Ave, Pilgrims!

There are many things that make Live Music Photography a challenge: limited time; mic stands in the way; shooting from the back of the auditorium; “You have to shoot from the left, but not the right profile!” and the list goes on.  Yet there is one nemesis that sticks out and glares right up in your face: Red lighting!

Charlie Haden and the Liberation Music Orchestra during soundche
Thus we find ourselves in such Rouge illumination during the Charlie Haden & Liberation Music Orchestra sound check yesterday.  May I just say first off, that this blog is not a criticism of the artists or their professionalism. If anything, had we not been given the opportunity, it would have been impossible to do any shooting during the performance, which was denied to photographers anyway.  Besides, Mr Haden was going to be playing his Double Bass behind the Orchestra & there’d have been no way we’d have been able to capture him, so we decided to ‘invade’ the stage but be proffesional about it.  It worked for a short while, only for us to kindly leave the stage afterwards.  At least they were polite about it 😉

Initially, the lighting wasn’t all bad. The soundcheck started off with Carla Bley with the orchestra fine-tuning instruments, practising, the normal stuff:

Charlie Haden and the Liberation Music Orchestra during soundche

Charlie Haden and the Liberation Music Orchestra during soundche

Yet the moment The Cat came on, it just went as red as a Communist Mardi Gras. I don’t know: maybe it was a jazz ambience thing going on:

Charlie Haden and Carla Bley during soundcheck

As earlier mentioned, I don’t think any of the photographers would have been able to get any of the main performers during the performance had we not been asked to cover the rehearsals.  Even Robert Wyatt was tucked into the background, based on the musical arrangement & size of the stage:

Robert Wyatt during soundcheck

What do I think the night’s performance was going to be like based on the soundcheck? To be honest, I have no idea. I was more interested yesterday in how I was going to get any of the images to work than to even listen to the music, and that rarely happens. I’m guessing it went well. But now everytime I see Charlie Haden, as a photographer, I’m always going to see him in ‘Rouge’!

Charlie Haden and the Liberation Music Orchestra during soundche

Anyway, this was my final gig of the Meltdown Festival 2009.  I want to say a big thanks to S.K for making this happen. Thank you. 🙂

Vobiscum, pilgrims!


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