Today, the ancient walls of one of the most beautiful towns in northern Italy become the precious frames to the portraits of more than fifty musicians. Wall of Sound is the title of this exhibit that will grace the historical center of Monforte d'Alba, a town in the province of Cuneo in Piedmont, Italy until October 28. For thirty years, Guido Harari has been the most famous Italian music photographer.
The narrative takes his popular exhibit The Blue Room among its audience as part of the MonfortinJazz 2007 festival. The title of this installation is meant as a tribute to the legendary sound created by producer Phil Spector in the early sixties. The show presents many unseen photographs of musicians, among which are Willy Deville, Brian Eno, Pat Metheny, Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, David Crosby, B. B. King, Bob Marley, Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush, Ennio Morricone, Patti Smith, Tom Waits, Steve Winwood, Robert Wyatt and Frank Zappa. For a slide show link here.
In Italy, Harari has done work with Claudio Baglioni, Andrea Bocelli, Angelo Branduardi, Vinicio Capossela, Paolo Conte, Pino Daniele, Fabrizio De André, Eugenio Finardi, Ligabue, Gianna Nannini, PFM and Vasco Rossi. If you feel adventurous, you might check some of these artists out. I wrote about Vasco Rossi before, he is a rock star from the hills of my hometown and the true staying power of legends and real brands.
What the stars say about Harari is very flattering. He has a way of popping out of a corner that is different. His style is improvisational, rapid, and unexepected. Laurie Anderson defined his photography as kamikaze vs. paparazzo because he creates a true collaboration with his subjects. Instead of trying to "steal" something, he goes beyond the surface of things to find a new angle and story. Complicity, intimacy and fun characterize the results of his approach. He makes you feel special even without saying a word, said Kate Bush. Many of his subjects consider him a friend, and not merely a photographer. [Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed by Guido Harari]
Got music in you? What can we learn from Guido Harari? Take a good look at his portraits.
- It's about the subject, the person in the photograph, not about the photographer. When we approach a project, are we patient enough to look at it from a natural angle? In other words, can we let go of our opinions and biases and immerse ourselves into the question, the problem posed? Are we in listening mode?
- A frame can still make a sound. Can movement be captured? Even when we capture and frame the problem properly, this is but one note on a larger composition and continuum. Time and place continue to be variables that create the context in which the frame comes to be. Today you capture a customer's opinion and feedback, tomorrow we may be singing to a completely different tune.
- The meaning is in the eye of the observer as much as it is in the eye of the observed. What you see depends on who you are and where you are. In a conversation there are always many points of view that need to come together for the connection to take place. See how much an image can tell you even without saying a word. That's because it is already all inside you -- the story, the sounds, even the smells. When a client shares a problem, what they see is evolved by what they feel about it.
Good exhibits tell stories about who we are and how we live, what's important and how we find meaning in life. Great stories are the ones you join, participate in, and design with the storyteller.