Thursday 20 March 2014

Hot Guys!

theo hutchcraft
rory sutherland
jamie sutherland
Paolo Giordano Italian writer and physicist

Over the years shooting I have taken photos of some hot guys!  My gallery of hot guys! on my photo website has had by miles the highest number of hits! I wonder why!
Most photographers are male and they enjoy shooting females, so its the other way round for me and I enjoy shooting good looking men,  as one of the few female photographers and being used to the male scrum at some shoots!   

Sunday 16 March 2014

McCartney’s Songs

He writes enduring songs that capture with their simplicity.
I am not sure why I’ve not done a blog on Paul when he wrote some of my top ever songs
My small cassette playlists back in the days used to start with his piano songs - The Long and Winding Road and Let It Be.

More than any other songwriter his songs speak of the heart. He has written some of the most loved and best ever real and poignant melodies. I’m a big fan anyway of piano singer songwriters as I play myself and McCartney comes top of my list. I feel quite emotional even thinking about what Paul’s songs mean for me. His writing with John Lennon became a dynamic partnership and their rivalry spurred them on to greater heights.

McCartney’s notable songs with the Beatles are Yesterday (most covered sons ever),  Another Day, Blackbird, Eleanor Rigby (mostly written by Paul) and Hey Jude. As well as other songs I love - plus his co-writes with John Lennon when they played together with the Beatles.  

McCartney's Songs
Blackbird (1968) - McCartney explained,  Chaos and Creation at Abbey Road, 2005, that the guitar accompaniment for "Blackbird" was inspired by J.S.Bach’s Bouree in E minor, a well known lute piece, often played on the classical guitar.
Long and Winding Road (1969 ) – Some claim was written about his drive to Mull,  Paul said was about the dissolution of The Beatles. .
Let It Be (1969)  - In a dream Paul’s mother spoke to him. 'Mother Mary come to me, singing words of wisdom let it be.
Hey Jude (1968) – Paul wrote about Lennon’s song Julian.
Yesterday – Most covered song ever. Paul woke with the simple melody in his head - at first the lyrics were Scrambled eggs! 
Live at Hampden!. I saw McCartney live in Glasgow at Hampden in June 2010 and it was a truly wonderful concert and memory....  his coming on stage and thinking what his songs mean for me.  All those memories of those unforgettable songs that meant so much in my youth. When you’ve been a fan of someone since your teens it’s not easy to describe the thrill to see him live. My Review here -

His collaborations include most famously the Lennon/ McCartney songs written during The Beatles few years of fame. 

"He provided a lightness, an optimism, while I would always go for the sadness, the dischords, the bluesy notes", John Lennon explained in his 1980 Playboy interviews.

Lennon and McCartney agreed together in their teens that all their songs would have co-written credits. Clearly early on they realized the sparks they both brought to each others writing. It is slightly hard therefore to distinguish who had the strongest song writing credit on the Beatles songs. It's a strange thing too, because I'm afraid that since the Beatles break up I'm not as keen on Paul's output and his songs with his band Wings - so what happened? Did Paul need Lennon's input and drive? While I am more impressed with his latest 2013 album titled New.
Lennon also wrote some of The Beatles top songs – Strawberry Fields, A Day in the life, Lucy in the Sky, Day Tripper, more…
The mod suits, the mop top hair, the fun energy, The Beatles Help movie, all those age defining and so unforgettable number one songs, and of course those album covers. 
It is hard for me to write on McCartney without getting over sentimental and it is hard if not impossible to describe what the Beatles meant back then - and especially Paul. Of course it was the combination of the Beatles special magic – but then McCartney wrote those piano melodies…... 

Quote John Lennon' in "How Do You Sleep" - "The only thing you done was Yesterday, and since you've gone you're just Another Day"

Saturday 8 March 2014

The Ballerinas

Ballet started 500 years ago in the city states of France for the nobility.
In 18th century there were fairies and sprites in the ballet. The access to the spiritual and to dreams is a feminine world and the ballerinas stole the spotlight on stage.   
Ballet is the only art where women dominate – women have played a greater part in ballet than any other art form.
There are 5 basic positions; there are dancers of technique and dancers of expression.
There are different schools of ballet. British ballet – lyrical and refined; French ballet – elegant and understated; American ballet – fast attack and athletic; Russian ballet - big and punchy.
There have been several very famous ballerinas.
British ballerina Margot Fonteyn – and her choreographer Frederick Ashton. He listened to the music for 3 months before he started to create the ballet, so he knew every note. He had an eye for detail and he loved both fluidity and design. This gave harmony of music and design.  
When Fonteyn was about to retire a 23 year old dancer Rudolf Nureyev came over from Russia, two decades her junior. Nureyev said that they were able to generate between each other that it was a gift, that we lived for each other. He said about her: "At the end of 'Lac des Cygnes' when she left the stage in her great white tutu I would have followed her to the end of the world."
Margot Fonteyn

Also there was the Italian ballerina Marie Taglioni; Russian ballerinas Anna Pavlova and Galina Ulanova and American Susanne Farrell – who lived in the moment and was able to completely let go.  

Galina Ulanova

Anna Pavlova

I grew up sketching ballet dancers and it has been a huge thrill for me to shoot at the Scottish ballet  - ballet 

My other blogs on Women artists  -

Thursday 6 March 2014

The Head and The Heart, Oran Mor

It is fitting that this Seattle band The Head and Heart felt so comfortable on the Oran Mor stage and they appeared pleased to be playing in Scotland again. They are an indie folk-rock band and have released two albums on Sub Pop Records.  They consist of Josiah Johnson (vocals, guitar, percussion), Jonathan Russell (vocals, guitar, percussion), Charity Rose Thielen (violin, vocals), Chris Zasche (bass), Kenny Hensley (piano), Tyler Williams (drums).  

I first heard the Head and Heart at the Oran Mor auditorium upstairs in 2010, which was a classic stage setting where I got some of my best B & W Portfolio photos there as I had unrestricted access -  I was keen to hear the band again.

The Oran Mor was hot steamy and packed out for their return headline gig here. Many in the audience sang along to their songs and waved their arms high in the air and at one point guitarist Josiah Johnson entered the audience as he sang!  Songs that particularly grabbed my attention were – Let’s Be Still, Rivers and Roads, Another story, Josh McBride, Down in the Valley, Gone and Ghost. 

The band have three strong front singers, Jonathan, Josiah and Charity, and their sound is organic and accessible. They played with assured competence and careful collaborations – and also with rhythmic relaxed dancing, hand clapping and a lightness of touch. There are no big egos on stage, simply musicians who clearly enjoy playing together and it showed in all their melodic and harmonized songs. On several songs one member played the tambourine with fun energy..
The band have progressed since they supported The Low Anthem in 2010 with longer hair and a more polished performance. I went to check their youtube videos and they appera to enjoy playing live outdoors - beside bonny lochs,  summer colours or in snowy fields.  I hope my images capture some of the energy of this fun gig.  

The Head and heart were very well supported by a talented Paul Thomas Saunders. http://www.theheadandthehear


 (PS The new electronic vivid coloured lighting and those 3 songs restrictions really don't allow for creating the best music photography. At their Oran Mor gig 2010 I had unlimited shooting and lighting that wasn't constantly changing and without those back of the stage distracting lights!.)