As my ears thumped to the pounding rhythm of goat skin drums, my eyes were arrested by the heavy coral beads hanging from the young Tibetan girl’s hair. I heard tinkling silver bells. I saw orange color. I heard the crowd, then saw her intense expression. Sound and sight sent my brain the story of hundreds of folk dancers and musicians driving the devil from a Buddhist temple.
Click here for an iPad friendly version of the audio slide show above.
While traveling in China’s remote north western province of Qinghai this July, I found that my ears had become just as sensitive as my eyes. I would discover an interesting natural sound, bleating sheep, whooping celebrants, chanting monks, and then I’d find a portrait to photograph, putting a face on that sound.
When working in multimedia I like to close my eyes and imagine the sound coming from my car radio, and ask, “do I see what I’m hearing” ? Yes, then lets put a face to the sound. Lets put a face on the radio.
Photography and natural sound work together beautifully to produce a richer, fuller story than either component could on their own. In this two minute audio slide show I chose 13 portraits of Chinese I met - Han, Tibetan and Hui - and wrapped a field-recorded sound clip around the photograph.
Close your eyes and listen ... what can you see? Now open your eyes to hear even more.
I wrote almost every day about my July experiences here. More multimedia photography from China can be viewed here.