[Flaire] Summer Portfolio July 2011 – 私有地址

Window Sill, Maitland's Apartment

Before any of you are wondering whether you really arrived on a street photographer’s blog or I have lost my knocker, I have only this to say: STAY, and READ ON!

As most of the regular readers of this blog knew, usually I cover a plethora of lives in China from the urban jungle to the rural outposts,namely centered in Shanghai. It will still continue to be that way, but however for my own sake as well as my readers own, I like to do something different once in a while to add color to the everyday staple.

This time its my own personal touche in this story.

I was invited by a South African mate of mine, Maitland, to film his small band in his apartment. A keen fly fishermen ( like me) from his part of the world, he was dismayed that he couldn’t find any real discernable spot to practise this quiet sport. To make it even more difficult, he couldn’t speak mandarin.As people said, he turned to the next best thing: music. I turned to photography, so its only sooner or later that we would try and work together.

Now the interesting bit is that his band members are actually a pair of teens from the Midwestern USA, John and Emily. Freshmen to the famous Shanghai Jiaotong University, they are unique that they spent most of their teenage lives in the greater area of China. This was quite plainly evident since Emily could speak better Mandarin than me. While John is quiet, subdued but posses a cheshire cat wits and grin, his sister is a vivacious la belle that wouldn’t hesitate to groove if she liked the rythm and beats. Considering how long they have been out of the USA, I guess its true when you say when you can’t take the China out of a Chinese, you certainly can’t take the Americana out of the American.

Its on this past Sunday, with sheets of heavy rain from a Shanghai Summer Storm pelting the windows, when I tried to get an audition tape out for this particular quirky bunch. Gather a bunch of bloopers in the beginning, an overindulgence of red wine and the red eye from staring at the view finder too much, I managed to slip a few shots of them while they were tuning and refining their craft as bona fide musicians. From Bob Dylan to the Eagles, they belt out an octave or 2 higher, to the low gravel voices for the grit of Suspicious Minds.

In the end, Emily asked me if they sounded different. I replied I was tone deaf, but she sure could sing better than me.

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