Sunday 17 April 2011

Maalem Aziz Bakbou with the Armenian Navy Band and Daniel Zimmerman

This Flickr slideshow has the photos that I took last year in Essaouira of Maalem Aziz Bakbou with the Armenian Navy Band and Daniel Zimmerman:

John was at Place Moulay Hassan recording a different band, so we have no video of the Armenian Navy Band, but he left his audio recorder running (attached to our bedroom balcony!), and he's put together this video with one of their numbers along with some of my photos:

P.S. This was the first time (i.e. at last year's festival) that I'd ever attempted to take photographs at a live concert with moving subjects. In fact, I hardly ever take photos generally and you might well say that it shows!

The camera I used was a small Lumix DMC-FS6, which was the subject of much teasing by the professional photographers with their enormous cameras. I hardly knew how to operate my little 'tourist' camera at first so was really learning on the 'job'. But I have to say how surprised I was that I loved the whole experience of being both close to the performers and close to the crowd, trying to capture as best I could what I was seeing first hand.

Some of the photographs on show here are particularly amateurish and slightly out of focus, as you'd expect. However, there are some, paricularly of the dancers, that I'm really pleased with. I certainly hope that the collection give a flavour of the performance.

If I get a press badge for this year's festival, I hope to use a better camera and am already practising, which I'm finding a lot of fun. I should really be spending more time on my second novel, but the fesival is so important for me and I want to do a better job if I'm given the chance. Fingers crossed and all that.

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