Music

Tiny Dancer, Dancing In The Sand

Praia de Matosinhos / model: Jessica Mezey

I have a pile of great shots from last Saturday’s beach shoot with Jessica Mezey, but I’m only posting two for now since I’m buried in editing these days. There’s a line in Elton John’s song “Tiny Dancer” that goes “Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand…” that came to mind for this post. (It’s hard to believe this song is from 1971. Saying that makes me feel slightly less old!)

Praia de Matosinhos / model: Jessica Mezey

August 8, 2015
Album: Portugal [Summer 2015]

“Tiny Dancer” by Elton John

Blue jean baby, L.A. lady, seamstress for the band
Pretty eyed, pirate smile, you’ll marry a music man
Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand
And now she’s in me, always with me, tiny dancer in my hand

Jesus freaks out in the street
Handing tickets out for God
Turning back she just laughs
The boulevard is not that bad

Piano man he makes his stand
In the auditorium
Looking on she sings the songs
The words she knows the tune she hums

But oh how it feels so real
Lying here with no one near
Only you and you can hear me
When I say softly slowly

Hold me closer tiny dancer
Count the headlights on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
You had a busy day today

Hold me closer tiny dancer
Count the headlights on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
You had a busy day today

Blue jean baby, L.A. lady, seamstress for the band
Pretty eyed, pirate smile, you’ll marry a music man
Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand
And now she’s in me, always with me, tiny dancer in my hand

But oh how it feels so real
Lying here with no one near
Only you and you can hear me
When I say softly slowly

Hold me closer tiny dancer
Count the headlights on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
You had a busy day today

Hold me closer tiny dancer
Count the headlights on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
You had a busy day today

XXV Festival da Primavera, Moreira da Maia (Preview)

ranchos of Portugal at XXV Festival da Primavera, Moreira da Maia

Our Seattle visitors arrived today and their first cultural experience in the north of Portugal was immediately after: Festival da Primavera (Festival of Spring) in Moreira da Maia. I have plenty of images as usual, but here’s just a few for now plus a video clip while we continue our touring.

ranchos of Portugal at XXV Festival da Primavera, Moreira da Maia

ranchos of Portugal at XXV Festival da Primavera, Moreira da Maia

In this video I’m far away because standing close to the speakers distorts the music and singing. More photos to come, to better show the traditional clothing.

XXV Festival da Primavera, dia 24 de Maio em Moreira da Maia

XXV Festival da Primavera, dia 24 de Maio em Moreira da Maia

May 24, 2015
Album: Portugal [Spring 2015]

Cais de Fado 2014: Day 2 Preview

Cais de Fado 2014: Helena Sarmento at Palco 1 Cais de Gaia

Helena Sarmento at Palco 1 Cais de Gaia

The preview posts continue for Day 2 of Cais de Fado 2014, only because we’re road-tripping early tomorrow and there’s no time to edit today’s captures after the trip prep. So I leave you with a few images and all the videoclips I managed to shoot this evening (I had to scoot home before the big show at Serra do Pilar). Full post next week.

Cais de Fado 2014: Helena Sarmento at Palco 1 Cais de Gaia

Helena Sarmento at Palco 1 Cais de Gaia

Cais de Fado 2014: Alexandra Guimarães at Praça Sandeman

Alexandra Guimarães at Praça Sandeman

Cais de Fado 2014: Micaela Vaz at Praça Sandeman

Micaela Vaz at Praça Sandeman

Rui Oliveira at Praça Sandeman

Rui Oliveira at Praça Sandeman


[video link]


[video link]


[video link]


[video link]


[video link]

July 25, 2014
Album: Cais de Fado 2014

Cais de Fado 2014: A Preview

Cais de Fado 2014: Gisela João at Serra do Pilar (Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal)

Gisela João at Serra do Pilar

Fado has a new fan… me! Cais de Fado 2014, Day 1: I saw fadistas Patrícia Costa and Gisela João perform and they were sensational!

But I now have a huge batch of photos that need processing; here’s a preview in the meantime, and a backgrounder on fado.

Cais de Fado 2014: Patrícia Costa at Taylor's Port Wine Cellars (Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal)

Patrícia Costa at Taylor’s Port Wine Cellars

Serra do Pilar (Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal)

Serra do Pilar

Serra do Pilar (Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal)

Portugal does it right: mobile sangria!

I didn’t take any video of Patrícia Costa, only photos. Paulo took some videos of Gisela João’s show at Serra do Pilar. The first one it’s a bit shaky because he’s dancing, and partway through you can hear him singing along:

July 24, 2014
Album: Cais de Fado 2014

Cottas Club Jazz Band in Óbidos, Portugal

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (1)

Cottas Club Jazz Band are musicians based in Oeste, Portugal, playing Dixieland-style jazz during the Festival Internacional de Chocolate de Óbidos, which continues every weekend from March 14-April 6. If you’re not familiar with Dixieland music, it’s an early form of jazz style fronted with brass instruments often supported by improvisational instruments like the washboard and spoons. Dixieland jazz originated in the American South and was popularized in New Orleans in the ’20s and ’30s. It’s a happy, upbeat style of music well-suited to street festivals, where performers mingle directly with the festival-goers.

Official website: http://www.cottasclub.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cottasjazz

Paulo shot some video of them, but I only have photos. Here’s a short clip of them at the Chocolate Festival:

Originally I’d just planned to send the band their pictures which I did this morning, but then I thought, eh, I should post them here, too. If there’s one thing the internet needs more of, it’s happy music! You can find more performances by the Cottas Club Jazz Band on their YouTube channel.

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (2)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (3)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (4)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (5)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (6)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (7)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (8)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (9)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (10)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (11)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (12)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (13)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (14)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (15)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (16)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (17)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (18)

March 15, 2014
Album: Portugal’s Central Coast

Art Fusion Event @ The Foundery

Art Fusion Event @ The Foundery

if you’re a musician you’ll find something to play, even a tree


Feel free to skip this little preamble which has nothing to do with the event…

You know, sometimes you ask yourself whether leaving the house at all was a good idea. This evening I discovered that:

  • I left my main flash (SB-900) at home
  • I only had one little flash (SB-400) with me, which has a fraction of the power and a much longer recycling time
  • I had to make a trip back to the car to fetch the light stand
  • I had to make a second trip back to the car to fetch the hotshoe mount adapter for the light stand

It’s a wonder I didn’t just give up and go home after item #1. I never forget this stuff. And how was I going to shoot this event with just one little flash? Somehow, I made it work. I would’ve thrown in the towel if I’d forgotten the Pocket Wizards, though. Trying to trigger CLS through all those bodies would’ve been futile.

Feeling crappy earlier, I decided to try and sleep off some of this bug, which made me question whether leaving the BED was a good idea. But I’m a bit tied to this event, and I made myself go. I figured even if I was there only briefly I could take enough decent photographs to make it worthwhile. In the end I was there for less than two hours, but took enough photos to make a set before I called it a night.

And so goes the photographer’s dilemma. I thank my lucky stars I haven’t been ill on someone’s wedding day, and I hope it doesn’t happen because it would be a miserable struggle.

/preamble


Art Fusion Event @ The Foundery

sax man

If there was one thing I would say that made it worth dragging myself out of the house even when I could’ve (should’ve?) stayed in bed was watching a man play a tree branch. That’s right, he played music using a branch. I didn’t shoot video, but maybe someone else did. I guess you’ll have to use your imagination with this, because sonically, I can’t explain it. Just hollowing out the branch (not sure if it’s fully hollow or just partially) looks like a major undertaking because it’s not very big, but as you can see he’s also strung it for a bow and there are other doodads attached. (Can you tell I’m not a musician? Ha.)

Art Fusion Event @ The Foundery

I have the utmost respect for anyone who builds their own instrument. My friend Kim is building one and she could write a book just on the process.

Art Fusion Event @ The Foundery

He coaxed sounds out of the branch from blowing, playing strings, pulling a piece of fabric, tapping, and various other movements.

Art Fusion Event @ The Foundery

Eventually some other musicians joined him and it became a jam… a tree jam?

Art Fusion Event @ The Foundery

The drummers outnumbered everyone. One drummer even used the floor.

Art Fusion Event @ The Foundery

This is a new venue for the Red Moon Music Collective after outgrowing the space at Edward Ambrosius’s loft on Adelaide Street. After this event, I’d say even 2,000 square feet isn’t large enough for all the performers, instruments, and other equipment. The next event is at Halloween, I’m sure it will be an even bigger spectacle and I hope I’m bug-free to photograph the whole thing next time. I missed most of this event — the roomful of art on the side, stuff happening at the back, dancers and other performers.

Art Fusion Event @ The Foundery

through the glass

The full set can be viewed the following ways:

[thumbnails]
[full-screen slideshow] – best for viewing

On The Canadian Riviera: Wedding Preview

on the Canadian Riviera (Sugar Beach)

I kicked off my 2012 wedding season by shooting Michelle and Robert’s wedding on Saturday, and if this one’s any indication, I’m going to have a doozy of a year! In fact, I took another six-hour nap today to recover…

This preview pic was taken at Sugar Beach, where the winds were so high I could barely open the car door. I took one look at the trees and said an involuntary “uh oh”. It felt like a storm was on its way and the forecasters were going to tell us to batten down the hatches (there were winds coming up from 121 storms in 4 states that day). I was unsure everyone would go along with my cockamamie idea, especially in the first 30 seconds out of the car when we were all leaning into the wind (there’s a reason why there are no people at popular Sugar Beach), but we survived it and the pictures turned out great!

There are plenty more to come, stay tuned. Especially the karaoke pictures from the latter part of the evening when everyone is super-merry. At the end of the night the Maid of Honour shoved a microphone in my hand and I joined the Best Man on “I Wanna Be Sedated” by The Ramones. My second-shooter took the camera out of my hands and got a couple of photos of my first EVER karaoke number — believe it or not!

In The Words Of Bob Marley: We’re Jammin’

Red Moon Collective

You may not peg me as a Bob Marley listener, but I am. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to smoke anything to enjoy his music. It’s happy, it’s positive, it makes you want to shimmy. It reminds me of the days when I lived in a commune near the beach in northern Australia, when livin’ was easy. The sun shone all the time.

[“We’re Jammin'” — on YouTube]

Ooh, yeah! All right!
We’re jammin’:
I wanna jam it wid you.
We’re jammin’, jammin’,
And I hope you like jammin’, too.

Ain’t no rules, ain’t no vow, we can do it anyhow:
I’n’I will see you through,
‘Cos everyday we pay the price with a little sacrifice,
Jammin’ till the jam is through.

We’re jammin’ –
To think that jammin’ was a thing of the past;
We’re jammin’,
And I hope this jam is gonna last.

It is in the spirit of a Bob Marley tune that I think of Red Moon Collective’s monthly music jam. Edward’s loft turns into a musical love-in, with warm gestures of hey-nice-to-see-you-again hugging and other expressions of genuine connection between music-lovers. The last jam even included surprise birthday cakes for Clint:

Red Moon Collective

Happy Birthday, Clint!

This set is bigger than the previous two jams I’ve shot, so I will post just a few and let the rest autoplay below.

the sign-up sheet for musicians

the sign-up sheet for musicians

The All-Women Jam (except the bass player)

The All-Women Jam (except the bass player)

The Percussion Crew

The Percussion Crew

The Dancers are a big part of Red Moon

The Dancers are a big part of Red Moon

Alex brought the house down!

Alex brought the house down!

Do check out all 126 photos below (it was a big Jam!) or visit the Red Moon’s Facebook page for more links and events.

April 13 addition: video! Check it out:

[thumbnails]
[full-screen slideshow]

Jam Never Tasted So Good

Pictures and video was the closest we got to bottling this jam.

Event super-hosts Lisa and Clint of One-of-a-Kind-Dinner throw music parties at a loft in the heart of Toronto’s Entertainment District once a month. By day, the space serves as a photography studio for commercial shooter Edward Ambrosius, but each month on a Saturday after the night lights burn brightly and the taxicab cacophony begins on Adelaide Street below, Edward opens up the loft to let the sounds of guitars, drums, voices, and horns (and any other instrument that shows up) take over.

The Red Moon Music Collective is as much of a group as Broken Social Scene. Some of the performers make it every month, some less often, new people join in, they take breaks and take turns and sometimes they combine the two:

Red Moon Collective

slide guitar with beer

There is no protocol other than a simple sign-up sheet so people know when they’re up next, the same as what you’d find at a pool hall or a dart board. The only difference is it’s all self-serve: BYO drinks and snacks. It’s like going to a house party except a third of the space is covered in guitar cases, percussion instruments, speakers and cords leading to an amplifier.

This is not your garden variety houseparty, however, unless you have artists simultaneously drawing and painting musicians and dancers as they perform. (Or maybe you do. If so, they should join us!)

It’s tough to describe the vibe, so I’ll leave you with Lisa’s videoclip above and my photo album below of last Saturday’s jam. As jams go, this one was ace: lots of new people jamming with the regulars, sing-a-longs to Queen and dancing throughout. Completely unscripted and free-flowing, the evening didn’t want to end.

And did I mention it’s FREE? Yes, the best things in life are.

Red Moon Collective

our illustrious co-hosts, Lisa and Clint (along with Edward)

thumbnails
full-screen slideshow

Red Moon Collective Jam: The Preview

Red Moon Collective

Wow. A roomful of talent at the Red Moon Collective’s monthly jam in Loft 210 (263 Adelaide Street). A proper post later, but for now 10 photos before I crash to recharge for a busy Sunday of talking all day at the Vintage Hotels annual wedding show, Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Red Moon Collective

Red Moon Collective

Red Moon Collective

Red Moon Collective

Red Moon Collective

Red Moon Collective

Red Moon Collective

Red Moon Collective

Red Moon Collective

Musique Plus

Reaganomics

Reaganomics

This was taken at Jessica + Peter’s wedding at the Gladstone Hotel back at the end of August, where they had two live bands (Peter was in one of them, the Reaganomics). When I was editing the band pictures, I was thinking I’d like to photograph more live music. I did shoot live music last year, but I’d like to do more.

Some live music photos from 2011 in no particular order:

Chicago Jazz Festival

Chicago Jazz Festival

Montreal Jazz Festival

Montreal Jazz Festival

Frankie Chavez in Porto, Portugal

Frankie Chavez in Porto, Portugal

Red Moon Collective - December Jam Night

Red Moon Collective - December Jam Night

Random Recipe at the Rivoli

Random Recipe at the Rivoli

Sam Cash at the Rivoli

Sam Cash at the Rivoli

Everyone's Talking at the Rivoli

Everyone's Talking at the Rivoli

live music at Kensington Market for Pedestrian Sunday

live music at Kensington Market for Pedestrian Sunday

Canadian military band at the CNE

Canadian military band at the CNE

Aretha Franklin at the Toronto Jazz Festival (I was too short to see her)

Aretha Franklin at the Toronto Jazz Festival (I was too short to see her)

Miles Raine & Alana Bridgewater

Miles Raine & Alana Bridgewater at Theresa + Abner's wedding

God Made Me Funky at Fight For Independence 8

God Made Me Funky at Fight For Independence 8

I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl

Sunday afternoon food groups: nuts and jelly beans

Sunday afternoon food groups: nuts and jelly beans

I have to pick up patients at 7am for their 8am chemo appointments, so I’ll leave this post extremely brief but loaded with calories. After the cupcakes in the last post, it was more sugar on the brain while editing these photos of cakes and desserts and jelly beans.

sweet gifts

sweet gifts

guess how many?

guess how many?

my weakness: cookies!

my weakness: cookies!

And on a related note, if I could be reincarnated, I would come back sounding like this — Chanda Rule covering Nina Simone’s song of the title:

Weekend In Montreal: The Video Sampler

Some video, mostly from Saturday — FIMA and the Montreal Jazz Festival:

Breakdancers along Rue Sainte Catherine:

Loved these two! David was always a big fan of jug bands, and he introduced an appreciation for them to me. Check them out online: www.jitterbugswing.com

Roaming performers at the Place des Arts:

Saxophonist Allan McLean with the Jacek Kochan Quartet:

Performers at the Jazz Festival:

My Baby Just Cares For Me

"We still hold hands when we watch television."

One of my favourite photos from the art gallery wedding last month, this was taken at the end of the night during the last dance. It never fails to amaze the guests that I stay until the very end (most photographers don’t), but that’s because I like to capture these moments. It’s worth it.

These are the groom’s parents, who’ve been married more than 40 years. She told me they got married and started their family when she was 17 years old. Here they are, grandparents of six, totally oblivious to me and everyone else at 1 o’clock in the morning and looking into each others’ eyes with love and happiness.

“We still hold hands when we watch television.”

I wish this kind of love for every couple.

Read More»

Tour de ‘Hood

Roncesvalles Village

At breakfast I discovered I needed to make a milk run and the brilliant sunshine convinced me to bring the camera and 50mm f/1.8 lens with me. I turned it into a looped photo-walk starting with a latte at the local cafe and ending with a trip to the grocery store. The thing about shooting in your own neighbourhood is that it tests your power of observation. I’ve lived here nearly three years, but I will be the first to admit that there is lots of exploring yet to do. Here’s what I shot, in no particular order:

alley

Sorauren Ave

there goes the neighbourhood

my local produce stand is awash in red today

Roncesvalles Village

Sorauren Ave

Roncesvalles Village

guarding the neighbourhood

a homeowner's method of keeping the birds away?

Roncesvalles Village

have a seat

Video for today: a film project video of “Neighborhood #2 (Laika)” by Montreal band Arcade Fire, acted by children. (Director: Jay Cheel) “Laika” is one of my favourite songs off the Funeral album.

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Nifty Fifty Bokeh

Brookfield Place bokeh

OK, so not all of these photos have bokeh, but many of them do…

Brookfield Place bokeh

These first shots were taken this evening at Brookfield Place, where I had dinner with a friend at Richtree, interrupting possibly the longest stretch (in recent memory) of cooking at home. In fact, I just checked, and the last time I had a restaurant meal was November 28, so it’s been an entire month. Wow. I’m feeling quite proud of myself for lasting that long! And I spent less than $20! But I also broke my no-retail-except-grocery vow, which isn’t entirely the case since Richtree is also a market, not just a restaurant…

Anyway, back to the photos. I’ve decided to take my camera to work with me every day this week, which means tomorrow and Thursday, to see what I come up with. Here’s the rest of today’s, shot late in the evening:

Brookfield Place

This one is probably my favourite, I like the symmetry of the bokeh circles on one side and the circle tiles on the other:

Union Station

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Belly Dancer

Carassauga 2009

Lighting was a real challenge at the Egypt exhibit at Carassauga 2009 back in May. I haven’t uploaded any of the Egypt photos before today because they need a lot of processing — the spotlights were all coloured in red and such, which made it difficult to see what was going on and I couldn’t use a flash. I like this one of the belly dancer so I did a bit of work on it first.

Nightswimming

nightswimming

This photo looks much better larger.

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Somewhere Only We Know

somewhere only we know

I caught tonight’s sunset and thought of a song:

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