Aparna Sindhoor Dance Theater: New Photos

Ganesh Ramachandran took these photographs of the Aparna Sindhoor Dance Theater during the “Playing for the Planet” concert. I think they’re terrific.

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Jazz Photoblogging

I love photographing musicians — probably because I’m a musician myself, and it’s a wonderful challenge to capture some of the immediacy of live performance on film.

There have been two times in my life when I was really active in music photography.  Once in the mid-1980s when I was living in India, and had the chance to get pictures of many of the Subcontinent’s greatest artists in concert, in rehearsal, and in private.  And once in the mid-1970s when I was still in high school and had access to the school darkroom…and I took the Miranda SLR my father had given me to dozens of jazz concerts.

I had made a firm decision that I would not use flash; I did not wish to disturb the musicians by popping flashbulbs while they played. So I used high-speed film, underexposed and overdeveloped (a procedure known as “pushing” – I used Tri-X, pushed to ASA 1600, for all you b&w old-timers out there).

I got some good results, too. Here are a few images I’m particularly happy with:

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Musical Journeys in India: An Audio Travelogue

I must have been eight or nine when my Uncle Russell began taking me, once a month, to a lecture series at the university where he taught; each month a different world traveler would do a grownup version of show & tell. Slides, movies, anecdotes, facts. Exciting? I loved those outings, and I wish I remember more. But they certainly made their impression: as a boy, I knew that I wanted to travel, to see at least a few of those places first hand. Uncle Russ’ career as a management consultant for the Ford Foundation had taken him and his family to live in places far from the Boston suburbs where I grew up. One of those places was Hyderabad, India, and the souvenirs he and my aunt brought back from their years there were my first introduction to Indian culture.

I was seventeen when I encountered Indian music, and from the moment my ears opened to the sound of Hindustani ragas, I knew that this was something I had to do. Over the years that followed, I collected LPs and cassettes of Indian music with zeal; by the time I actually went to India, I had steeped myself obsessively in its classical and vernacular music. Now, thirty years later, I’ve got some show & tell of my own.

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