Articles Tagged with: Music

CULTURAL EXCHANGE: VIV ALBERTINE

Viv Albertine Clothes Music Boys

I spend a lot of my time photographing culture, music, arts and entertainment so this is one of a series of infrequent posts looking at books, movies, visual culture, music etc. that IMO are worth spending time with in some way. My gut reactions and songs of praise or pillory.


Clothes Clothes Clothes Music Music Music Boys Boys Boys by Viv Albertine (Faber & Faber).

These days a life worth reading about is often like hunting for a needle in the proverbial haystack. Hack celebrity biogs are cut-and-pasted 5 minutes after someone’s name is in the press. Somehow a life worth writing about is crafted out of a handful of years and little lasting achievement. Padded lives are paid homage for the sake of a merchandising strategy put together by some unimaginative, pimple-browed exec looking for the cliched quick buck. The real meaning of biography is a rare exception, long lost in this attention deficit world.

Then along comes Viv Albertine. As ever putting her womanhood, creativity and pioneering spirit out there for us all to see in it’s messy glory. A real challenger for what it means to have lived a life worth writing about.

And it’s one heck of a ride as a book/life. Vibrating and pogoing it’s way through: her childhood, her love of music, adolescence, the punk scene, The Slits, illness, the misogyny aimed at her simply for being herself, relationships, sex etc etc. All under the powerful motivation of her desire to express herself without compromise. It pulls no punches about the ‘shit and blood’ that she has had to live through (more than her fair share). Nevertheless, she faces life full-on with a determination wrought from her yearning to keep creating. Truly inspirational.

It’s a book that is way beyond a simple music bio: a descendent of Whitman’s unconditional ‘YAWP’ (feminising it along the way). Driving the reader to examine what a life lived true to oneself really looks and feels like. For example, I found the descriptions of her desire to maintain her creativity in her mid-life, trusting the voice of rebellion, moving, potent and very close to home (muddling my way through what creativity means/looks like at 47). This book is a whole-hearted punkish 2 fingers up to the here-today-gone-tomorrow culture of X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent.

If you love music, read it. If you love self-expression, read it. If you love life, read it.

More info here: Viv Albertine website

 


BBC ARTS: GLYNDEBOURNE TOUR

Glyndebourne Opera Touring

Prop Boots from L’elisir d’amore (Glyndebourne Tour 2013).

BBC Arts – Wigs, wires and washing machines: Behind the scenes of a touring opera.


 
Glyndebourne Productions Ltd have just headed out on the road for their 2014 tour including productions of Verdi’s La traviata, and Mozart’s La finta giardiniera. They commissioned me to shoot a ‘day in the life’ of how they get their productions out for touring. A selection of images are now live on the BBC Arts website here.

 


STAGE TIME LAPSE: GLYNDEBOURNE

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Glyndebourne overnight set-change stage time lapse video.


This is a short time lapse video I shot for Glyndebourne to promote their forthcoming national tour.

Running at under 90 seconds, it shows the overnight process of stage crew changing the production sets. So you can see them dismantling the set from Mozart’s La Finta Gardiniere and building the set for Verdi’s La Traviata.

Everything was shot on one camera (Canon 5D MkIII and 50mm lens) running Magic Lantern software. The software’s intervalometer was set to take one image every 8 seconds for 6 hours. The resulting 2700 images were edited and rendered into the sequence you see here. Music (from La Traviata) and end titles were then added in-house by Glyndebourne’s own digital team.

This was the first ever time lapse sequence I’ve shot (the client did know this by the way!). I think it came out pretty good.


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