I GOT RHYTHM! Who could ask for anything more!
George & Ira Gershwin 1930
I like dancing – well, that was mostly during my younger married years, but I do still like it. I like music…can’t help myself. Have to keep time… Everything has a rhythm. Visuals have rhythm. I hear, and yes, I SEE rhythm. I didn’t think of it that way. It just happens. A few examples -- they may be strange to you. They were to me at the beginning. Music – It’s one of those things that Happens. I hear something and just keep time with it. Some sounds are better than others. Without realizing what was happening, they began to influence my reactions. The strange part of what I’m trying to explain, it’s only a few notes, a music 3-4 or 5 note phrase, a repeated phrase – that’s all it took. It influenced my feelings or actions, chills & goosebumps. It’s a Mozart piano concerto – let me interrupt for a minute: It’s not just Mozart, it’s a Chuck Mangione, or the start of a passage of a Mahler Spring – any other piece - not a whole music passage, it’s only 3 or 6 or 9 connected notes that triggers an emotional process. It’s a rhythm like a word rhyme – I don’t know what the emotion or the process is, they just ARE. I have to interject on this too - the exception being the Villa Lobos Bachianas Brasileiras #5 that starts my eyes tearing. That refers to a complete 32 note passage, which is my way of saying the 3-9 notes I described can cause the same or different emotional reactions. A shiver. And I have to sub-sub-interject on the interjection: it can be from Jazz, Hip-Hop, or Pop… Any music! Any composer! IT JUST HAPPENS! They trigger something! But with me, it’s that visual thing again, It doesn’t happen often. They’re mostly isolated incidents that occur over a very long period of time – since my 30's and maybe my lifetime. My photo art can produce the same reaction.
This is about LINES IN THE SAND see below
Ok now for the everyday stuff -photographs. We all see images we like. It can make an impression on a thought, an emotion, almost regardless of the subject. I have that built in rhythm that says there’s a story here. I’m not a photojournalist so I can’t take a photo of any subject and just leave it there. I have to explain what it is – to myself. OK, here’s a funny story to explain why. It happened this way: Saturday, early morning, I bike along Atlantic Ocean roads. One morning I see multiple straight- line tracks on the beach sand. It’s Interesting. I don’t know why. I take a photograph of it. The early morning light, lower on the horizon, creates more well defined slightly shadowed lines in the sand. A week or a month or so later, on another early morning biking, I see more tractor lines on another beach. A tractor is used as a giant leaf rake to clean-sweep and level the beach sand every morning for the coming-soon crowd of beachers. I take another photo. The next one, on another stretch of road, has finer rake lines with footprints alongside. Perfect footprints. The early morning sun’s given them depth. (Ha! Footprint depth. That’s like making a concrete impression.) And again, I’m not sure why, but I take another few photos. I’m never really sure of anything. It was just a nudge, a ping. Another incident, I was walking along a beach, and I photographed a small group of surfers enjoying riding the high-tide waves. I just did. I wasn’t particularly interested or not. I just like being on the beach – any beach. I didn’t do anything with photo’s I’d taken. I’d just downloaded them onto my computer. Sometime later, weather a little colder, I looked at the photos I’d taken and rejected lots of them. But I saw several photos that had that series of straight lines in the sand. Did they fit together in a design, a geometric pattern? I tried this, then that, and the next one to see what fits. It’s a case of – I don’t know what the outcom’ll be. There’s a similarity, a one step up, a beat, a rhythm to the visuals, one piece that fits the next piece. (or not) It’s like music composition. A couple of the right notes and there’s rapture. A music that a moves me. How silly that sounds based on this subject matter. How can there be rapture over beach sand? I guess depends on the way you hear and the way you dance. And, then there’s the final piece. All those straight lines in the sand – makes me want to be a structural engineer. I’ve created a beach with a sand integrity that will never – ever – destroy itself. My sand beach image will endure the next thousand pairs of feet trying to trample them down, or the blanket sitters, or the beach-ballers . My Beach. I almost forgot about that final piece - got carried away momentarily. The surfers hit a wave that had the same lines as the sand. The wave matched the sands rhythm, it’s in their own higher key-of-waves I can’t fully control. (no tractor sweeper here) Well that’s 5 out of 6 images that work together mostly. It’s a 3/4 dance beat. It’s my beach music photo art. It’s just one of those comforting feelings and sounds. Puts me to sleep with a smile… Did I explain how images come the same way a musical phrase can be so stirring?
It's how I Got Rhythm.
Are you a beach person? A music lover? You hear what I mean?
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LINES IN THE SAND