Sounds of Music, Photographs By Frank Drake, Foreword by Peter Gabriel
Sounds of Music is a rich anthology of photographic portraits taken over a period of some twenty five years by the artist Frank Drake. Before graduating in Fine Art in Context, and embarking on his present artistic quests, Drake was the official photographer with "WOMAD". The portraits are mixed, some posed, some taken in performance, and others questioning the parameters of 'Portraiture'. Although Drake recognises the status of the famous artists he refuses to grant them extra importance, so we see iconic musicians on equal ground with little or hardly known artists/musicians. This is not solely a collection of photographic portraits. On the facing page of each portrait there is a quintessential quote from each artist. These are surprisingly articulate and intimate. In addition to this there is a poignancy to this volume, in that at least half a dozen of the artists have passed away, Joe Strummer, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Ali Farka Toure to name but a few, and apart from their recorded music these portraits and quotes are all that remain. From a technical perspective the portraits are wide and varied. For example the portrait of Najma Akhtar used on the cover of the CD 'Atish' was taken taken in St James' Park at sunrise using three flash heads (one buried in the pond!) being fired simultaneously. The images are a celebration and pay homage to the role of the musician within our society and as Peter Gabriel has stated in his forward, that music is indeed one of the most potent forms of expression against the constant battle with racism. Some/Many of the images have been used on CD covers and other publicity. The strength and integrity of the book comes from the diversity, not only from the subjects/artists themselves, but also from the diversity and magnificence of the images.
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