As a kid I spent 8 years playing the piano and ended up completely abandonning it when I became a teenager. It was once a passion. I did dream of indulging in playing wonderful music. I did dream of flying with the 88 keys of the piano like Tim Roth did in “The Legend of 1900.” I did dream! And I gave up at the end!
None of the piano teachers I met managed to spark my curiosity by good stories.
Indeed I was a slightly cynical kid who needed to be lured by fun facts!
I was so cynical I needed fun facts to start with.
All that I knew was that I had to practise 100, 200, 300 times the same pieces for the next ABRSM exam planned a year ahead. The execution had to be technically flawless. There was no room for creativity. With hindsight, I know that what I did had no soul. I did not know that behind each piece of music there was at least a story to be told. I didn’t find the key to open the door to the power of narratives. My music was the dry sound of a kid executing what she was told to do.
Now that I have chosen photography as my main medium of artistic expression, my goal every time when I try to create something, is to inject story into what I make. It may not be a clearly told story with a story line. It can simply be a fragment of a scene, giving you space to imagine what is not shown by the pixels, what is outside of the frame, before and after the opening of the shutter. Luring people in with fragments of narratives!
Once I thanked a friend for helping me better understand my life choices (I was facing a dilemma for my career). She told me, “It’s really not what is said that counts, but what the listener gets that changes everything.” Basically she insisted that she hadn’t helped and believed that I had figured it all out by myself!
I believe this is the power of story telling. I don’t express something via photography in order to be understood (I have friends for that purpose). I simply believe that when emotions are channeled into narratives through a creative process, it can bring creators and viewers to another level of reflection on themselves.
By growing up we get better and better at digesting our own emotions. I do not regret giving up on music. I was simply searching for the best media for my stories and constructing my world view as a kid.