Saturday, October 31, 2009

Alley, Bible, and Weed

I’m basically a ghost which has learned to post to the internet.

So, no surprise, I was haunting my usual route, down through the twisty alleys of Charlottesville, underneath the warmly lit windows. Rounding the corner, I came across what appeared to be the “Good Book” in a window. A weed grew, in an unlikely spot, directly below. And, even though the God of art said “never center,” the God of circumstance everlasting, chose the middle path.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Arts Ensemble of Chicago at Cabell Hall

The Arts Ensemble of Chicago played Old Cabell Hall at the University of Virginia many years ago. Malachi Favors, the bassist pictured here, passed away in 2004. I’ve seen many unusual acts at Cabell Hall. UVA’s music department has booked many great players over the years. Often the artists are also there to do hands on classes with the music students.
It was an impressive layout of instruments (see picture below) and tympani played a major part.

At times it was a wave or wall of sound, some of the loudest unamplified playing I think I’ve ever heard. Lester Bowie seemed to be taking a leading role on trumpet, front and center. Unlike the rest of the band he was dressed in a white lab coat, as though he had wandered over from the UVA Hospital. Malachi and the others were in what seemed like very non-traditional African inspired dress, although it tended to the avant guard also. One or two pieces in the concert were quite different, tonal, and melodious, with a quiet dynamic.
The only seats left when I got there were in the balcony, so I took some photos with a 35mm camera and mirror telephoto by using the wooden rail around the balcony as a tripod. It was transparency film, 400 ASA, but still not enough in the low light. The exposures were ¼ second. Malachi is a bit abstract, although one unmoving string on the bass seems in tight focus. I like it anyway in that it captures the energy he was applying to his playing.

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Friday, October 2, 2009

Saigon Cafe-Hot Tea

Click above image for a larger view

Our favorite Vietnamese Restaurant in Charlottesville, Saigon Cafe, with the required drink in hand, hot tea.
This is an example of how a completely unsharp image can still convey a mood. The lack of detail somehow enhances the experience of the color and the shapes.

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Clock Shop - Charlottesville - Time Passing

This was taken through the window of The Clock Shop of Virginia (closed on Saturdays), caddy corner to where the Charlottesville City Market is held. The shop has been here as long as I have lived here. The display case is like a small museum of different clock designs, from antique, to modern (as in what was modern in the 50-70’s).

Time remains one of the most mysterious of concepts to me. The clock implies a structured, measurable property, yet psychological time seldom has that characteristic. If an event is charged with enough emotion, it may never seem far away at all.

The Clock Shop has seen some time pass by, and you can feel in a different time while browsing its collection. That display case has little to do with sales; it’s a display of eras via clock design elements.

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