No vuelven nunca más.
Saturday, December 02, 2017
amor de los marineros
|Buenos Aires 1966 - Photograph John Sullivan|
que besan y se van.
No vuelven nunca más.
I love the love of sailors
who kiss and leave
They leave a promise
Never do they return.
The Argentine Navy (Armada República Argentina) has lost all
hope of finding alive the 43 male and one female crew members of the 80s vintage diesel electric submarine
ARA San Juan.
Malvinas War I saw on my TV an Argentine Skyhawk zooming across Goose Green suddenly
explode into a puff of white. I was not sorry for the pilot. He was an officer
who knew his life was on the line. But I felt terrible since that Skyhawk
was one of my planes! I had translated the maintenance and operating manuals
from English into Spanish in 1966 when the fighters had been purchased by the
ARA from the US Navy.
loss of the submarine crew members I have revisited the events of that war but
somehow this time I feel the loss of those very human sailors. Why?
It had to do
with seeing some young Argentine sailors at a press conference by the ARA
spokesman. Their uniforms were like mine. They were in their summer whites as it
is summer in Argentina. In my portrait here I am wearing my winter blues. Those
sailors looked as young as I was. It hit home in a way that reading of US
sailors dying in a recent collision of their destroyer did not. For my marineros their future has been denied.
One of the
few good laws that Argentine President Carlos Menem (1989-1999) passed was the ending of the
military draft. I felt so sorry for those young, severely untrained conscripts who died in that useless Malvinas War killed by seasoned and well paid professional soldiers.
Of that war Jorge Luís Borges said, "Two bald men arguing who owned the comb."
This would mean that the young sailors on board the San Juan
were there on their own volition. And yet I grieve. I cannot eliminate from my
being that pride of being from a country that I no longer live in but is part
of that essence that makes me whom I am.
A R E W E L L - Pablo Neruda
el fondo de ti, y arrodillado,
un niño triste, como yo, nos mira.
vida que arderá en sus venas
tendrían que amarrarse nuestras vidas.
manos, hijas de tus manos,
tendrían que matar las manos mías.
ojos abiertos en la tierra
veré en los tuyos lágrimas un día.
YO NO lo
nada nos amarre
que no nos una nada.
Ni la palabra
que aromó tu boca,
ni lo que no dijeron las palabras.
Ni la fiesta
de amor que no tuvimos,
ni tus sollozos junto a la ventana.
amor de los marineros
que besan y se van.
No vuelven nunca más.
puerto una mujer espera:
los marineros besan y se van.
se acuestan con la muerte
en el lecho del mar.
AMO el amor
que se reparte
en besos, lecho y pan.
puede ser eterno
y puede ser fugaz.
para volver a amar.
que se acerca
Amor divinizado que se va.)
YA NO se
encantarán mis ojos en tus ojos,
ya no se endulzará junto a ti mi dolor.
donde vaya llevaré tu mirada
y hacia donde camines llevarás mi dolor.
fuiste mía. Qué más? Juntos hicimos
un recodo en la ruta donde el amor pasó.
fuiste mía. Tu serás del que te ame,
del que corte en tu huerto lo que he sembrado yo.
Yo me voy.
Estoy triste: pero siempre estoy triste.
Vengo desde tus brazos. No sé hacia dónde voy.
tu corazón me dice adiós un niño.
Y yo le digo adiós.
Despised & Rejected Superbly
Friday, December 01, 2017
By all accounts of the four (one in White Rock, one in West
Vancouver and two at the Vancouver Playhouse) of the Pacific Baroque
Orchestra’s performances of Handel’s Messiah the one on Friday, December 1 was
the very best. It was ably directed by the PBO’s Alexander Weimann.
I can attest that Kris Kwapis’s trumpet was superb. This is
a very difficult instrument to play.
But the best part was the fact that many musicians have told me (some
have played in over 250 performances) one of the four soloists is not always up
to par to the other three.
I had no idea who the soprano, Yulia Van Doren was.
I was most pleasantly surprised by a singer with a sweet disposition, lovely
smile and a perfect complexion that somehow all was the cream on her terrific
The other three singers I know (in person). There was
baritone Tyler Duncan with that incredible diction, presence and a volume that
could fill any stadium.
There was Charles Daniels, one tenor that cannot only sing
but act, too. I know he likes to drink craft beer. That can only be a plus to
his talent. I can only conclude that the reason we in our backwoods Vancouver
get to enjoy the talent of Daniels is EMV’s (Messiah was produced by EMV)
Artistic and Executive Director Matthew White. As American say RHIP (rank has
its privileges). My friend, bassist Curtis Daily said that Daniels used
some extraordinary ornamentation that he (Daily) had not ever heard before.
It was mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó who might have diverted
the Three Wise Kings from their holy quest as her star shone so bright.
In the Messiah Part 2, the alto Air “He was despised and
rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief,” that I was wowed
by an acting performance of power and grief that was absolutely believable (but
unbelievable it was that good). I can only guess that the passion of Hungary
and a bit of that Tokay wine run in her veins.
Curtis Daily(over dinner with Argentine wine) after that December 1 performance) attempted to explain to me that Handel (Daily believes) purposely begins the Air in E flat major. It is a difficult key and it puts a particular strain on the orchestra. It went all over my head but the fact is that the orchestra was good at mastering Handel's trap.
I have only attended two Messiahs in my life. The previous
one was a conventional one at the Orpheum with the Vancouver Symphony
Orchestra. Another one in 1979 almost killed until now any desire to listen to
one more Hallelujah Chorus. Besides its use in TV commercial jingles the last
straw was 1979 disco version that I
witnessed in shock at the gay Luv-a-Fair in which this wet-behind the ears
Burnaby resident watched men with moustaches dancing together! I have learned to become a man of our contemporary world since then.
For any future marketing of this Handel work I believe that
there should be more stress given to the solo performances and not to that
chorus. Why do people stand up for it?
But there was one highlight for me in
the Vancouver Cantata Singers. I spotted tenor Clinton Stoffberg who not too
long ago played both (very well) Christ and the Evangelist St. John in a
compact production of that Bach work.
I looked at the orchestra and counted 18 people I have
photographed before. Surely this must mean that was in a concert among friends!
|Marina Hasselberg - December 2 2017|
Of special interest to me was to see that the local cellist
Marina Hasselberg was starting in style with her first performance of the Messiah (well second, after the
previous day’s performance in George Zukerman’s White Rock) as a new member of the
Olena & My iPhone3G
Thursday, November 30, 2017
|Olena - November 30 2017 - iPhone 3G|
This blog should be an easy thing. It is not because there
is so much in my head that I want to place here.I will attempt to make it succinct.
Olena (formerly the beautiful woman with the blue hair) came
today to pose for my friend baroque bassist Curtis Daly and this obosolete
& redundant & retired photographer. My heart sank while Olena was making herself up
(she is superb at this) as she made a comment that people at age 75 were much
too old to change. She said this with her back to me. I signalled my shock to
Daily by pointing at myself and nodding negatively.
And yet this inflexible old 75-year-old man with the help of
a support staff (the men at Leo’s Camera) and my friend Paul Leisz modernized me. Leisz pushed
me into the 21st
century with computers and knowledge that normally
is over my head but he manages to explain down to my level.
This old man still has some tricks up his sleeve, after
all my grandmother used to repeat a refrán from the Argentine literary work Martín Fierro
where the old man el Viejo Vizcacha gives his young ward a piece of advice:
“Fijate bien lo que hablo: El diablo sabe por
diablo. Pero más sabe por viejo".
This translates to: “The
devil knows because he is the devil, but more so because he is an old man.”
There seems to be a present obsession with photographic
equipment that sidesteps the idea of taking good photographs. These new cameras
are super sharp and the colours are beyond the colours of Technicolor. There
seems to be a backlash to things digital. So film is slowly coming back. Some
of these photographers will soon find out some of the weaknesses of film if you
don’t know what to do with it. These are the same people who will soon be
bothered by the scratchy sound of brand new records on their middle of the road
(if not cheap units that are now called record turntables). I have a long
memory for brand new records that had built-in scratches and passages with
I do own a very good Sony linear-tracking turntable and my records sound pretty good.
I love film particularly b+w film which I can process in my
Kitsilano home. But I no longer have a darkroom so I have opted for a very good
Canon inkjet printer.
More and more my digital files from my Fuji X-E1 and my
brand new X-E3 (I am currently trying to cope with the complexity of its “improvements”
over my X-E1) dictate that the only way to get hard copy is with that Canon inkjet..
This old man knows that many of the best photographs
have been the product of accidents. If the photographer is able to back step on
the accident in question then these delightful accidents can be repeated at
Some five years ago when I was teaching at Focal Point a
class called The Contemporary Portrait Nude I felt that as the instructor I could
not take advantage of the situation and take my own photographs with my
students. But I could and did every once in a while snap some pictures with my
iPhone 3G. The central and most important button of the unit gave out so I
retired the phone and purchased a new and better Galaxy.
The 3G I put away until I recently looked at some of those
nude snaps. I knew that there was a style to be seen in the limitations of the
phone. These limitations could either be magnified or minimized and both
methods were stellar in my opinion. I had my 3G repaired. I took out the SIM
card to convert it into a dedicated Apple Camera 3G. Here are the pictures I
took of Olena today.
I know that the Viejo Vizcacha would have been delighted.
No Rock Mike Photos
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
|S.T.R.E.E.T.S., Mazinaw & Tugboat at the Templeton on Granville Street|
In the late 80s Vancouver Magazine writer Les Wiseman and I
went to New York City to get work. We thought we were “la mama de Tarzán”,
Mexican Spanish for we thought we were terrific.
We were able to see the not yet legendary Adam Moss at
Esquire who told us he liked our stuff but that his magazine had no interest in
Canada and its Prime Minister Joe Clark.
Before we could go to Rolling Stone I had to make an
appointment with the art director by phone. I was asked, “Do you have any
pictures of rock bands performing?” I knew this was a trap so I answered, “No.”
This was the art directors method of separating those who shot bands singing
with microphones and those who got to go back stage. I was given the
At Rolling Stone, Wiseman and I noticed that there were many
youngish men with glasses that looked like Elvis Costello. Ample reason why the
magazine always liked him!
The art director and editors looked at our stuff and liked
it but told us, “We are not interested in Tom Cochran and Red Rider.
|Kia Kadiri centre at the DV8 with Nardwuar, left and the rest of the guys from the Evaporator and the Front|
We were able to secure some work for a then hip but low
paying rag called Trowser Press. With our tail between our legs we left the
large pond and back to our small one.
To this day I have the opinion that shooting bands while
performing is like looking at pictures of sunsets, fireworks and city scapes.
Once you have seen a couple you have seen them all.
Here are a couple of pictures I took for the Straight in
2004 when they expected original photographs and paid photographers not too
badly. This was before the handout photo.
For these shots the photo editors expected me to photograph
several sets of bands, three at a time at some location that was one of the
Note that in one of the photographs you can see the other.
This was before I could handle Photoshop so I stuck a little photo on the right
The trick to any of these photographs is to impose your own
personal style, demand some posing and look carefully at every face before
pressing the shutter.
These days I hardly ever see a rock photograph that makes me
think, “wow”. My guess is that many make the motion and no more.