an everyday photo, every day | photography • art • poetry

musicians

Cello On Stage

cello on stage
cello on stage

Cello On Stage

I saw a fun production of the operetta Die Fledermaus today with modern and localized interpretations incorporated in the performance. All the singers had too much of a good time.

Possibly the musicians as well. during the intermission one of the cellists set his cello on the stage just so. No one minded me sneaking into the orchestra pit to capture this shot of the cello and the music stand, just perfectly set. I only had my smartphone, not my DSLR, and it’s not very good with color, or focus or a lot of other things, but I can work with it if it’s all I have. In this case I used one of the built-in filters, “vintage”, that pushed the color and contrast faded the blacks to blues and greens and added a darkened fringe on the edges similar to “vignette” but not as pronounced.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Setup

bass and amp
bass and amp

Setup

The bass and its amp are ready and waiting for the musician to sit down and play. I had the chance to photography a performance at the music hall and I always like to get a few mood shots along with the rest. See a few more photos from “Turn Up the Heat”, performance by jazz vocalist Michele Bensen and the Bensen Burners here.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Drum Cat

cat and drum set in empty room
cat and drum set in empty room

Drum Cat

That’s just what it is, drums and a cat.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


Antique and Vintage

violin on an oak table
violin on an oak table

Antique and Vintage

A violinist laid down her antique instrument on a vintage oak table just long enough for me to get at least one interesting photo. She was performing in the orchestra for the Pittsburgh Savoyards’s production of Princess Ida in the Music Hall at at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall in Carnegie. The performance was excellent, such incredible voices and such an intimate Hall, and Gilbert & Sullivan may seem silly and frilly but hear live they never cease to amaze me with the depth of their lyrics and themes. The table is one of the original tables installed when the Library & Music Hall opened in 1901.

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On a related note, literally, I watched a brief video about people in Paraguay who live on and make their living from a garbage dump who create musical instruments from garbage and formed an orchestra.

“The world generates about a billion tons of garbage a year. Those who live with it and from it are the poor – like the people of Cateura, Paraguay. And here they are transforming it into beauty. Landfill Harmonic follows the orchestra as it takes its inspiring spectacle of trash-into-music around the world….”

Please visit the website for Landfillharmonic, watch the video and read about these amazing people making beauty with garbage.

I will never complain about lacking materials or creative space again.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Waiting for Showtime, 2012

instruments in stage light
instruments in stage light

Waiting for Showtime

Drums, guitar, bass and piano wait in the dimmed stage lights for the performance to begin.

I had the opportunity to photograph a performance last year, “A Gala Tribute to Joe Negri” at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall. I’ve created a slideshow of the rehearsal, performance and party afterward which includes music from the performance. Click here to see the photos and listen to the music–and I think I’ll need to remix this in a newer style of slideshow for YouTube.

I’m also going to be catching up with a few other photos for the days I’ve missed since the concert. October is beautiful, even in the rain! (No, the jazz standard is “September in the Rain”).

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Cello Fury

cello fury
cello fury

Cello Fury

I saw—and heard—Cello Fury at a little coffeehouse at our business crawl in Carnegie tonight. Based in Pittsburgh, they had instructed a “Rock Strings” camp this week and the students had their final concert today at this coffeehouse a little earlier. I really love their music, whether they are covering a metal classic or one of their own compositions, three cellos really get a workout with these three musicians. Visit their website and listen to a bit. But they are amazing live.


Christmas Celebration in the Midst of War

woman in red Victorian dress

Enjoying the Music

A musician enjoys others’ performances from the back of the orchestra.

Performed by the Pittsburgh Historical Musical Society and referring to the Civil War, we are still in the midst of war and celebrating Christmas today.

They played timely folk, classical and holiday music as would have been played in a Christmas concert during the Civil War, many of the musicians in period dress, as seen in the spectacular Victorian dress the multi-talented vocalist wore.

The Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall houses the Capt. Thos. Espy Post 153 which in turn houses the reenactors of the 9th Pennsylvania Reserves of the GAR who maintain the collection and meet and host events in the post and at ACFL&MH. One of the musicians read letters written at Christmas by members of the 9th Pennsylvania as they were on the battlefields of the Civil War. One thing that was important to them, to make them feel closer to home, was music. In this case it was a mix of Pittsburgh-themed music, songs of Stephen Foster, short classical pieces popular at the time and Christmas hymns.

The photo below shows the vocalist’s entire dress, and if not for a few wires dangling here and there it could be mistaken for another time.

womans singing in Victorian dress

The Victorian Dress

 


Waiting

violinist sitting at bottom of stairs
violinist sitting at bottom of stairs

Waiting

One actual photo (of many) from today’s Living Room Concert, the violinist sitting on the steps and listening while the oboeist played his piece with the piano, the long angles of the sun catching the scroll and neck of her violin and illuminating her bow, casting a long shadow on the floor.


Sketches: The Living Room Concert

ink sketch of musicians
ink sketch of musicians

The Living Room Concert, 7″ x 10″, ink © B.E. Kazmarski

Live music is more special than can be described, no matter the genre. Like seeing an original painting, watching musicians perform a program of music can’t be equaled  in any recording.

And hearing it in the comfort of someone’s living room makes it all the better, with no real distance between the performers and the listeners. It’s really the way music was meant to be appreciated.

This was another concert of the “Living Room Chamber Music Project” in Pittsburgh, this time at a friend’s  house. Feeling more comfortable in this venue I carried my Big Bag of Art Materials intending to sketch if I could, if the muse was with me and I wouldn’t distract or interrupt the musicians or the audience. And so she was with me while I produced three sketches and lots of ideas for paintings and possibly collaboration. I love to sketch musicians while they play, letting their performance and the music itself carry me along.

The group has two pianists, Billie Jo Miller and Jack Kurutz, who play at alternate times and act as page turners for each other and sometimes play piano four hands, and a violinist, Ashley Buckley, an oboeist, Lenny Young, and a vocalist who did not perform here tonight because she is in another performance. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire concert, but hearing Spiegel im Spiegel live had me spellbound.

pencil sketch of musicians

Schumann, pencil, 9″ x 7″ © B.E. Kazmarski

pencil sketch of musicians

Pièce, pencil, 7″ x 8″ © B.E. Kazmarski

Read about another concert by these musicians, and more about chamber music.


Autumn Scene With Piano, 2009

piano with chrysanthemums
piano with chrysanthemums

Autumn Scene With Piano

The stage is ready and it’s just a few moments before the musicians, who had just been rehearsing and goofing off about 30 minutes earlier, would arrive on stage in their dress black for the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall’s 2009 benefit performance of Daphne Alderson singing “All Judy, All Heart”. Here the concert grand is ready, with a colorful cluster of mums and sunflowers.

I love photographing performances and still stage scenes like this are rare to get. While the overall tones are autumnal with orange and yellow and bronze bathed in the yellow of the dimmed lights, yet the piano, the drums, microphone, even the floor and the post on the left are touched by a gentle wash of the red and blue stage lights ready for the performance, above.

It’s also in my exhibit “Of Harps and Fig Leaves” featuring images of this place, where it’s called “Autumn Expectations”.


Waiting for Showtime, 2011

instruments in stage light
instruments in stage light

Waiting for Showtime

Drums, guitar, bass and piano wait in the dimmed stage lights for the performance to begin.

I had the opportunity to photograph a performance last weekend, “A Gala Tribute to Joe Negri” at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall. I’ve created a slideshow of the rehearsal, performance and party afterward which will ultimately include music from the performance. Since this will be a few more days, I can’t wait to show some of the photos. When the full presentation is up I’ll post another image with a link to the slideshow.

I’m also going to be catching up with a few other photos for the days I’ve missed since the concert. October is beautiful, even in the rain! (No, the jazz standard is “September in the Rain”).


New Year’s Eve at 3rd Street Gallery

three musicians in a gallery

Haywood and Friends entertain for New Year's Eve at 3rd Street Gallery.

Just a small gathering of friends as we listened to more friends, Haywood and Friends, play their brand of jazz at the 3rd Street Gallery in Carnegie, PA. From left is Phil Salvato, painter and bassist, all the paintings on the walls are his; Ron Bossetti, saxophones and clarinets and other such instruments, former high school music teacher and regular at 3rd Street; and Haywood Vincent, jazz pianist and arranger.

wall of paintings

A Wall of Paintings

photo of musicians

Ron, Haywood and Swami Shantanand smiling on approvingly.

photo of piano player

Haywood happy at his piano.

photo of gallery with piano

3rd Street Gallery, Phil's piano and paintings.

black and white photo of musician through piano

Haywood in the piano, desaturated color with film grain filter added (since photos were grainy already).

filtered photo of musicians

And because it's a gallery, a Photoshop dry brush filter of the trio.

Happy New Year!


A Tribute to Joe Negri Slideshow

tribute to Joe Negri

At rehearsal, Tom Wendt (from back), Joe Negri, Michelle Bensen, Max Leake, Tony DiPaolis.

It’s all together now, music and everything, the slideshow from the performance.

We welcomed Joe Negri and and his quartet for the “A Gala Tribute to Joe Negri on October 1, 2011 at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall. His quartet includes Max Leake on piano, Tony Dipaolis on bass and Tom Wendt on drums. Special guests included Michelle Bensen on vocals, Sean Jones on trumpet, Mike Tomaro on saxophone and Roger Humphries on drums.

I simply enjoy photographing performers, and I know the hall and stage of this Music Hall so well, even in the dark, tiptoeing around with my camera, trying not to disturb the audience during one of the silent moments of a piece of music, just to get the shot I envision. The lighting on this performance was particularly interesting, and I enjoyed the first set of photos with the violet glow during the rehearsal, and that red background during the performance.

You also get to see the glitterati who attended as we had the largest crowd for a benefit we’ve ever had, nearly 400.

Unfortunately, my 70-200 zoom quit communicating with my camera just after Mike Tomaro came onto the stage, so I didn’t get all the dramatic close ups I usually get during a performance. That lens is f3.5, a little better in low-light situations. The 18-35mm zoom is an f4.5, not very good in low-light and everyone is too far away when I’m photographing during a performance. That left my good old 50mm lens, the original from my Pentax K1000, totally non-digital but an f1.8 and great if I don’t need a zoom. It’s still the best lens I have and saved the day.

You can see this slideshow on Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall’s website in Photo Album under “About Us”. You can go directly to the slideshow here, but please browse the other photo slideshows which are also my work, as is the design of the website itself. In addition, please visit their page on my website to browse newsletters, post cards, posters and other items I’ve designed for them. This is my beloved local public library, the place I’ve been visiting all my life to read and take out books, do research, and just to hang out in big beautiful old building—it’s now one of my customers. I couldn’t be happier to use my skills and talents to help enhance the facility’s image as it moves through its capital campaign to renovate for the first time in over 100 years.


Waiting for Showtime

instruments in stage light

Waiting for Showtime

Drums, guitar, bass and piano wait in the dimmed stage lights for the performance to begin.

I had the opportunity to photograph a performance last weekend, “A Gala Tribute to Joe Negri” at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall. I’ve created a slideshow of the rehearsal, performance and party afterward which will ultimately include music from the performance. Since this will be a few more days, I can’t wait to show some of the photos. When the full presentation is up I’ll post another image with a link to the slideshow.

I’m also going to be catching up with a few other photos for the days I’ve missed since the concert. October is beautiful, even in the rain! (No, the jazz standard is “September in the Rain”).


Living Room Concert

musucians in a living room concert

Living Room Concert

Just like that, we all truly gathered in someone’s living room to hear five fine musicians play classical chamber music last Friday night, performing works from Bach to Rodrigo and including several composers I hadn’t ever heard of but thoroughly enjoyed.

The name of the series is the “Living Room Chamber Music Project“. The origin of the term “chamber music” was literally music to be played in one’s chamber, a small group of musicians and a small group of listeners, acoustic, unamplified and nearly face to face, so we were hearing these pieces as they were intended to be heard. How enthralling to feel the piano’s base notes through the floorboards during the Sonata for Piano, four hands by Francis Poulenc as I also watched the two pianists cross over each others’ hands on the keyboard. And watching each musician’s technique, imagining the hours and years to develop that much skill, and the ranging emotions to express the piece they were playing. And the perfect stereo acoustics as the violin was on the left, the oboe on the right, the piano and vocalist in the center. I felt as if I was a part of the music instead of just an observer.

The hosts simply welcomed us into their lovingly restored and decorated row house on the South Side of Pittsburgh, music on the first floor, a spread of food on the second floor to rival the music in diversity.


Rock Concert By Sticks

musician organizing instruments outdoors

Rock Concert by Sticks

Those of a certain era, say that out loud, especially the word “Sticks”…

I couldn’t pass up this pun.

Hmmm…keyboards, amps, guitars, a drum set—it’s just kind of funny to see them on the leafy ground near the limestone cliff at the quarry pond.

This is from Rock the Quarry along the Panhandle Trail in Collier Township this weekend. The next band is getting organized backstage while one is performing on the stage.


Orchestra

orchestra

Orchestra

In photographing a performance I caught this angle of the 70-piece orchestra; the final timpanist with all the fun noisemakers is out of the frame at the bottom, but I caught the kettle drums.

This orchestra is students from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, accompanying performers from the Duquesne University Opera Workshop as they act their final dress rehearsal for their two-part performance of Puccini one-act operas Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi at Andrew Carnegie Free Library in Carnegie. Their performances are amazing, and it’s difficult to believe they are students.


A Lincoln Portrait

photo of David Conrad with musicians

Reading "A Lincoln Portrait"

David Conrad read the spoken portion of Aaron Copland’s  A Lincoln Portrait at Andrew Carnegie Free Library Music Hall in Carnegie as well as a poem by Samuel Hazo, Jr. accompanied by Their Blossom’s Down.

David also composed his own detailed and moving tribute to libraries, including comments on the good and bad of Andrew Carnegie and the strength and character of the immigrants who gave Carnegie his wealth and therefore built his libraries. David is actually from Pittsburgh and knows the stories of the region like those of us who grew up here. I was particularly moved because my mother’s parents, particularly her father, learned to read at that very library, taught by his daughter, my mother’s older sister, who graduated salutatorian in her class at Carnegie High School…in a ceremony held on that very Music Hall Stage. Oh, the connections.

A Lincoln Portrait has long been one of my favorite pieces of music, brief though it is, but hearing it live, spoken by Conrad’s rich, sincere voice, music performed by the Duquesne University Wind Ensemble conducted by H. Robert Reynolds was almost more than I could take. I always tear up during the piece whenever I hear it, but hearing it live was a totally new experience. I photograph events for my local public library, this among them, and almost forgot to take photos during this. Interesting considering that is what I typically do when I am moved by something—photograph it!

You can see more photos of this performance in the photo gallery on the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall’s website under A Lincoln Portrait with David Conrad and H. Robert Reynolds. Also please browse the entire Photo Album on this facility’s website—I maintain this gallery and all the photos are those I’ve taken at events and just on daily visits. This is “my” library which I’ve been visiting since I was a child, and while they are one of my customers for commercial art I also visit for the sake of books and attend performances in the music hall.


Aphrodite Watches

photo of viola da gamba player and aphrodite

Aphrodite Watches

The carved face of Aphrodite watches over the viola da gamba player’s performance.

I only know it’s Aphrodite because I asked. I’ve never seen a face or figure on the scroll of a stringed instrument.

I enjoyed a performance of Pittsburgh’s Chatham Baroque this afternoon. I listen to classical music most days while I’m in my office, and while I love the “classics” I really enjoy chamber pieces best, small combinations of musicians wherein I can hear all the details of the music.

I love new music, too, but baroque music has been a particular love of mine since I first heard Bach, then his contemporaries, teachers and students. It’s got to do with my love of nature, I think, because the gentle acoustics of baroque compositions, played on traditional instruments, remind me of the wind moving and leaves fluttering, water gurgling in a stream.

The three members of Chatham Baroque are like one performer in each piece, each so talented I was lost in the music and watching them perform.


Saxy Ron

photo of man playing alto saxophone with tenor sax in front

Saxy Ron

Ron Bissetti with his saxophones. He’s playing the alto sax, but the tenor sax is on a stand so he can turn and play that one at will without having to put the alto down.


Auld Lang Syne

photo of jazz musicians playing in an art gallery

Auld Lang Syne

It’s been a while since I stopped at the 3rd Street Gallery in Carnegie, PA to listen to the guys play jazz.

On bass is Phil Salvato, who owns the gallery; all the paintings you see in the photo are also his paintings. On piano is Haywood Vincent, improvisator extraordinaire with a huge repertoire, and on tenor sax is Ron Bissetti, former public school music teacher and long time jazz musician.

A small group of us had a simply merry time in the gallery space, restored from a century of alternate uses including a hardware store, florist shop and pizza shop. Read more about the 3rd Street Gallery at www.3rdstreetgallery.net.