Hello again good people! After 6 weeks or so of not thinking about writing, 6 weeks of not thinking about blogs, or worrying that for the past year maybe I was thinking about both too much I feel I am ready to start back up again. Before I get into that I wanted to mention that I really appreciated the support I received after my last post announcing the break. It meant a lot to have people tell me in comments or in private that they appreciated my words and photography. I realize I may have scared a few people into thinking I was going silent for good. Writing these words now is the proof that I have not. Thank you to all of you who reached out. I’m still working things out on the personal level, but it feels right to be doing this again now.
I did spend some time thinking if I wanted to do a rethink of this space along the lines of changing the theme and color scheme again. I ended the last post with the realization that I needed to find out what has been missing for me in putting these words to the computer. To find the ways to feed creativity again. This is a tentative step back today, and I am unsure what and where it will lead me. But I realized something important during this break. In lamenting the state of blogging today, I forgot the crucial part. Being myself. At its peak I was heeding the advice of others-writing often to build an audience. Writing shorter posts so as not to lose an audience. Tagging, doing weekly features, trying to copy what more successful bloggers did.
Don’t get me wrong-that does work and I will no doubt fall back into it again on some level. But not at the loss of being myself. So if I don’t reach a goal of a post a week I am not going to stress it. If I write something that takes longer than 3 minutes to read, I don’t care if that is a blogging no-no. If I publish on a Friday or a Tuesday night at 11:47 PM I will no longer worry about the consequences or loss of potential readership since that is also frowned upon. I started thinking back to the reasons why I started this in the first place-to meld my love for music and photography together, hopefully in a unique way. And that is precisely where we will start off again this time for this return. For those of you who have been long time readers you can skip the next paragraph if you so choose.
Hello-my name is Robert Doyle, an almost 50 year dude currently living in Queens, New York City. For over four years I have been writing Soundtrack Of A Photograph, a unique space ‘Where Music Meets Photography’. I do this by thinking about the key ingredients of each. Music expresses joy, sorrow, exuberance. It makes us want to sing, to dance, to feel the flow, to go with the groove. Photography expresses many of the same emotions, but often we feel trapped by the boundaries of the photo. Photography freezes a time and a place forever in silence. Be it a wedding photo or an artistic monochrome one, the physical movement is trapped. The notion behind this blog from day one has been finding the right musical match for particular photos. Thawing it from the freeze, releasing it from the trap. Movies typically rely on music for pivotal moments. My idea was to give a still photograph a sense of motion-of flow and groove just like with a movie. A soundtrack to the photograph. And so this is where we will start this off again.
‘Dance in the joy that is yours and mine in spring returning’
It was perhaps inevitable that I would start this back up again in the Spring. The season is all about renewal and brightness after all. Trees you walk past everyday that have been bare since November are suddenly bursting with color. On cue with the early sunrise, birdsong becomes more noticeable and incessant. Grass and flowers suddenly abound and we feel the energy in the fragrant air. Inevitably my mind also goes towards songs that are filled with this sort of imagery. One of the things I want to work on in this return is to feature more artists I have not previously written about. And how except for one of my Christmas themed posts I have not written about the sublime Maddy Prior I cannot understand!
Maddy has been one of the leading figures on the British folk scene since the late 1960’s. She has recorded numerous solo albums, two memorable albums with June Tabor, but especially as lead singer for the folk-rock group Steeleye Span. Despite several early personnel changes, Steeleye went on to have some decent commercial success in the 1970’s and are still going strong today. In 1993 during a hiatus from the group Maddy recorded the first of a series of albums with a general theme, usually with a song cycle. This first album was simply called ‘Year’ and was well received. The album starts off with a short song called Snowdrops/Birth which sums up the welcoming of spring we all feel the need for.
As to the photograph, I took this last week on an unseasonably chilly, gray morning. But the vibrancy of colors is what mattered to me the most. In posting this on Instagram a few days ago I mentioned that I purposely chose to take the photo a little out of focus, to get a sense of movement. In the days since I realized that the story this photo was telling me was about coming out of the darkness of winter, of color gradually fading in once again. I also realized that it was telling me to get these words flowing again…to feel that my ‘step is bright in sunshine’ once again. It feels good to be back. Until next time!
Snowdrops/Birth-Written By Maddy Prior
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All Photographs By Robert P. Doyle
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