Sweet Dreams

I mean… it’s not as if he is actually cuddled and surrounded by the music, nor radiating colours that blend into one another as the tempo or key changes, but he may as well be.  He’s sat at the back, alone only because everyone else nearly has finished work for the day.  He cracks on with the work though, piles through his expected target and carries on, pushing for the end that never comes.  Contact is maintained though, he enjoys the friendship of the people here but, at times like this, when there is no-one to talk to nearby, he’ll happily listen to the music and become truly embroiled in it, within it, all around it.  In fact he breathes the music in, fuses it to his very soul.  It clads the scaffolding of his skeletal system like a second layer of muscle, such is the reaction to what he hears.

The pace of his body, its autonomic functions and active movements become, in turn, a reflection of the beat that propels what he is listening to.  That, as a consequence, becomes the beat of his being at that point in time.  It changes only at the whim of the DJ, the flick of a switch, from hardcore to punk to hardcore punk to electric to magic and back again.  The finger taps on the keyboard, the clenching of the muscles continue, and even the closing of his eyelids are all timed with the beat that the heart follows.

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Jazzmaster Study

Owing partially to my love of bands such as Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine and Nirvana (along a whole host of others including The Jesus Lizard, Mudhoney etc.) I recently got my hands on a new electric guitar, the wonderful Fender Jazzmaster Modern Player.  It is a cheaper model than an American Jazzmaster (by half!) but a step up from the cheaper Squire models that Fender also produce.  I love the beefy yet brittle sounds that the humbucker pickups produce and I adore the offset body, something that is slightly different from the normal Stratocaster or Les Paul guitar bodies.  It fits comfortably against my own body and it isn’t a guitar that is afraid of a good thrashing during the throes of emotive playing.

The Jazzmaster guitar is, of course, now a marker for slightly alternative rock bands after it failed to be marketed to jazz musicians in the late 50’s, but this is a versatile guitar and I’m having a lot of fun trying different tones and techniques.  It also looks particularly beautiful so I’ve been having fun trying to photograph this legend of a guitar.  The following photographs are shot on a 1963 Pentax S1a camera with black and white film.

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The hardware. Photograph by the author.

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Headstock. Photograph by author.

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High notes. Photograph by author.

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Jamie. Photograph by author.

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Jamie II. Photograph by author.

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The physicality of music. Photograph by author.

If the photographs are used elsewhere please credit as appropriate and state the author of this site as the photographer.