Top Posts Of 2019

In my element-Cionn Mhucrois-Cill Charthaigh, Ireland

Testing…testing. Is this thing on? I’m not sure how to work the controls!

Yes my friends…it is actually me again. Four months after saying goodbye to the blogging world I’m back to say…I’m still not coming back lol! But to be serious though there are some things I miss about actively writing and sharing my thoughts, the thing I miss the most is the blogging community. And I suppose this is a way to again express some thanks and gratitude for all who have read or commented on anything I have written over the past six years by sharing some of my favorite posts of 2019 before I decided to call it a day.

Before we get into that, I did want to briefly share my latest venture with you for those who do not follow me on social media. I now have a for sale photography website-https://soundtrackphoto.smugmug.com/ where you can finally purchase some of the many photos I have taken over the years. Many have actually graced these blog posts in fact, so I invite you all to have a look and there are lots of options for prints and frames, as well as things like coffee mugs and gift cards. And I am making tentative plans to work on something even more special for 2020 that I will be sure to announce when it is finished. But I get ahead of myself.

I think before I called a halt to the blog that perhaps I was tiring of the concept slightly. Or maybe just feeling a sense of pressure or devotion to publish ‘something’ and I felt the quality of what I was writing about was suffering. But looking back at some of these posts this weekend after distancing myself from them, I realized that was not necessarily true. And that is why I decided to share some of my favorites with you all right now.

In Two Rivers I shared music from the wonderful album In The Heart Of The Moon by Ali Farka Toure & Toumani Diabate. The concept of rivers flowing in my imagination and in reality was on my mind and this outstanding collection of guitar and kora music set the thoughts perfectly.

Once the holidays are over and winter really sets in here, one obviously spends a lot of time indoors. It is a good time for reading, catching up on TV, and listening to music. It was then that I discovered the wonderful American Epic documentary series, and promptly bought the box set of music from the show. And it was there that I heard the startling, mesmerizing, gut wrenching sound of Blind Willie Johnson’s Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground. 

It is always great coming across new artists and new music. Like many people this year, once I heard J.S. Ondara for the first time I knew I was hearing someone very special. Combined with the purchase of a vintage camera bag from a thrift store that was filled with lots of goodies, I had an idea thinking about how the really great artists craft their songs one at a time. Similar to how photographers used to take photos on that vintage equipment.

Not a new artist by any means, but someone whom I finally managed to see in concert late last year was the fabulous Dar Williams. Her song ‘Go To The Woods’ prompted some thinking on my part about what a magical, mystical, scary and beautiful place the woods can be.

In the end I abandoned a planned punk series (I know, I know…) but a series I did write touched me in a way that no other post has before. What was meant to be purely a historical telling of the Lord Franklin saga while weaving in some of the variety of music inspired by it became something much more personal. It coincided with a difficult time and a revelation of some long trapped pain from my past. The conclusion may have been unsettling, but it was one of the most important revelations of my entire life. So much so that when I thought I was done writing about so much personal pain, I needed to write one more post, working out that the way I ‘see’ and ‘hear’ things  is my prism…my way of connecting dots or strands of my life that have seemed disconnected or disengaged.

And that my friends is where I essentially left off in this blogging world. Maybe all of it was my way of realizing that my passions and memories are tied together. And though music will always remain a passion for me, it was the photography that allowed me the ability to tie those strands together. Which is why for this moment in time, the photography will be my main area of focus. Like I said in my announcement  I am certain I will return to writing someday when the time is right. And I am immensely proud of myself for what I did, for what I created. Which is why I think once you get to that place, you are eager for the next thing. My life right now is ‘my next thing’.

Join me one more time next week when I share a few of my favorite photos taken this past year!

Photograph By Robert P Doyle

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All Photographs By Robert P. Doyle

 

Top Posts Of 2018

Not only do I love this time of year as a season, since beginning this blog 5 years ago I also love that it allows me a chance to sum up some of my favorite posts written the past 12 months. This year has been challenging personally, but as we are in the home stretch for 2018, I feel it is a good idea to see where I have been as a writer/photographer as well. So whether you saw these the first time around, or it is  your first time reading them, join me as I look back at some of my favorites of 2018. In no particular order I give you-

For The Music In My Head I wanted to answer a few questions that I have been asked many times. Namely, how do you know so much music, and how do you bounce around from one style to another so quickly? I wanted to describe how playing one song can lead to an exploration of an entire genre, or one particular artist for days on end. This post also is about meeting some very special people I came to know as a result of this blog.

Art Deco In The Sky. Looking back, if you had asked me if I would be writing about or referencing Duke Ellington twice within the same year I would have thought it highly unlikely. This post is about my love of skyscrapers, and especially one in particular. Its also about a love for art deco…and a tune by Duke Ellington

Storms came about from the photograph used in the post and a conversation with a friend and fellow blogger. This is a rarity on this blog in some ways in that it is an instrumental track. I love instrumentals of course but have found it difficult to express the emotions of my photos without the aid of song lyrics. This is an exception by Bruce Cockburn I found especially fitting.

To me the discovery of new music is always exciting no matter when or how you hear it the first time. But when you hear that music live and in person, it hits you deep. In Where Do We Go From Here? I relate such an experience with a band I came across over the summer. I urge you to listen to the music of Jules & The Jinks. My jaw dropped the first time I heard lead singer Julissa Lopez sing, and I know yours will too.

Retro ‘things’ are in now it seems. Actually I feel that most of them never truly go away. Along with vinyl records and film photography, one of my personal favorite retro obsessions has long been old Signs painted on buildings. It used to be a common sight but seemed to fall out of favor. But like those vinyl records and typewriters, they are making a resurgence. Musically I needed a song that incorporated some retro elements. So a song by BR549 about a punk rocker going country and trading her Doc Martens in for cowboy boots seemed perfect!

When you get right down to it, music is quite often about The Right Time. I have long observed people who proclaim to loathe an artist or a song, only to surreptitiously tap their foot or fingers to a song by said artist when it comes on. But it can also be about when a song you know takes on a new meaning. A song by Scissor Sisters did precisely that when I added it to my running playlist.

It is no exaggeration to say that I struggled with creativity here this year. So much so that I took a break for about 6 weeks in the spring to recharge. That it coincided with Spring was probably not a coincidence. It also coincided with me getting out and trying some different approaches to photography, and I hope it came through in the photo I used.

Stepping away from music briefly, when I turned 50 in July, I decided I wanted to create a 50 Things @ 50 bucket list. I chose one of the more difficult and terrifying ones on the list first. I was genuinely surprised at the reaction. I decided to write about one of my favorite subject matters. Here is my first attempt at writing a Poem

When I started to write this blog I suppose in some ways I wanted to expand on the lyrics of a song and relating them to my own experiences and ideas. When the song is written by the fantastic Ralph McTell that is a tough place to start. He has been one of my favorite songwriters for years now, and his classic song Michael In The Garden has an awful lot to think about.

Finally, last month I celebrated five years of Soundtrack Of A Photograph. Despite the ups and downs, highs and lows, I still think about ideas constantly. And for a fifth anniversary I thought about ways to celebrate. And having Stevie Wonder’s song (there’s that Duke Ellington again!) Sir Duke, there is no better way of celebrating. Because with Stevie, You Can Feel It All Over.

Join me next week for a look back at some of my favorite photographs I have taken in 2018. Thank you all once again for your support of this site. I appreciate you all!

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All Photographs By Robert P. Doyle

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2017 In Photos-Part 2

Following on from yesterday’s Part 1 of my favorite photos I took this year, I give you Part 2 now. Click and view them large screen to really get the best view. Let me know what your favorites are in the comments below! After this post I will be taking a week or so off from all blogging commitments for the Holidays, but rest assured I will be back very soon with new photos, and new music to write about.

Soundtrack Of A Photograph-Where Music Meets Photography.

 

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All Photographs By Robert P. Doyle

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2017 In Photos-Part 1

Well here we are again. Another one of those end of the year summaries. Last week I presented you with some of my favorite music related posts I wrote this year. This time I present some of my favorite photos I took this year. We did not go on any vacations this year so most of these were taken in and around New York City and a few other locations. Despite the lack of destinations, I feel really good about my photography these days and this year in particular. Necessity caused me to get a new camera and together with a new zoom lens I was able to use those new tools and hone my skills. In some ways I think part of my inability to write as many music driven posts here this year has been a result of my growth as a photographer. Next year I hope to balance that equation out but until then, here are the first batch of my favorites. There will be a Part 2 tomorrow. Some of these have been in previous posts, some may be new to those of you who follow me here. Word of advice…open them up full screen and view them large, the way they are meant to be seen. And if you are so willing, please share this if you can to anyone who likes a good photograph of (I hope) interesting subjects. Let me know your favorites in the comments below!

Follow Me on Facebook-https://www.facebook.com/SoundtrackPhoto

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All Photographs By Robert P. Doyle

SHARES AND LIKES APPRECIATED!