That's right! Featured artists in the book with a nice "Feat Groove" at the end...
Friday, December 31, 2010
Photo book "Their Love of Music" takes a personal look at musicians and what makes them tick
Steve Begnoche - Managing Editor
Music, in its purest sense, is an aural experience. Add some emotion and one shouldn’t have to see a thing to enjoy it. Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles prove that.
But photographer Stephen Azzato explores what others have discovered: Music, in the form of musicians, make a strong subject for visual arts, too.
Azzato, a network television videographer residing in Chicago, takes an interesting and insightful approach to musicians in “Their Love of Music,” a 252-page coffee table book of portraits of musicians.
These photographs were made often before concerts with a brown cloth background that forces all attention on the musician and the instrument they sometimes brought with them.
The format is simple: one page is the photograph and on the facing page is a a quote from the musician revolving around why the musician does what he or she does and how did they get to where they are in their career?
Simple questions, a simple format, a simple background and a simply stunning book.
Musicians of all pedigree, some famous like blues great Buddy Guy and rockers Steve Miller and George Thorogood, some relatively unknown or a backup player in a “name” musician’s band are featured.
Among those profiled are some top-notch singer-songwriters who might not be household names, Jennifer Peterson, Kristina Milk and, for West Shore Community College Performing Arts Series patrons, 2009-2010 performer Alice Peacock.
Some of the musicians look intense, even in this setting. Eddie “The Chief” Clearwater has the looks of a former NFL linebacker. But his comment shows a look doesn’t say everything. “When I play the blues it’s a good feeling. You could describe it as a spiritual being takes over, way out of the ordinary and puts you in a whole new dimension from yourself.”
Country musician Clint Black has a very happy expression on his face. “The history of country music is on the lyric … you don’t have to be a professor of sociology to get the point,” he observes.
Rosanne Cash, who in late summer performed at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, has a bit of a questioning look, as if she’s trying to see through the camera to the photographer.
Steve Miller looks like a businessman, in his sports coat, open-collared white shirt, and dark glasses. “I don’t think of myself as a rock star,” he said.
[Full review HERE]
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
A number of people have asked us about Steve’s gear and his approach to shooting the magnificent portraits included in “Their Love of Music”. As a network cameraman for NBC National News, he spends a lot of time behind the camera – both video and still – and has worked with a range of journalists and reporters. So, he gets the interview thing. But, asking a musician ready to go on stage to sit for a portrait? Sounds like ‘photographic suicide’ doesn’t it?
But, he pulled it off. Over one hundred times. Nashville-based singer/songwriter Alice Peacock said in a recent interview, “You’re in a head space to perform, [but] he went snap, snap, snap and that was that. He didn’t want you to pose or get stressed out. He wanted to take people as real people, and looking through the book, that’s what I was struck by. They are candid portraits.” As Steve told Phil Ponce, the host of Chicago Tonight, in an appearance to discuss the book, “I always tell people, ‘relax, be yourself, it’ll be alright’”. Sounds simple enough, but making it work is tougher than it seems.
Having had the opportunity to see Steve work, I can tell you that his vision for the project, preparation for each shoot and his incredibly easygoing demeanor combined with professional photography skills honed over many years of shooting under less than ideal conditions made this collection what it is. Full set-up of backdrop, lighting, and camera in less than ten minutes, complete familiarity with the subjects’ bio including recent events in their life, a full appreciation for the ‘head space’ they’re in at the moment (he is a musician too, after all!), and a clear idea of what he wants to achieve led to shoots that have ranged from a couple of minutes (listen to his Steve Miller story in the aforementioned interview) to forty-five minutes (“some of them enjoyed talking!”). The results speak for themselves.
Now to his gear. Light, easy to load in and set up, and completely familiar to him. In the shoots that I have seen, Steve’s camera seems to almost disappear as he chats with the artist and positions himself effortlessly for the next shot. It’s as if he’s simply in a conversation with the musician and in a sense, he is. Look the faces, the body positions, the expressiveness of the portrait…the musicians aren’t responding to the camera. They’re responding to Steve.
His ‘hardware’ includes:
Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II
Lens: Canon 24-70mm f 2.8
Light/ Key: One AlienBees B-800 usually set at 1/8 equipped with a Chimera video pro softbox
Shutter Speed: 180
Backdrop: Brown Muslin (2)
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Nah, but somebody who sure likes the book...still time to get that final gift for the music/photography lover on your list!! From Grammy-winner Redd Volkaert in an email yesterday...
To: Steve Azzato
From: Redd Volkaert
Subject: Holy Shit!!
That is the coolest looking book I've ever seen. The layout is fantastic, the photo's are incredible, and the paragraphs say it all.
You've done an amazing job on this project.
I'm proud to be included, and want to thank you for including my bandmates and myself to be part of your amazing book!
Thank you and Merry Christmas,
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Fantastic article in today's Chicago Sun Times about Richard Mack and Quiet Light Publishing (where ALL items are 15% off!)...Congrats!
Evanston photographer feels call of nature in new book
BY Dave Hoekstra firstname.lastname@example.org Dec 17, 2010 09:45PM
Richard Mack’s ember photograph of the Missouri River at twilight gently moves off the page into your soul.
I’ve never been absorbed by a photograph in a coffee table travel book as much as this spiritual picture in The Lewis & Clark Trail: American Landscapes.
Taken from the crest of the Double Ditch Indian Site, about 30 miles north of Bismarck, N.D., it was the last shot of the Evanston resident’s first book project.
“I knew at the moment it could be the cover,” he said during a conversation at a Ukraninan Village coffee shop. “It was the end of a two-and-a-half year project. I was standing on a cliff. It was where the Mandan Indians had camped. As Lewis and Clark came by it was fall [Oct. 21, 1804]. You have to frame and wait for the right light, but in the landscape world, most of it is given to you by what’s going on in front of you. That was during the days of film, so if it came out I knew it would be stunning.”
The Lewis & Clark Trail is a 2007 companion piece to Mack’s 2009 Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Thirty Years of American Landscapes.
In October, USA Book News named the Smoky Mountains effort as “Best Book, Nature Photography 2010.”
The landscape books launched Mack’s Quiet Light publishing company to a space where he could do a third coffee table photography book.
Released last month, Their Love of Music features 117 color photographs from Libertyille-based NBC cameraman Steve Azzato. It is the first non-Mack book for the Evanston-based imprint. (All books are $65, quietlightpublishing.com.)
“Book publishing is harder than you think,” said Mack, 55. “You have to become a publisher and everything that entails. But this is the only way you make money — even though it’s not a lot. It’s like the musicians [Dave Alvin, Aaron Neville, Dave Specter and others] in the book. They do it for the love of the music, you do it for the love of the book.”
[Full article HERE]
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
...Hall of Fame and Museum! In addition to naming this year's class of inductees, they've also ordered "Their Love of Music" for their store! If your holiday plans include a visit to the Hall, make sure you check out the merch!
This is simple. Fifteen-percent off EVERYTHING at Quiet Light Publishing! All books, all notecards, all limited editions…everything! Including our favorite collection of musician portraits!
Use promotion code: DEC2010 and finish your Christmas shopping with us!! Click the link to the right and you're there!
Merry Christmas and thanks for your incredible support!!
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Quiet Light Publishing is pleased to announce the first set of Limited Edition Fine Art Prints from the collection Their Love of Music by photographer Stephen Azzato. These prints are from his book of the same name and include the artist’s portrait and quote from the book. Each is personally signed by both the musician and Steve. The editions are strictly limited to 50 prints, are 17”x 22” and printed on Epson archival fine art matte paper using archival inks. The starting price is $450.00 and will rise as the edition sells out. To learn more and place an order, visit Quiet Light Publishing HERE.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
...Steve took this project on was to be in a position to 'give back'. Well, last night at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation charity auction in Chicago, a copy of the book signed by Steve and Pinetop Perkins and a limited edition print also signed by them both brought a winning bid of $1100. Additionally, a copy of the book and a limited edition print of Dave Brubeck brought $700. Very cool and completely consistent with the vibe of the book! Congrats to all!!
Friday, December 10, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
What a fantastic place to spend an afternoon wanderin', lookin', listenin' and buyin'! The Louisiana Music Factory in New Orleans specializes in regional music of all types from Zydeco to R&B to Jazz and everything along the way. A huge selection of new titles and hard-to-finds in CDs along with videos, DVDs, t-shirts and...books! And - no surprise here - "Their Love of Music" is now on the shelves! And make sure to check out who might be stopping in for a live performance...here's one from a couple of years ago featuring one of our favorites, Theresa Andersson! Click HERE to visit them online!
For our friends in the region, get on over an grab a copy of the book before they're gone!!
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
We've started featuring holiday songs by artists included in the book and rather than make ya' wait to see them all, we'll preview the full list so you can listen now and later. A wonderful musical backdrop as you leaf through the book...
Dave Brubeck – A Tannenbaum
Aaron Neville – Louisiana Christmas
Rosanne Cash – How Many Christmases
Michelle Malone – Feels Like Christmas
Clint Black – Milk and Cookies
Loudon Wainwright – Christmas Morning
Blind Boys of Alabama – Silent Night
Shawn Mullins – Home For Christmas
Natalia Zukerman – The Riddle (Tumbalalaika)
Ramsey Lewis – Winter Wonderland
Joe Satriani - Silent Night
Jennifer Peterson – I’ll Be Home For Christmas
Peter Himmelman – Light Up The World
Richard Shindell – Mary Magdalene
Shawn Colvin – I Don’t Need Anything This Christmas
Suzy Bogguss – I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
Lonnie Brooks – Christmas on the Bayou
Shemekia Copeland – Stay a Little Longer, Santa
Allen Toussaint – The Day It Snows On Christmas
Tift Merritt – I’ll Be Home For Christmas
Ann Callaway - Silent Night
George Thorogood - Rock n Roll Christmas
Ingrid Michaelson - Christmas
Friday, December 3, 2010
And let's start with an incredible artist who turns 90 on Monday...yep, that's 90, ninety, 9...0, the BIG nine-oh! Happy Birthday, Dave and thanks for an amazing career of making magnificent music...enjoy Dave Brubeck's take on a holiday classic...