Old (music)/New (photography)

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the relevance of old music, Baroque music in particular. If it’s music that’s truly relevant in modern life, then what it expresses will resonate with other forms of artistic expression from today’s world. So I’ve begun exploring the combining of Baroque music with non-Baroque imagery, and here’s the first offering. My partner Colin Savage is a photographer and musician, and for many years now he’s been taking shots of abandoned, demolition-slated, decommissioned and otherwise ‘doomed’ buildings, using a Twin Lens Reflex camera (i.e., using a historical instrument to take photographs of old places…) as well as shooting in digital format. He put together a slideshow to a couple of tracks from a CD of mine. See how it strikes you. There’s more info on the music and the photos below.

Music: James Paisible (c.1656-1721), Grave/Adagio & Presto from Sonata VI for alto recorder & b.c. Yours truly, alto recorder; Lucas Harris, archlute; Joëlle Morton, bass viol. From the CD The Business of Angels (Pipistrelle Music, PIP 1110, 2010).

Photographs by Colin Savage. Locations: Muskoka Sanitorium (Gravenhurst, ON); General Electric Davenport Works, CNR Locomotive Shop, Don Valley Brickworks, National Rubber Industries (all in Toronto, ON); Bowmanville High School and Camp 30 (Bowmanville, ON); Houghton Industries, Lever Bros., Tower Automotive, New York Pork, and Kodak Canada (all in Toronto, ON).

 

Music’s virtue

Just thought I’d share a few lovely words from the preface to Humphry Salter’s The Genteel Companion, published in London in 1683 and one of the earliest recorder instruction manuals in English. The original spelling has been retained, purely for its charm.

“I might as well endeavour to perswade, that the Sun is a glorious, and beneficial Planet; as take pains to Illustrate Musick with my imperfect praises; for every reasonable Mans own mind will be its Advocate. Musick, belov’d of Heaven, for it is the business of Angels; Desired on Earth as the most charming pleasure of Men. The world contains nothing that is good, but what is full of Harmonious Concord, nor nothing that is evil, but is its opposite, as being the ill favour’d production of Discord and Disorder…”

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Happy May Day!