Musical influence

There’s few things I’ve come to dislike more about modern photography than the desire to marry images with music. Twee and sentimental, these three minute segments of saccharine take away any mystery the images may have contained, and replace it with a big, clunky, hash tagged monument to our most base tastes. Not that I’m completely hard hearted. I havecome to love the family puppy.

So I don’t like music being jizzed over the top of images. But that doesn’t mean that music isn’t a key influence when making images. Recently, I’ve been wandering at night around my town, and also spending time in the local library trying to learn a little about the places I go. What used to be there. Why it isn’t there now. That kind of thing. The intention is to make images which meet in the place where the factual and folk histories of a place meet. There are probably New Zealand musicians and songs which mine this territory well, although I’m naturally wary of folk revival types with their penny farthing lifestyles. In my ignorance of the country though, I hear the sounds of others when I see in my head the type of pictures I want to make. It’s the sound of tall tales, myths and legends as heard on Bob Dylan’s The Basement Tapes – the old, weird, America as Greil Marcus once wrote. It’s also the sound of Tom Waits’ 1992 song, Black Wings, the lyrics of which are below.

 

Well take an eye for an eye
A tooth for a tooth
Just like they say in the Bible
Well never leave a trace
Or forget a face
Of any man at the table
Any man at the table
When the moon is a cold chisel dagger
And it’s sharp enough to draw blood from a stone
He rides through your dreams on a coach and horses
And the fence posts in the moonlight
Look like bones

Well they stopped trying to hold him
With mortar, stone and chain
He broke out of every prison
Well the boots mount the staircase
The door is flung back open
He’s not there for he has risen
He’s not there for he has risen

Some say he once killed a man with a guitar string
He’s been seen at the table with kings
Well he once saved a baby from drowndin’
There are those that say beneath his coat there are wings
Well some say they fear him

Well some say they fear him
Others admire him
Because his steel’s his promise
But one look in his eye
And everyone denies
Ever having met him
Ever having met him

He can turn himself into a stranger
Well they broke a lot of canes on his hide
He was born away in a cornfield
A fever beats in his head just like a drum inside
Some say they fear him
Others admire him
Because he steals his promise
One look in his eye
Everyone denies
Ever having met him
Ever having met him
Ever having met him
Ever having met him
Ever having met him
Ever having met him
Ever having met him

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