Category Archives: Music

Vibe Rouvet: The Latest From France

Vibe Rouvet

 

Vibe Rouvet: The Latest From France

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Press Release

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Vibe Rouvet began her studies in private lessons starting at the age of eleven with the renowned vocal instructor Marie Claude Cinelly. Vibe learned about opera singing from a master and had her first stage appearances in churches as well as some concert halls in Landes and Pau, France and its surroundings.  She’s been studying lyrical singing since the age of fifteen a the conservatory of Pau, where she is still studying with Ms. Delay.

While attending the conservatory she also began to study theater, choir conducting and harpsichord. In April Ms. Rouvet particpated in a master class Hourtin with Isabelle Germanin and Fabrice Boulanger,professor at the CNSM in Lyon.  She participates in choir, concert and also as a soloist at performances at the conservatory. She was booked for a recital last March in Morlanne and at the heritage preservation project on May 30th in Geaune, France.

Last summer she enrolled in a masterclass in Salzburg, Austria at the Mozarteum with Helen and Klaus Donath for two weeks including a performance in a concert at the Mozarteum. 

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Vibe Rouvet

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Here are a few links to her performances:

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To access additional articles about Vibe Rouvet, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/artist-highlight-vibe-rouvet-voice-of-an-angel/

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Bob Shell: Music & Photography

Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2019

Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2019

 

Text by Bob Shell, Copyright 2019

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Music & Photography

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What do music and photography have in common? In western music we use the octave scale; C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C, with the eighth note a higher harmonic of the first. In photography we use light, which we devide into a sort of octave also: R, O, Y, G, B, I, V, — . Aha, there’s one missing! Instead of an octave we have a septave, or do we? If we add ultraviolet, which the birds and the bees can see we have our octave. Most films can “see” at least some ultraviolet. Kodachrome, which we old fossils remember, was notoriously sensitive to UV. Unless you used a strong UV filter when shooting it you risked getting false colors from flowers and certain fabric dyes. Imagine shooting a fashion set of a man in a black tuxedo and having the tux show up as red-purple! It happened.

I believe that I misspoke a while back when talking about the light spectrum. I put the most energetic light waves at the wrong end of the spectrum. I should know better, having done research into UV for its germ killing ability. UV is, of course, the most energetic of our spectrum, having the shortest wavelength. Red is the least energetic, its wavelength stretched out. Below red is infrared, same as heat, and film companies used to make films with increased sensitivity to infrared light. You could actually use your electric iron as a “light source” for some infrared films. Kodak made black and white infrared film, as did Konica, but so far as I remember, only Kodak made color infrared film. I used to love to play with the Kodak Ektachrome Infrared film in spite of its difficulty of use. Lee Higgs used a lot of this film for his classic book Generation Fetish. When I was in Chicago once we had a very interesting discussion of the difficulties of working with the Kodak Ektachrome Infrared film, which had to be shipped in dry ice and kept frozen prior to use. But the spectacular false color images were worth the effort. There’s a cool example of Ektachrome Infrared on the cover of Frank Zappa’s album Hot Rats and another on the centerfold of the English version of the first Black Sabbath album.

But back to the music analogy. The great experimental musician Isaio Tomita went from observatory to observatory collecting the radio wave signals from stars. He converted them all to sound waves and stored them in his computer so he could play them on a standard musical keyboard. This must have taken ages! Once he had them all he recorded an album of classical music. He called his collection of star sounds The Cosmic Symphony Orchestra. I’m listening to it as I write this. It’s beautiful.

Many photographers are also musicians. Ansel Adams comes to mind immediately. He was a classical pianist as well as master photographer. Most photographers I’ve known always had music playing in their studios while they worked. I would listen to classical or jazz while working by myself. When working with models I generally let them pick the music, so long as it wasn’t rap or hip-hop, which both set my nerves on edge. Of course I also had a big selection of 60s and 70s rock. I asked one young model if she liked classical music. “Oh yeah,” she replied, “I love the classics like The Beatles and stuff.”. Generational miscommunication!

Marion, much to my surprise, was familiar with some classical music. Said she’d taken ballet classes and heard it there. She got to really like my favorite composer, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, and would pick his first symphony (A Night in the Tropics) to listen to in the studio or when we were out driving around. Gottschalk is a much underappreciated American composer, a French-speaking resident of New Orleans around the time of the “Civil War.” Although rarely performed in his native land, his works are often performed by European orchestras. I’ve heard the first movement of the first symphony called “more Wagnerian than Wagner,” and don’t disagree. The second movement is probably the first orchestrated samba, full of uncommon percussion instruments. Gottschalk was the “rock star” of his day, staging giant outdoor concerts with as many as eight pianos playing simultaneously, multiple instruments being the only way to produce lots of volume before electrical amplification. My late friend Don Sutherland, who wrote for me at Shutterbug, turned me on to Gottschalk in the 80s, and I’m forever grateful.

But back to colors: We humans have tricolor vision, with cells in the retina of our eyes sensitive to red, green, and blue. Each cell is sensitive to one color only, and our brain processes the signals from these cells to show our world to us in full color. Most of us anyway. Some people have a defective gene that produces cells that respond identically to red and green and see the world differently from the rest of us trichromatic folks. I’ve read that a small number of people have four types of color sensitive cells and also see the world very differently, but I can’t imagine how they see things. We’re unusual among mammals in having full color vision. Most mammals don’t see colors like we do, and many are profoundly color blind. Try to teach your dog or cat to tell red from green and you will be very frustrated, although I’ve read that a minority of dogs can see full color. I don’t know about cats. Its not that cats can’t be trained, but they aren’t interested in the idea! They find the whole idea intensely boring.

Insect eyes, built on a totally different blueprint from ours, generally can see ultraviolet. Flowers use this to attract pollinators by being strongly reflective of ultraviolet. A flower looks very different to a bee, like a billboard saying “Eat at Joe’s.” Some birds, notably raptors, can see well into the UV range, which cuts through atmospheric haze to reveal their prey far below. Their eyes have far more light receptor cells than ours, giving them the sharpest eyesight of all living creatures. “Eyes like a hawk,” is a genuine compliment.

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About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models. Shell was recently moved from Pocahontas State Correctional Center, Pocahontas, Virginia to River North Correctional Center 329 Dellbrook Lane Independence, VA 24348.  Mr. Shell continues to claim his innocence. He is serving the 11th year of his sentence. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click here:http://tonywarderotica.com/4830-2/

 

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Katie Kerl: Take me to the Disco

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Photography and Text by Katie Kerl, Copyright 2019

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Take me to the Disco

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Reflecting on this Miami Music week, I have to say it was the best one to date. I have incredible friends and family that made this birthday beautiful. It started off with our friend Bob upgrading Amiee and My flights to the admirals club, and TSA pre check. We got in a few pre flight eats and cocktails. We touched down in Miami ready to shake shit up. 

Bob arranged our room the Marriott Vacation Club Pulse. The staff was the nicest there. I highly recommend it. We went right to the roof for their happy hour and for photos of course. There were beautiful views of South beach in every direction. We shopped a bit on the city walk and ate before getting ready. 

After more than a few drinks in the room, we were off to our first party at Do Not Sit On the Furniture. It was the Sweeeet Party with Dennis Ferrer & DJ Sneak. I love that old school funky house vibe. The venue was intimate, and there was so much room for dancing.  I have to say it was amazing for a small setting . We walked back to the hotel and got a few hours of sleep. 

I woke up on my birthday around 7am, and went to see the sunrise on the beach for the first time and not in a club. I realized that this trip was different, a much more mature way of doing it. I sat with my Cuban coffee pondering life, and what was in store for the day .It felt amazing to be alive and 35. When everyone was awake we headed to the classic News Cafe for breakfast. I really needed that Bloody Mary, chicken, & French toast. 

The Esscala Pure Trance yacht party was next on the Musette with Gabriel & Dresden, Solarstone, and Simon Patterson. 

One thing about yacht parties, the drinks are the least expensive you’re going to find in Miami. Needless to say we left a little wobbly after dancing for 5 hours. After a disco nap we were ready for the coming night, which was The Paradise Party at Space.

Amiee and I went to that and gave Bob a break. We were in the front of the DJ booth and it was pure musical happiness. One thing I noticed, I didn’t need to stay till the end . By end I mean to be determined into the next afternoon. We went back and slept around 5am. 

We got up and ate at Puerto Sagua the best Cuban diner you’re going to find in South Beach. Aimee had the whole diner singing Happy Birthday to me over my tres leches. 

From there we walked to Wet Willies. 3+ hours of Call-A- Cabs , and one entertaining Britt offending people’s outfits , talking in a Brad Pit pike like voice from Fight Club , we were more than on our way to a good night. 

After that hilariousness, Aimee and I walked back to the room. Of course we got side tracked by the shopping mall with a bar and Dj outside. When in Rome (Miami) you order more frozen cocktails. 

By the time we got back to the room, I had fallen asleep with a trail of gold fish behind me in the bed, and my hand still in the bag. 

After my 4 hour coma, I rallied & we were off to the Laser Face party at Mana in Wynnwood. Gareth Emery put on an amazing show! It was something I usually would not have picked, but was so happy I went, as did my voice from there on out for the entirety of the trip. 

I found myself wanting to get up and do the things I hadn’t before. The next morning I walked the ocean drive market, saw the Versace Mansion, got fresh coconuts, and just laid on the beach. 

Now, to many people this may seem normal for vacation, but not this week in Miami. Usually, you pass the beach on the way to a party, or coming home from one. I’m so happy I slowed down enough to enjoy the city I already loved even more. That final day we ate at the hotel restaurant Havana 1957. The lobster /seafood dish we had was amazing. 

Then, we went to the Spinnin Records pool party at the Sixty Nautilus hotel on Ocean Drive. We walked up and who did we see? Only Sander Van Doorn, the headliner doing an interview. The pool was beautiful, and even the 71$ drinks were worth it. Leaving a bit before it ended, we ran into Erick Morillo. He just ended his pool party at The National Hotel. He was nice enough to take a photo with us. I rarely ask Djs for photos, but his energy while performing his sets is amazing. 

We went back to the room for the last time, but I wasn’t done just yet. I went back to Mana in Wynnwood for Elrow. I decided that hanging with the new friends I had made was better than trying to get out of that place at 6 am. 

I made my way back to the hotel.

We had week ending mimosas at 7 am and back to Philly we went. 

I must say that I feel like a completely rejuvenated 35 year old. Who has some seriously amazing people in her life. I will never stop going to Miami on my Birthday. 

Music heals your soul and the friends you go to dance with make it perfect.

I’m one lucky girl. 

Cheers till next year Miami! 

Kerl Up with Kate 

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Katie Kerl: Miami 2019

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About The AuthorKatie Kerl. Born 1984. Raised in Drexel Hill,  Pennsylvania. Attended Drexel University for Behavioral  Psychology. Occupation: commercial/ residential  design Philadelphia resident since 2011 . Hobbies include: Foodie, whiskey drinker,  fitness , cooking  , tattoos & house music lover. Instagram:  @kerl_up_with_kateTo access additional articles by Katie Kerl, click here: http://tonyward.com/katie-kerl-picking-up-the-pieces/

 

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Bob Shell: Musical Instruments

Photo Illustration: Tony Ward, Copyright 2019

Photo Illustration: Tony Ward, Copyright 2019

 

 

Text by Bob Shell, Copyright 2019

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MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

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I’ve made a sort of study of musical instruments from around the world, each with its own unique sound. From India there is the sitar, best known, but also the sarod, sort of an Indian lute, and another stringed instrument called the veena. All get their unique sounds from having brass strings. (You can hear sitar on recordings by Ravi Shankar or his daughter Anoushka. Sarod by Ali Akbar Khan. Veena by S.I. Balachander.). In Japan there is the koto, a sort of horizontal harp with silk strings, which can be heard in recordings by Kimio Ito. The Chinese have a plethora of instruments with names I never learned. You can hear many in The Chieftains in China. The Chinese also use the pentatonic scale, with only five notes in an “octave,” which is why their music sounds weird to us. The pentatonic scale was developed in ancient Greece, at least so say the historians. Maybe the Greeks got it from Egypt, or even older cultures. Frustratingly we have no idea what ancient Egyptian, Greek, Babylonian, etc., music sounded like since they had no musical notation. We can only guess.

We know the Greeks, Egyptians, and other ancient cultures had stringed and wind instruments because both are depicted in their art, but we don’t know what they sounded like. Of course, all cultures had drums and percussion instruments.

The tabla drums of India are made of brass with hide drumheads that can be tuned so that different parts of the drumhead produce different sounds. They are. normally played in sets of two, a smaller one with higher pitch and a larger one with lower pitch. They are played with the fingers, palms, and even elbows. To hear a modern use of tabla drums, listen to Centa Terbaik by Tasya Rosmala. All Indian instruments, so far as I know, are played sitting on the floor, usually with half-lotus or even full-lotus positioning of the legs.

The Arabs have a large drum called a dumbeg and a smaller durbeki, played with the hands or short drumsticks. The Irish drum, played with both ends of a short drumstick is the bodhran. I’m sure the Turkish drums have names, but I don’t recall them. In Japan once I was treated to a performance of traditional big Japanese drums that are mounted with the drumheads vertical, and the players go at them with sticks the size of ax handles, attacking the drums as if trying to destroy them. Very, very loud! Almost .more of an athletic event than a musical performance. The performers wear loin cloths and are very muscular. The whole thing has a very savage feel.

Of course Africa and the Caribbean are where drums, a great variety of types and sizes, are the main instruments. To hear African drums at their best listen to the Missa Luba, a native Congolese mass performed with voices and drums. I’ve heard great drum music in the Caribbean, and, of course, there are the steel drums. There is a good recording of the Trinidad and Tobago Steel Drum Band available. Surprisingly, they hail from Rochester, NY! I don’t know how they tune those steel drums, but the sound can be beautiful.

Today the Mediterranean peoples have a variety of stringed instruments played like guitars. The Arab people have their oud, a fretless gut-stringed lute/guitar. To hear an oud played well, listen to Hala Laya by The Devil’s Anvil, from the album Hard Rock From The Middle East (where you’ll also hear dumbeg and durbeki drums). The Greeks have their bouzouki, also similar to a guitar. It is my understanding that the guitar itself was developed from the lute in Spain during the Moorish period. The Irish and Scot people, who originated in the eastern Mediterranean, took the Persian/Greek bagpipe north with them, along with the pentatonic scale. I’m not sure who carried musical instruments to Russia, perhaps the Rus brought them back from their viking raids on other cultures, but once Eastern Orthodox Christianity took hold, the balalaika, with its three strings and three-sided sound box (symbolizing the Trinity) was no surprise.

But a surprise did await the Spanish conquistadores in South America. In Bolivia at lake Titicaca they found Egyptian-looking reed boats and all over northern South America they found musicians playing in the pentatonic scale. In the Andes the local musicians played pentatonic panpipes and flutes. The stringed instrument was the charango, a sort of guitar/mandolin with a sound box made from the shell of an armadillo. Along with the panpipes there was a low pitched very long flute called senka tenkana (growing nose) that made the player stretch his arms. (To hear what Inca music sounded like, listen to “El Condor Pasa” by Los Incas, who also recorded as Urubamba.) Was the pentatonic scale carried to South America by ancient Egyptian sailors, or carried the other way? Apparently there was commerce between the regions because both tobacco and cocaine have been found in Egyptian mummies, and both originate in the Americas. There was apparently cross-cultural exchange in ancient times.

I find it odd that the Native peoples of North America were so musically undeveloped. Drums and flutes seem to be about it for their instruments, and often just the drums, accompanied by chanting. The music never made it up through Central America, apparently. Of course, depending on the date, much of today’s Central America was under water and migration largely impossible.

Humans like to make noise, and in many cultures unique musical traditions were developed. Will people of the distant future still listen to today’s music?

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About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models. Shell was recently moved from Pocahontas State Correctional Center, Pocahontas, Virginia to River North Correctional Center 329 Dellbrook Lane Independence, VA 24348.  Mr. Shell continues to claim his innocence. He is serving the 11th year of his sentence. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click here: http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/bob-shell-a-stitch-in-relative-time/

 

Also posted in Art, Blog, Film, Photography, Popular Culture

Night Fever: 1977 – 1979

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Night Fever: 1977 to 1979

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It was the end of the 1970’s. I was a graduate student at the Rochester Institute of Technology,  when  I discovered an electric atmosphere at a Rochester, New York discotheque called Club 747.  The fun and excitement of this unique night club drew me back frequently to make photographs. Inside the energy and unusual décor, inspired by the interior design of a 747 jumbo jet, typified the Zeitgeist in nightclubs of the Disco era.  New York’s Studio 54, where the famous and not so famous partied until dawn epitomized this same period in time.  In 1977, the famous American actor, John Travolta introduced his Fred Astaire-like moves on the big screen in the smash hit, Saturday Night Fever.  Travolta’s ode to a neighborhood Brooklyn nightclub was represented with the same enthusiasm by the Saturday night fever of Club 747 in Rochester, New York.

The characters at Club 747 enhanced the mood. There was the African American man whose face and hands were marked by the scars of severe burns. He looked upscale in his three piece suit dancing to the rhythms of Donna Summer, The Bee Gees and the Village People. A young determined white college student with her hand in a sling was deterred from receiving her drink. She simply waited for her shot from an anonymous donor with her functional left hand outstretched, as if the drink was already received. The crowd was from all walks of life, the young and the old, the upper class and the less fortunate.  They all seemed oblivious to their differences in age, gender, race, social class, religious beliefs, political persuasion or sexual preference. As a body they were universally seduced, united and enlightened by the music and dance of this uniquely American period in time: the 1970’s.
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