Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Faces On The Radio

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.

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