film, film making, music, photography, random thought, travel

up on a mountain

here’s a quick preview of a new film i’ve been working on called the mountain.  just like the other short films, it’s basically just moving versions of my landscape/ nature imagery, put to music…  i’m still very new to this.  i hope to grow and become more sophisticated in my attempts at filmmaking.  but if you like this kind of thing, please check out the film chronos.  it has provided great inspiration for me, and it is a fantastic example of how a film of this sort should look.

these particular clips were shot in telluride this past week.  however, the rest of the film is shot in locations all over the world.  locations include (or will include) big bend, wyoming, california, spain, lebanon, kenya, ethiopia, and hopefully many more.

i don’t plan to have the mountain finished anytime before the winter of 2010, but i’ll continue to release little previews like this one.  let me know what you think…

thanks so much for watching!

 

music:  “up on a mountain” by the welcome wagon

 

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2009


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family, music, photography, random thought, writing

flat people?

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flat people is bob guittard.  bob guittard is my brother-in-law.

a few weeks ago i was contacted by a photo editor to shoot a band in the area.  he said he liked my work, and thought i’d be good for this project.  and then came the kicker;  he said, “i’d like you to shoot a band called ‘flat people’.”

i laughed, thinking this was a joke put on by a family member.  “yes,” i said.  “flat people is my brother-in-law.”

“good,” he said.  ” then you probably work well together, eh.”

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in line with the name of the band, i came up with the concept for this shot.  and thanks to my friend, master retoucher, and coincidentally flat people band member, warren barry, the photo-illustration would be my favorite of the shoot.

enjoy a track from their debut album…

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from left to right: warren barry, zech lumpkin, bob guittard, graham cathey, rich williams

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all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2009

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music, photography, random thought, writing

sister winter

i love winter. when i lived in wyoming, winter was considerably more “involved” than it is in texas. but the fact remains; winter is the season of death.  no matter where you live.

certainly i am no lover and harbinger of death. “slayer” is not carved into my arm.  but i am obsessed with what inevitably walks patiently beside death:  the opportunity for renewal.

where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure.  ~  rumi

there was a time in my life when my heart froze over – it took so many years to thaw.  sufjan’s song sister winter reminds me of this time.  

it seems to be a beautiful and poignant letter of explanation to his friends.  he tells them that his heart has returned to sister winter, and is as cold as ice.  the weight of sadness is almost too much to bear.

he goes on to describe in filmic detail a failed relationship.  it cuts deep into the listener. 

but what i love most about sister winter is the end of the song. it builds and builds… and when all of this scar tissue and raw emotion culminate and burst forth, breaking free from the frost, sufjan belts out an intense, “and my… friends, i’ve… returned to wish you all the best…  and my… friends, i’ve… returned to wish you… a… happy Christmas!”  the ice melts, and love flows again.

it ends with bittersweet undertones.  sustained strings in unison fade.

may spring come!  but not before we have proper time to mourn our losses.

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music, photography

avett again

the avett brothers apparently love dallas.  i saw them again last thursday night at the granada for the second time in four months.  and only months before that, they performed another show here… but i missed that one.

  

once again, they brought the intense energy and raw sound that their fans have come to expect.

  

  

  

  

  

and again, it was a very enjoyable experience.  i highly recommend this band.  live especially, but i have also been enjoying their albums.  check them out as soon as possible – they’re going to be big…

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2008

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music, random thought, writing

it’s not “world music” to everyone

i started to laugh to myself the other day when i had this thought. while making a mix for a friend, i thought i’d expand my musical prowess by experimenting with a few new non-english tracks.

the dreaded term “world music” popped into my head, and i immediately thought of ian. yeah, you remember ian. the ponytail-wearing kickboxer in the movie high fidelity, that steals john cusak’s girlfriend, and “listens to whatever world music is in fashion that week”.

well, i don’t fancy myself to be much of a kickboxer, and i sure as hell don’t have a ponytail (kind of a sore subject really, considering my ever growing bald spot).  also, i can assure everyone here that i would have no chance stealing any girlfriend from the great john cusak. so what gives? what is world music?

i’ve been enjoying a lot of yann tiersen lately.  he’s a french pop superstar.  but “pop” is way too narrow a classification for this guy.  he’s also a composer, rocker, experimentalist, rapper, you name it, he can do it.  anyway, so how do we in america categorize folks like yann, and manu chao.  or even carlos vives or keren ann?  well, according to the itunes music store, they’re all in the blanket genre of “world music”.  

so, i guess that the main, and perhaps only, criteria for this broad genre is that it’s not american in origin.  we have been the driving force behind the modern music industry, so it kind of makes sense.  but i’m sure if you visited the french version of the itunes store, yann tiersen would certainly not be found in the dreaded “world music” section with the long-forgotten riverdance and obligatory amazon mood music.

there’s some really great music out there though… even beyond the reach of american record labels.  so don’t hesitate to check out some good world music today.  don’t worry, you won’t become like ian overnight… at least i hope not.

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