Thursday, November 1, 2012

the quiet musician


The musician leads a life of contrast, and this image seeks to capitalize on contrasting elements.

Music encourages movement, and yet this musician is stranded. She has no legs - movement isn't an option. She's stranded in the frame, literally stuck in this particular moment. Of course photography captures a moment in time, as this image has, but because of the cropping, her position is solidified in the frame.

Music is inclusive and full, filling the environment with sound, rhythm and warmth. But here, she’s surrounded by emptiness. Her quiet hands create silence from her instrument instead of sound. The emptiness of the scene is emphasized by the vastness of the negative space surrounding the protagonist.

Music is inviting, but this musician is looking out of the frame, as if ignoring the viewer. She’s inviting isolation instead of involvement. Her body language is not saying, "Listen to me." It seems as if she's lamenting, "There's no one here to listen."

I also like the contrast between the hard, harshness of the wall and the soft humanity of the girl. It seems to me that her presence in the frame - her mood and potential - are sufficiently strong to balance the otherwise overwhelming wall.

Lastly, the image is so static and stationary, but contrasted by the implied line of the guitar. It points up, foreshadowing a dynamic energy. At any point the music might begin to fill all that emptiness, inviting us in to join her. Her eyes will open, her mood will lift and her voice will sing, "Listen to me, sing with me."

Maybe, in this brief moment of a musician's quietness, we're witnessing the calm before the beautiful storm of musical emotion.
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