Saturday, July 17, 2010

Niagara People: The Cellist

Ah, the wonders of the Internet. I posted an ad on the classifieds site Kijiji that went something along the lines of “Looking for a musician who plays an instrument from the violin family for a photography collaboration, preferably cello”, and, if I remember correctly, three days later I was contacted by Gordon, a local cellist. 

Hit the jump for more photos

Gordon and I agreed on a time and a couple weeks later we met at Merritt Island in downtown Welland.

Gordon is the principal cellist of the Niagara Symphony, to which he has belonged for almost 20 years. In addition to performing he is also a music educator, teaching cello and string techniques at the local university, as well as at music summer camps to young children.

While I would have gladly shot with anyone who played an instrument from the violin family, I was specifically hoping for a cello player mainly because I find the instrument itself striking, a marvel for being man-made. How someone figured out how to create such an instrument, starting with a tree in the forest, is far beyond me. It’s just amazing to me. Also, the cello itself, being a larger instrument as compared to a violin or viola, could become a main component of the image.

As seems to be the case with many serious musicians, their instruments are often older than they are and frequently constructed by a known master from a European location. A name that the general populace of non-musicians may recognize is Antonio Stradivari, an Italian luthier who is considered by many to be the most significant artisan in his field. His finest instruments were said to be constructed between 1698 and 1725.

Gordon’s cello was made in England and is around 200 years old. While pop culture may more quickly associate fine instruments with Italy, many fine instruments of the same standards as the Italian instruments were also made in England, says Gordon.


Mike said...

Enjoying the well written posts and photos on your blog. I like the behind the scenes descriptions and thoughts about your shoots, thanx for sharing!

Paul Charette said...

Hey Mike, thanks for checking out my site, glad you like what you found.
Keep in touch.

Dave said...

Hi Paul:

Are you related to John in Lumby? I also enjoyed reading some of your inner tours and the outer pictures, expecially the Cellist and the Gardener of late. The "average man" looked like a local Lumby man I know. Have you ever considered coming to BC for a shoot?

Dave B.

Paul Charette said...

Hey Dave,

Yes, John is my Uncle. Did he point you here? In any case, thanks for checking things out. Glad you enjoyed the images/ramblings.

The 'average man' you are referring to I think is the one with the lighthouse in the background? I shot this one in Port Dalhousie, Ontario - had just met the gentleman, not sure if he had ever been to BC or not.

I'd like to get out to BC sometime to take some photos, the plane tickets are costly though, wow. I've only been out to visit John once, about 11 years ago.

Thanks again.