Monday, 30 June 2008

a dream within a dream

Nikon D80 | 1/640 seconds | f 4.8 | ISO 125 | 38 mm

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream:
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone
All that we see or seem

Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep
While I weep while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

A Dream Within a Dream. 1849. Edgar Allan Poe

Friday, 27 June 2008

the cotton candy mystery

Nikon D80 | 1/20 seconds | f 5.6 | ISO 160 | 135 mm
most childhood memories include reaching up to grab huge, pink swirls of cotton candy clouds at the circus or an amusement park. It brings back hot summer days, crunchy sweet candy you can only eat with your hands and of course, pink sticky faces and clothes. The smell and scent are unforgettable - often times it makes one feel a bit nostalgic. and, above all, it always remains the cotton candy mystery.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

jazz manouche interlude

Nikon D80 | 1/60 seconds | f/5.6 | ISO 1600 | 135 mm
Nikon D80 | 1/125 seconds | f/5.6 | ISO 1600 | 135 mm
Nikon D80 | 1/125 seconds | f/5.6 | ISO 1400 | 80 mm
Nikon D50 | 1/60 seconds | f/5.6 | ISO 1000 | 50 mm
Nikon D50 | 1/60 seconds | f/6.0 | ISO 1000 | 50 mm
Nikon D80 | 1/125 seconds | f/1.8 | ISO 1000 | 50 mm
Nikon D80 | 1/10 seconds | f/5 | ISO 1250 | 50 mm

on y parle de jazz manouche bien sur, à travers la guitare en particulier, mais aussi de toutes ces petites choses qui font que l'on aime cette musique. Ces pages pourront j'espère combler votre attente, que vous soyez à la recherche de quelques conseils pour débuter la guitare dans le style dit "Jazz Manouche" ou bien par curiosité car entendu ici ou là. Ce site est sans prétention aucune mais si vous repartez la tête un peu plus pleine alors ce sera très bien.

Le jazz manouche jouit d'une bonne presse depuis quelques années et d'une exposition grandissante à l'image des musiciens du style que l'on retrouve de plus en plus dans les festivals de jazz. Il suffit de le voir pointer son nez dans la chanson française pour s'en convaincre (Sanseverino par exemple) ou bien de constater le succès de formations comme Paris Combo, Les Pommes de ma Douche, Poum Tchak ou encore Les Doigts de l'Homme. Mélange de guitare acoustique et de jazz, de tradition et d'air frais, voilà peut être ce qui vous plait dans le jazz manouche.

Les raisons du succès populaire du jazz manouche sont multiples, on pourrait notamment avancer un passé riche qui repose sur les épaules d'un guitariste de légende, Django Reinhardt, mais aussi bien sur exalter les qualités intrinsèques de cette musique : attache forte aux valeurs traditionnelles, désir d'expérimentation et d'originalité, vitalité débordante...

Swing manouche, Jazz manouche, Jazz gitan...Cette musique peine à se trouver une appelation mais est ce bien le plus important? En tout cas, elle ne laisse pas indifferente.


Friday, 20 June 2008

carnival of joy

As I was wondering around the spider web streets of Sighisoara, one of the most revealing places of Romania, a loud drone of happiness bit my inner sorrow.. down the hill, with and enormous energy, were coming three little creatures of joy with yet undefined faces.. they seemed to be playing a strange game, with unwritten rules and bizarre hand sings, approaching faster that I was thinking this thoughts..
..and then.. there she was, like a rainbow in an almost sunny day..
hope that brings you the same feeling that she brought to me..

p.s. … and now, the funny side of the story.. while I was imagining the perfect shot, in slow motion, I almost lost the real one.. in that moment of confusion I said to my self that I have better chances to freeze the frameworks of the moment if I kindly came forward and speak to her. And so I asked her, in a very polite English, to pose for me.. Only God knows what was I thinking when I did that, but then it seemed to be the only way I had to stop her even just for 1/4000 second…
I was honestly frightened to lose that moment.. and then, like a divine intervention, she turned to her friends and, with a very puzzled look, asked them in the most pure Romanian language, my mother language, this: ce-o zis asta?, that stands for “what is she saying?”, in a free translation, translation that doesn’t even came close to capture the subtle irony of her genuine innocence.
Conclusion? I never got my perfect shot, this is the closest one and, as a matter of fact, the single shot taken before she fade away again in that blessed period of life called childhood

just a worries free day

“The things which the child loves remain in the domain of the heart until old age. The most beautiful thing in life is that our souls remaining over the places where we once enjoyed ourselves” - Kahlil Gibran [Lebanese born American philosophical Essayist, Novelist and Poet. 1883-1931]

on the road

It was a lazy friday morning when I decided to bale out work and to go in an already to short weekend escapade. It was then when I took this shoot, after two hours of jolty railway road. I must confess that it wasn’t a matter of great precision, but rather a case of luck. Either way… looking at it, my mind flew away at Jack’s Kerouac novel – On the road – even if it has nothing to do with jazz or with the american culture in general. On the other hand, I share the same fascination with the idea of humanity and I wonder , just like him, what is the dynamics of my eclectic group of friends, so different characters, so turn apart by values, but still brought together by common passions.

Further more, even if my age has nothing to do with the so called “beat generation” I must admit that I find my self filled up with the same disillusion. Reading about Kerouac’s novel, some years ago, I stumbled upon an article of Clellon Holmes, a friend of the novelist, who said, among other things, one great truth “the absence of personal and social values is not a revelation shaking the ground beneath them (… or us), but a problem demanding a day-to-day solution. How to live seems to them (… us again) much more crucial than why”. Nevertheless, that’s why for me, as for Kerouac, “the only people are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles”.

.. after all this thoughts from just one simple shoot, I think I easily qualify for the category “mad ones”…

santa claus is coming... by train

… I close my eyes for just one moment and I imagine that Santa Claus exists and he’s scouring the world all year long in order to check on us… have you been good or have you been bad? Sometimes I almost can hear his mawkish voice asking me… And so, in order to give my mother satisfaction – for she always believed that I was a precocious child – I thought to give Santa a short insight view of my 2008 Christmas list… there it goes (in random order):
- in first place… some brief ones (and in the same time the ones that doesn’t stay in his power): faith, health, happiness, good friends, long life for the loved ones
- second… some of my whims :)
*a big raffia sack, filled with smaller sacks with all the tea assortments he can “borrow” from carturesti book(and more)shop
*an ice cream machine
*a daydreaming day every week
*good music in every teahouse or café in Bucharest
*all the books I want from
… mmm, and the list remains open to tomorrow’s wishes
aaa… and Santa, if I don’t ask too much… it doesn’t hurt to have a free pas to neverland :)

p.s. is it so obvious that I crave for my childhood? Lately, it’s just like a leitmotif of my thoughts, of my acts, of my writings, of every breath I take and give away and… it drives me insane, it’s insane indeed to linger upon memories that doesn’t come around anymore… be careful at your inner, deep hidden, child… I should know best

the time window

. .for those who doesn't know what to choose between "up the rabbit - window" and "the time window" i recommend to flip a virtual coin

up the rabbit - window

and so... “Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, 'and what is the use of a book,' thought Alice 'without pictures or conversation?' So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her”

If the action of the lewis carroll's book, “alice’s adventures in the wonderland”, would have been in Sighisoara, I’m sure that the rabbit – hole would be actually a magic window… or else, what is he dreaming about?

At the end of the story, Alice says to herself…”lastly, she pictured to herself how this same little sister of hers would, in the after-time, be herself a grown woman; and how she would keep, through all her riper years, the simple and loving heart of her childhood: and how she would gather about her other little children, and make their eyes bright and eager with many a strange tale, perhaps even with the dream of Wonderland of long ago: and how she would feel with all their simple sorrows, and find a pleasure in all their simple joys, remembering her own child-life, and the happy summer days.”
The end... p.s. at your choice, you can access "the time window".. it will be opened the following day.. take the leap