Kathy's Piano


My photograph “Kathy’s Piano” will be in Tieton Arts and Humanities’ annual show “10x10x10” August 6 through October 9. The show will be in the Mighty Tieton Warehouse – which is worth a visit anyway. I originally did this photograph to accompany an excerpt from the poem “Piano Lessons” by Billy Collins.

Even when I am not playing, I think about the piano. It is the largest, heaviest, and most beautiful object in this house. I pause in the doorway just to take it all in. And late at night I picture it downstairs, this hallucination standing on three legs, this curious beast with its enormous moonlit smile.


 

The continuing saga of Julius Eastman

The Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University (Evanston Illinois) wants to use my photographs of Julius Eastman in a video they are preparing with my favorite (this one) as either the introduction or finale. This is, I believe, the 10th time that these photographs have been used – for performance programs, recordings and catalogs of his music, to accompany collections of his scores, for a “branding” TV spot by the New York Times and now for a biographical video. They seem to be the only performance photographs of Eastman during his tenure at the university in Buffalo – maybe anywhere.

The irony of the entire thing is that I only went to the concert because our son wanted to go and was too young to have a driver’s license.


 

I’m rereading “Willy Ronis by Willy Ronis – the catalog of the master humanist photographers unpublished albums.” The “albums” referred to are those acquired with his archives by the French government before Ronis’ death. The book is a bit of a slog being north of 500 photographs each with a brief note from Ronis about what, where and when and, especially, about making the print. If it was any bigger it would need wheels. Reading the many variations of “difficult to print” reminds me of a quotation the source of which I cannot retrieve: “Perfect exposure and flawless composition are for those whose 4x5 cameras are on a tripod.” Ronis pragmatically took what was in front of him and hoped for the best in the darkroom. Me, too. July’s Print of the Month (or thereabouts) is “difficult to print” – backlit by blindingly bright sunlight, deep shadows on his jacket. It is #78 in my “On Reading” project that will be shown in the Edmonds Art Commission Gallery in October.

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