"Every man leaves a lasting influence... that will affect future generations for centuries to come. But let's face it, not all legacies are the same. Some are productive, others are destructive. Some are illustrious, others are infamous... what kind of a legacy will you leave behind? A spiritual legacy is one that money can't buy and taxes can't take away, it is passing down to the next generation what matters most."
Steven J. Lawson

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Etudes: Notes of a Musician Movement 1.

Recently, while being assigned my final project in Photojournalism, I really had to put my head in gear. Our assignment was to tell a story through pictures. My first pessimistic thought was that there would be nothing of interest to photograph in Statesboro. Boy was I wrong...

One day, after attending a concert with a friend at the Foy Fine Arts Building on campus, it dawned on me. See, I had a rather unique opportunity after the concert that night. My friend, Gabriel is a piano performance major at Georgia Southern, and we received special permission to use the stage and play on the piano there. all the elements that came together that night became my inspiration. The moment Gabriel began playing Fantasie Impromtu by Chopin on that stage, with the amazing sound and lighting, the idea hit me that I should tell the story of a musician's life. The following Monday, I began telling my story. I think I shot 75 pictures within the first 15 minutes!

Part of doing this story means covering any aspect of a musician's life. There are countless hours of practice and then there are times where rest must be taken.

A few days later, I was roaming about the second floor of Foy, where the practice rooms are located, and I happened to see another friend of mine, Josh Crowe, a violinist. I had never been able to hear him play before, so I thought that I should take the opportunity. As he began playing, I asked if I could take pictures for my project, and explained what I was trying to do. Josh enthusiastic about the idea began playing a somewhat mournful but beautiful piece by Tchaikovsky.
That afternoon, I took 150 more pictures that I hoped would contribute to my story. Then I received another surprise! I got a rare oppportunity to go with Josh to his lesson and record what a violin lesson looks like. I was so nervous, but excited!
Watching a violinist "in action" up close is a completely different experience from either listening to a violinist on a recording or from watching one on a stage. The violin commands attention even in somber pieces like the one Josh played for me. There is detail that goes into the music that one would never see unless you were there watching very closely. You would never know that an ostinato is played with more complicated fingering and more intense bow work than a sonata might be played. It can be mezmerizing to watch the talent it takes to be able to play such an instrument. The greatest part which brings me such joy is the ability to listen to two good Christian brothers playing music to God's glory, and me being blesed to be a part of their musical lives.