Tag Archives: music

New Work: Richard Seba, singer-songwriter

I met Richard on a very unrelated family function, being his grandparents-in-law and my parents friends’ 50th wedding anniversary, and when he needed some photographs to accompany his first record we decided to collaborate. At first I wasn’t really sure of where to do the shoot so about a week prior I went on a drive looking for a cool location. I found a derelict, abandoned mansion just a few minutes from where I live and decided that was the perfect place to shoot. Although we couldn’t actually get in the building the grounds were rather enchanting, quiet and provided us with enough privacy to simply get on with it.

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KvZ-5205

Masterclass with Jimmy Katz

I had the good fortune to be invited to attend a workshop by famed jazz photographer Jimmy Katz on July 7th, and I’m pretty darned pleased I had the opportunity to do so. I found it super inspiring to hear masters talk about their craft.

Jimmy Katz is pretty much the most important photographer working in jazz today. He has shot portraits of Sonny Rollins (one of my favorites), Ornette Coleman, Ray Charles, BB King, the list goes on and on. It’s definitely worth doing a Google search 🙂 There is great video on YouTube, shot by the local TV station, about the exhibition of his work at Kasteel Woerden, which just happened to be the location for masterclass as well.

All in all it was a pretty hectic day, as I had to go to work in the morning and then rush to Woerden as soon as I was able to leave. There were quite a few other photographers already and I found it a little bit daunting when I walked in. Who are all these people? Will I look like a sucker when I show my work? Thank goodness, I quickly spotted a few familiar faces, and pretty much fit right in. Hearing Jimmy talk about his own work was pretty amazing.

We all had the opportunity to show our own work which is both very exciting as it is scary. Fortunately, I received a good review 🙂 Jimmy’s wife Dena was also present during the whole day and it’s cool to see just how in tune they are with each other, personally and professionally. They both seem to represent a different aspect of being great photographers, making them a very successful pair indeed. I actually really enjoyed talking to Dena, she has such a fantastic technical eye and pays great attention to detail. She showed me a few things that I could improve on in a very positive and constructive way. 

Jimmy Katz reviewing my work

Jimmy Katz reviewing my work.

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Jimmy Katz reviewing work during the masterclass at Kasteel Woerden

Updated

It’s been a while, but I finally updated my website www.kathalijne.com after +9 months. I added new photos in the Portrait, Music and Travel sections. Go have a look, leave a comment, tell your friends, hey, tell the world! I’m ready to see the world:)

The photo featured below is of South African musician Meri Kenaz, you should check her out if you have the chance.

Happy exploring:)

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Be Sweet

Greg Dulli’s voice is filling up my room. Nice. No one can beg and plead in such a seductive way as he can. Well some, but not a lot:) This should help my mood on this dreary, grey December day. Oh well. Bears have the right idea – hibernation.

At the close of 2011 I entered the Mono Competition by Gomma Books and filed an application for an artist residency in Cape Town. Fingers crossed it will work out:)

For you photographers out there the Sony World Photographers – Open Competition is also still open. The deadline is on January 4, 2012. And kudos to Gomma Books and Sony for not charging an entry fee.
I don’t know about you, but I am totally ready for 2011 to be over and 2012 to start. I just know adventures are waiting:)
The title comes from the album ‘Gentlemen’ by, you guessed it, the Afghan Whigs.
The photo above is one of Lauren Fowler, a hugely talented illustrator from Cape Town. You can see her work at www.laurenfowler.co.za

Jamal Thomas Band

I was very fortunate to be asked to do a photo shoot with the Jamal Thomas Band a little while ago. Jamal Thomas (1954, U.S.A.) is a drummer who has shared the stage with  Maurice White (Earth, Wind & Fire), The S.O.S band and to this day still tours with Maceo Parker.

In 2009 Jamal met the young talented drummer Alex Bernath and decided to form the Jamal Thomas band.

For more information about the band visit their website http://www.jamalthomas.com

The Rambling Life Fantastic

“You see, I have a strange serendipitous relationship with Hot Water, but I don’t think they actually know this. Looking back it seems that I always see them around the time of changes in my life.”

Those are my words, written when I interviewed Donovan Copley for Portfolio Collection’s Travel Blog nearly two years ago (full interview here: Talking To Hot Water – Connecting The Dots Through Life And Music). Strangely and amazingly enough, those words are still true. I saw them perform in The Hague this past weekend and it occurred to me that once again, decision-making and the changes that come with that, are on the horizon. Self-inflicted deadlines and self-inflicted limits between failure or success. Why do we do that? How does it happen that one loses faith when first you had the conviction to that what you felt and thought were right? It’s easy to point the finger at others, blaming them for messing with your head, while in fact those voices have always been there and it never stopped you before. Not making decisions has a paralyzing effect on me. I do know that there is only one way back from to and that is to get back on the proverbial horse. I hope it rears up and gallops straight into the fields of possibility.

In case you were wondering about the Hot Water gig last Saturday, it was awesome as always. The band consisted of Donovan Copley (vocals, guitar), Ronan Skillen (didgeridoo, various drums), Andre Schwartz (drums), Soubry Makupula (back up vocals) and I am ashamed to say I don’t know the bass players name. They played, roughly, for an hour and half with songs from their 3 albums. During one of their new songs ‘Lekker Sakkie’ they invited people to come up on stage for a dance contest, a “langarm” dance contest at that. Unsurprisingly, there were not many people in the house who knew what “langarm” was, in fact there was only one couple, a guy from P.E. and is girlfriend. Not surprisingly:)

I hadn’t seen them perform in over a year, and it was cool hearing some new songs as well as a Bob Dylan cover, watching Soubry dress up as a woman and Donovan climbing up onto the rafters during the encore ‘Tribal Man’.

Climbing up onto the rafters… to get a new perspective on things, perhaps? See, I told you I always seem to meet them when the times are a changing. Soon, I’ll be wearing shades:)


The photos photos were taken on Red Hill, just outside Simon’s Town, on a cold winter’s day. The title comes in part  from the Man Man song ‘Life Fantastic”

The Asteroids Galaxy Tour

This is the gorgeous Mette Lindberg, singer for Danish band The Asteroids Galaxy Tour. Their first single “The Sun Ain’t Shining No More” was released some time in 2008. Most of you may know them from Apple’s I-pod Touch commercial for which their song “Around the Bend” was used. Go check them out. They are great live!

www.theasteroidsgalaxytour.com

Fox Hill Lane

Seeing how CultureBox blogged about me, I figured I’d blog about someone else in return. And blogging about one of the most talented and quite possibly one of the nicest people in the South African music industry seems like a good idea.

 I first ‘met’ Guy Buttery when the Greenhairmermaid took me to one of Guy’s shows at Monkey Valley in Noordhoek, some time in 2010. I had heard of Guy Buttery but had never heard any of his music. Needless to say, I am glad I went. Guy creates a musical landscape, occasionally looping his music as he plays, with just one guitar to mesmerizing effects. His version of Joanna Newsome’s ‘The Book of Right On’ is seriously awesome. Anyway, I’m crap at describing music so I’ll take a quote from the Mail & Guardian instead:

“… his music has a subtle grace and power all of its own. Though his technical prowess is also bewildering, Buttery immerses himself entirely into the soul of his guitar, coaxing sonic shapes and forms of such startling originality from it that his instrument acts as a kind of lightning conductor for the sound of another realm.”

Impressed with his music, I wrote him pretty soon after the gig asking if he’d be willing to take part in my project ‘Swimming Upstream’. He said yes:)

Originally from the Durban area, Guy made his way to Cape Town in 2009. Having studied jazz and classical guitar at the University of Kwazulu Natal as well as under Nibs van der Spuy, Guy soon found himself opening for Nibs in front of crowds up to 2,000 people. And at only 18 year of age, he was the youngest ever SAMA nominee for his debut album “When I grow Up”.

 We met up a while later at his house. I had asked him about places in or around Cape Town that he finds beautiful and inspiring, and he chose Klein Plaas Dam as the backdrop for our shoot. We made our way up Red Hill in his car; packed with a guitar, camera, some clothes and snacks. In case you’ve never been to Klein Plaas Dam, it’s a very quiet and peaceful reservoir surrounded by these bleached white alien-shaped rocks. The sun was out and I struggled quite a bit with the harsh light reflecting off the rocks but managed by moving into the shade for a while.

When asked what the biggest challenge has been so far, Guy replied:

“The music industry itself. South Africa doesn’t have a very big infrastructure; there are not a lot of venues, promoters or publicists. The shortage of all this has been a challenge. You have to get your name out there. And my music is quite “niche” so that has made it even more difficult.”

Releasing his second album ‘Songs from the Cane Field’  in 2005, it was his album ‘Fox Hill Lane’ that eventually won him A SAMA award last year for best instrumental album. Quite recently his Joanna Newsome cover was included on a covers album called ‘Versions of Joanna’ which was released on Drag City. Guy will be touring with Dan Patlansky later this year (June).It seems to me that guy has made “niche” work for his quite successfully.


It’s time to head home and we make our way down hill in the late afternoon sun. The light has gone from harsh to a soft warm glow. While we stop to take some last photos and Guy plays the guitar, I can’t help thinking I’ve got the best job in the world. Seriously, eh.. to be in splendid company, be outdoors and listen to beautiful music all day long while doing exactly what you love. How cool is that? All I’m thinking is why stop at “all day long”… I think I’ll continue for a while to come yet, at least until I grow up:)

If you like Guy Buttery you may want to check out Cabins in the Forest (even if they don’t exist anymore their album is still ou there), Gary Thomas or Andrew James.

You can find more on Guy Buttery right here: www.guybuttery.co.za

This Charming Man

I just found this interview with Flemish photographer Stephan Vanfleteren on youtube. He is one of my favorite contemporary portrait photographers and thought I’d share. It’s very interesting to hear him talk about how he likes to take his time to do a portrait and that he kind of prefers shooting strangers. I also really like how he according to him, he finds Dutch photographers very direct. They know exactly what they want and go for it while he prefers taking his time and letting things “grow”. What he says makes perfect sense to me…

I suppose it’s a pity the interview is all in Flemish but for those of you who understand it, I’d say it’s a good thing. The accent, the choice of words… I’m telling you, Lieve Vanleeuw, those men from Flanders… ai:)

Oh and isn’t it a gorgeous exhibition space?

Check out some of the Flemish bands as well: The Sore Losers, dEUS, Triggerfinger, Daan, Millionaire and anything with Mauro Pawlowski… like I said, men from Flanders:)

Dazzled kid, pigs and pics

In an attempt to change my attitude and be a little bit happier, oh and because it actually may be fun, I decided to enter some images into a photo competition. Two competitions even… I have only done this once before and never even heard back. Oh well.. new days and all that. The theme of the one festival, Foto Festival Naarden, is ‘Portraits’ which, yay, is right up my alley. It is what I do after all. Should be easy enough to find something good enough to enter… I look for the Rules & Regulations.
 
“All photos must be taken between January 2009 and January 2011.” No problem. One can submit 1-5 images. Also not a problem. When submitting a series, the photos must form an “unbreakable unit”. Oh. I don’t do series that well. Stand alone images are more my forte than series but then again Swimming Upstream is my attempt at a series so I should be able to find something. I read on… Sub Themes… Oh #2… there are 8 of them but ai, there isn’t that much choice at all for me as I hardly fit any of the themes. In fact, I only fit one.
 
 The sub themes are Bare Essence (nudes), Famous Heads (your own visual interpretation of someone famous), Just Me (selfies), Second Skin (people in uniforms), Photoshop Mania (go PS wild), Polaroid vs SmartPhone, Studentenwerk (whatever you are working on at Art School) or On Going Project.
 
That only leaves one category for me, as I don’t have any nudes, I have famous people or well-known people but they aren’t Dutch, I don’t like doing self portraits and therefore have non, I use Photoshop but don’t go wild which could be a reason to enter into this category as I could be part of the low-end of the Photoshop spectrum but I am assuming there are looking for all out photoshopped images. Then there is the Polaroid vs Smartphone one well ugh… I like the idea of an established photo festival trying to incorporate smartphones etc but well… I don’t have a smart phone or a Polaroid so that possibility is out as well. I am not at the Academy of Art nor have I ever been at the Academy of Art which leaves On Going project as the only possible category.
 
 Cool. On Going Project it is then. It’s what Swimming Upstream is and hey, maybe it’s not a bad thing to only fit into one category. Kinda how things are for me anyway. I want this, not that etc…
 
Back to Rules & Regulations. Besides fitting into any of the categories one must either be a student at an established School of Art, belong to a professional photographer’s association (I don’t but could join one today and enter the competition tomorrow), belong to a photo agency (aaah Duncan? Help:-) uhmmm ok I belong to World Portraits and will be included in The Imaginarium’s database), be able to name a professional reference (wtf.. what does that even mean? I’m sure I can?), won stipends or grants etc (nope) and/or have exhibited one’s work… phiew… finally YES. Cool.
 
What’s next? Ah… 35 euros entrance fee. For someone as broke as I am 35 euros may as well be 3,500 euros as zero money is zero money but oh well it can’t be that I can’t do this over some silly entrance fee so I’ll make it work. Somehow.
 
Now this turns out to be a really nice bridge to my next uhm… “dilemma”. The friend’s mother I mentioned in September Girls sent me an email looking for some images and is willing to pay for them, however, she is not looking to buy a printed and framed photo but a high res image and wonders what would it cost. Good question and great, except that it feels very wrong to ask her for money. It feels wrong for a couple of reasons. If she was buying a physical product where there are actual costs involved it is easier to charge money. Let’s say she does want to buy a framed image, then I’d have something to hand over to her and that she could put on the wall. Now it is simply sending an email on my side and she still has to drive to town to get something printed and framed and all costs are on her side. The other thing is, that my friend has been a huge help in my project and well, a friend. Charging his mother just feels wrong. And my final thing is, seeing how I don’t have an SA bank account but a Dutch one most of the money would get lost in international transfer fees. Guess the answer would be to charge her 35 euros… but the transfer fees are more than that… Ugh.
 
Any suggestions, ass kickings or any comments of the “stop whining” or “get your butt into gear” are welcome:-)
 
I am now going to come up with a selection to send in…Have a vague idea of which ones but not sure at all yet.  It’s going to be a “kill your darlings kind of day” I’m sure…
 
Listening to Suarez (easy French folk pop), Dazzled Kid and White Lies. And still backing up files of the last 6 months. Have cleared out 38 gigs so far… Also have to go to a temp agency today…
Oh and the photos: top is Tristan Waterkeyn, then Tshepo Moche and bottom one S.A. Partridge and Timothy Lester. About time to do some new shoots:-)