the policy of putting its
programs (with detailed notes) on line. Friday’s notes are here.
Here are composers, whose names, some quite fresh and new to me, are not in your usual households!
(1665-1697), Johann Michael Nicolai (1629–1685), Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber von
Bibern (1644-1704), Dietrich Buxtehude (c.1637/39-1707), Romanus Weichlein
(1652–1706), Johann Christoph Bach (1642-1703).
Baroque music spans
the early 16th century and is sort of ends with the ascendance of
Bach’s son, Carl Philip Emanuel Bach who ushered in the early classical period.
What is important to
know is that this Early Music Vancouver concert features music from the 17th
century. This century was privy to a terrible religious war, The 30 Year’s War, Spain
lost its Peruvian and Mexican gold and silver in Flanders
and Louis XIV pretty well invented ballet.
But there were two
events in that century that pretty well changed it and ushered us into a modern
era. It had all begun with grown men arguing a variant of Zeno’s paradox where
Achilles is never able to overtake the slow tortoise. The variant posited the
apparent problem of the dimension of a point in geometry. A point by definition
is a place that has no dimension. But then these grown men argued, why was it
that when you lined the up they formed a line that indeed had a dimension? And
if you joined this line with two more at the ends (a triangle) you ended up
with a measurable area. Three more lines and you had a three-sided pyramid
with a measurable volume.
The answer to the
problem came with the simultaneous but independent invention of the calculus by
the end of the 1680s by Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz. They brought to the
language of the time the word infinitesimal. Unfortunately with knowledge of
the calculus and with Newton’s
discovery of gravity, this combined to give warfare a real improvement to kill
more. The calculus and gravity for the first time made it possible to know how
far and where a cannonball would fall. It revolutionized ballistics.
At the same time
composers of that early baroque period were having the times of the lives. Some
of those established rules that came into effect by the 1730s had no validity
yet. And so these composers experimented with all sorts of things and
particularly to this jazz aficionado (me) those delightful odd or blues notes
that appear in the compositions of Thelonious Monk creep up here in there!
While I happen to have
several of the works of the composers of Friday’s concert I must assert here my
principal reason for going – Monica Huggett.
If my house were to
burn down I would save my wife and cats and then remove three CDs for what now
is obviously my short-lived posterity as I am an old man.
Two of the CDs are
(Archangelo) Corelli’s Violin Sonatas
Opus 5 with the Trio Sonnerie & Nigel North on archlute, theorbo and
Monica Huggett plays the violin. She plays
a baroque violin. The term baroque to describe music that had an approximate
span of 150 years is a modern 20th century term. My mother had some baroque
(she pronounced the word ba-rock) pearls that were not round but irregular in
shape. Baroque churches are never plain. They have intricately busy altars.
Perhaps baroque music can sound to some intricately busy!
Until the beginning of
the 19th century when classical composers like Beethoven could fill
large venues with paying patrons, music had been music of a small elite or in
the congregation of a church. Instruments did not have to be loud. This was the
era of those subtle instruments like the harpsichord, the lute (and that chitarrone
related to the theorbo and the archlute). Stringed instruments weren’t loud
But come the 19th century these violins, violas and cellos were
beefed up for strength so that strings could be installed that had more
tension. These modified instruments, louder instruments, became the norm. Those
Guarnieri, Amati and Stradivari that now exchange hands for many millions of
dollars are old instruments that have been modified to be modern.
instruments not being so loud achieve a warmer tone and violinists and violists
who play them do not have chinrests (the were invented by a contemporary of
Beethoven, Ludwig Spohr).
There would be few of
these stellar string instruments in their original condition. This means
that baroque musicians that play period instruments usually have instruments
that are made much later or are replicas of those violins (not beefed up) of old. The paradox
then is that modern violinists play (the ones that can afford them) play very
old instruments and Monica Huggett probably plays a more recent acquisition.
The third CD, another
desert island CD with perhaps a Gerry Mulligan My Funny Valentine, is Bach’s fifth movement , the Chaconne from his Partita
in D minor for solo violin (BWV 1004). I have it played by Huggett. She played
this in Vancouver
in 2000 while appearing with a baroque group of the time, the Burney Ensemble. The
recording was made by the brilliant but now retired recording engineer Don
Harder. My CD was given to me by a producer at the CBC for services rendered. When I play it very loud in my living room Huggett is with me. I can feel her presence.
Now that new music can
be heard in countless energy and insurance TV ads featuring Philip Glass what
new music can possibly sound exciting?
This is what the music
of the 17th century is all about. The musical period is sometimes
called the fantastic period. Many of the pieces that you might listen to this
Friday if you go because you might have read this will be pieces so new from
composers that are not in our memory. Best of all (but worst perhaps) you will
listen to them and never again in a lifetime unless you buy the CDs. Sort of
like good modern dance. Only the memory of the movements will remain.
And lastly, consider
that this 17th century music was played in small salons, the
salons of Dukes and Kings. It is intimate, it is close (I always sit first row)
and you can hear each individual instrument. These musicians, smile at each
other, they play together and with you so close you can imagine that you are
one of them. With but a little of imagination you can be a king or a queen.
Los Artistas & La Modelo
Thursday, April 10, 2014
“Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did
Nor any drop to drink.”
Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Today’s blog is an ancillary of yesterday's blog
perhaps with a lesser tad of melancholia and alienation. I would like to sort of reverse Coleridge’s
quote from his The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and point out that I have
cameras everywhere, lights everywhere, but not a face to photograph.
This is the reason why since last night I
have been looking into the very thick files of negatives and slides of
Argentine Linda Lorenzo with whom, Nora Patrich, Juan Manuel Sánchez, Claudia
Katz and I collaborated for a show called Nostalgia in 2000. There are hundreds
of pictures I have never printed. Since most of the photographs, pictures,
drawings and paintings of our show featured nudes it is difficult for me to
select some that will not offend the modern sensibilities of the smart phone
|Los artistas y la modelo|
It is appalling to see how the quality of
photography seems to have diminished in inverse proportion to the
sophistication of the devices used to record the human face. It would seem that
few people understand that a cell phone’s wide angle lens when positioned close
to the face for a selfie will produce a most accurate manifestation of it. Indeed
since your nose is proportionally closer to that lens it will be bigger. And if
you hold that phone high up it will make your forehead (closer to the lens)
that much bigger.
Few of these photographers seem to understand
anything about the “quality” or direction of light. The concept of contrast and
its control, central to the idea of portraiture or garden photography seems to
have gone the way of the clutch.
For today I want to feature a bit of
show-and-tell on the wonders of artistic collaboration particularly when it is
an extended one and routine sets in (a comfortable routine) and work seems to
flow with few words. It all happens automatically in a nice sense.
Sometimes things go wrong but in the right
way. A case in point is some of my work in our first session with Linda Lorenzo
in Juan Manuel Sánchez and Nora Patrich’s home studio. The other Argentine
photographer, Claudia Katz may be discerned in some of the strips of film
holding a video camera. You can see the reflection of her camera’s light on the
What went wrong is that I decided to shoot
some pictures with a Japanese Widelux, swivel lens 35 camera. The camera does
not bark but it is a dog. It has a notoriously unreliable shutter and its lens
is not fast and not all that sharp. For the pictures here I used a very fast,
very grainy Kodak 3200 ISO film. Because the lens swivels to take a 150 degree
panorama I was able to get away with a 1/15 second shutter speed.
But if you do not use this camera
frequently you can forget how to load it. My Widelux, my Russian version of it
a Horizont (it looks like a Buck Rogers ray gun) and a wonderful 120 film German Noblex all have a complex loading procedure.
Somehow I forgot to slip the film under the
roller on the right hand side of the Widelux. This means that you get that
interesting wedge-shaped exposure on the right and since the film is not held
flat that corner is not all that sharp.
|Nora Patrich & Linda Lorenzo|
I have scanned each strip of three and
combined them all into a digital contact sheet with Photoshop Layers.
Fourteen years later I can still remember
the smell of the paint in the studio, our pre-shoot sessions at the Taf Café on
Granville (around the corner from my studio on Robson. I remember the scalding
mates we all drank (one metal straw, Argentine custom) and just how unearthly
beautiful Linda Lorenzo was (and must still be).
Juan and Nora, separated and live in
opposite sides of Buenos Aires.
Nora re-married a fine neo-Peronist librarian who has an eternal smile on his
face while Juan is glum but still paints (lately draws) his women in his goal
of one day painting one line on a sheet of canvas and stating, “There is Plato’s
essence of womanhood. That is one woman and all women.”
| Juan Manuel Sánchez above and below, left by Nora Patrich|
This all happens while I brood on how all
my photographic equipment is making the boards, not shrink but bend under their
|Juan Manuel Sánchez & Linda Lorenzo|
My three panoramics have a lens that
swivels in a semi-circle. The scene focuses on film that is flat but flat on an
equivalent but reversed semi-circle within the camera. Both the Horizont and
the Widelux have to sweep but must do so from an initial standstill. This
causes frequent “stutter” streaks on the film. The much more elaborate German
Noblex, sweeps without taking a picture, and only when the sweep has reached its
correct speed does the shutter open. As you can imagine with digital camera “panoramic
stitching” something that even smart phones can accomplish, my three cameras
are dead and the companies that made them went bankrupt.
And yet I am not sure that the panoramic sweeps
of digital cameras can achieve the quirks mine do when I don’t load them
Three Bohemians, LInda, Borges & La Recoleta
Wednesday, April 09, 2014
After a recent viewing of Alec Guinness in
The Horse’s Mouth I despaired of not being able to live the Bohemian life. I
once did. It was 2000 and I could call up my friends (who lived nearby and
always immediately invited me to pass by for a mate or a coffee) Nora Patrich
and Juan Manuel Sánchez. They were
always keen to work in any kind of collaboration day or night. It was Patrich who
suggested that we project b+w slides of the Buenos Aires cemetery La Recoleta with our
Argentine model Linda Lorenzo. I never used my pictures as I took many of
Lorenzo in a whole year and Patrich and Sánchez drew, sketched and painted
lots, too. Many of this La Recoleta session show off Lorenzo’s body. And she
had a lovely one. But my standards for this blog must be kept. You never know
when some busybody might report me. I have chosen some that don’t reveal but
have a mysterious grainy look that suggests a rainy winter day in Buenos Aires.
At the time the
fastest film was Kodak 5054 TMZ film which I rated at 3200 ISO. I shot the first three with an Ilford 3200 in 120 and a Mamiya RB-67 Pro-SD and the last two, with the Kodak 5054, one a Nikon FM-2 and the other, cropped, with a Japanese swivel lens panoramic camera called a
I long for those days
when just a phone call made anything possible. Now that Bohemian period of my
life is over. If only…
nobles certidumbres del polvo,
demoramos y bajamos la voz
lentas filas de panteones,
retórica de sombra y de mármol
prefigura la deseable
latín y las trabadas fechas fatales,
conjunción del mármol y de la flor
plazuelas con frescura de patio
muchos ayeres de a historia
detenida y única.
esa paz con la muerte
anhelar nuestro fin
el sueño y la indiferencia.
las espadas y en la pasión
en la hiedra,
y el tiempo son normas suyas,
instrumentos mágicos del alma,
ésta se apague,
con ella el espacio, el tiempo y la muerte,
cesar la luz
simulacro de los espejos
que ya la
tarde fue apagando.
benigna de los árboles,
pájaros que sobre las ramas ondea,
alma que se
dispersa entre otras almas,
milagro que alguna vez dejaran de ser,
horror nuestros días.
pensé en la Recoleta,
en el lugar
de mi ceniza.
Jorge Luis Borges
Fervor de Buenos Aires (1923)
By Jorge Luis Borges
Translated by Stephen Kessler
Convinced of decrepitude
by so many certainties of dust,
we linger and lower our voices
among the long rows of mausoleums,
whose rhetoric of shadow and marble
promises or prefigures the desirable
dignity of having died.
The tombs are beautiful,
the naked Latin and the engraved fatal
the coming together of marble and flowers
and the little plazas cool as courtyards
and the many yesterdays of history
today stilled and unique.
We mistake that peace for death
And we believe we long for our end
when what long for is sleep and
Vibrant in swords and in passion,
and asleep in the ivy,
only life exists.
Its forms are space and time,
they are magical instruments of the soul,
and when it is extinguished,
space, time, and death will be extinguished
as the mirrors’ images wither
when evening covers them over
and the light dims.
Benign shade of trees,
wind full of birds and undulating limbs,
souls dispersed into other souls,
it might be a miracle that they once
an incomprehensible miracle,
although its imaginary repetition
slanders our days with horror.
I thought these things in the Recoleta,
in the place of my ashes.
Surgeons Must Be Very Careful
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
Surgeons must be very
By Emily Dickinson
Surgeons must be very
When they take the
Underneath their fine
Stirs the Culprit -
Water Is Taught By Thirst
Monday, April 07, 2014
Water, is taught by thirst
Water, is taught by thirst.
Land—by the Oceans passed.
Peace—by its battles told—
Love, by Memorial Mold—
Birds, by the Snow.
It Skinned My Eyes
Sunday, April 06, 2014
|John Alleyne & Gail Skrela|
day I saw a painting by Matisse, a reproduction. I saw it because of the chaps who
were laughing and called me over. It gave me the shock of my life. It skinned
my eyes for me. And I became a different man.
Gulley Jimson in The Horse’s Mouth
On Saturday night (last night) after a dinner of gnocchi
in the oven (with lots of Parmesan and cheddar cheese) and a dessert of tapioca
pudding from scratch we (Rosemary, Hilary, Lauren, 11 and I) sat down in the
den (with a roaring fire) to watch Ronald Neame’s 1958 film The Horse’s Mouth
with Alec Guinness. The film was based on Joyce Cary’s novel by the same name.
There is a statement that Gulley Jimson (Alec
Guinness) makes that froze me. I attempted to find the quote in my copy of Cary’s novel but I suspect
that it may have been written into the film by Guinness as he was responsible
for the screenplay.
I have no idea when I first saw the film. I
remember it was funny and that Gulley Jimson was a bohemian to an excess, much
worse than my womanizing private art teacher in the middle 50s in Mexico City. Robin Bond
mixed his paints not on a palette but on the walls of his studio. The floor was
soaked with countless cups of black coffee that had been spilled and ashtrays
everywhere where brimming over with cigarette butts.
Rosemary was not too happy with the film
and our daughter took it all so seriously and she was disgusted at the antics
of the selfish and overbearing artist played so well by Guinness.
To my surprise it was Lauren who laughed
and enjoyed the film. I told her, “We are the only sophisticates here.” It
reminded me of my grandmother when I was Lauren’s age who would shield me from
my mother’s wrath saying, “Nena, you must forgive Alex, he is an artist like I
The quote on Matisse by Jimson made me
think of what moment my eyes may have been skinned. I have written about it
many times. I was 8 or 9 and my mother had taken me to the United States
Information Service (the benign and outside image of the CIA) Lincoln Library
on Calle Florida in Buenos Aires. I happened to open a
publication or book by the American Heritage Society and I saw my first images
of live and dead American Civil War soldiers taken by Brady, O’Sullivan and Gardner. I was struck by the immediacy of men that looked alive (and indeed
they were when the photographs were taken I realized) and that if I went
outside to the street I just might run into them.
I have been most interested in the American
Civil War since. Like most of those photographs I rarely make my subjects laugh
And yet it is strange for me to use as an
example of portraiture that was inspired by portraits of American Civil War
soldiers this particular one of John Alleyne, former Artistic Director of
Ballet BC and the formidable dancer Gail Skrela. You might notice that there is
a hint of a smile in both of them.
I too, like Gulley Jimson became a