Above the clouds

Above the Clouds

Today is Saint Cecilia’s day, patroness of musicians, and right now in many places around the word many people are celebrating it. The first record of a music concert in her honor dates from 1570, and since that day it is a tradition to offer concerts on this date. This post is my way to pay a little tribute to this wonderful profession.

A few days ago a band in a village near my city (Almagro, famous by its theater representations) celebrated a concert in her honor, to which I was invited to attend. I took the opportunity to bring my camera with me and take some pictures, as nowadays I am very busy with a personal project and I cannot spend time on photography. The concert was played in a tiny but really classy theater, and knowing people in the band allowed me to have a very good position to see the event. Also, illumination in the stage was wonderful. Being used to some other scenarios were I usually have to take pictures, which require the use of extreme parameters, this time I barely needed to force the camera. As a result I was able to take very bright and detailed pictures with very little noise and enough quality to print them up to 60 by 40 cm (a luxury I rarely can afford). ISO 1250 is a very reasonable value for a full frame sensor, and I could use relatively fast speeds (1/100 s) with a not-so-extreme aperture value (f/4). If any of my readers usually takes pictures in concerts s/he will perfectly know that those parameters are uncommon in this kind of photography.

Today’s picture depicts one of the moments while the director was leading the band with passion, during the musical piece called “The Island of Light”, based on the legends of Menorca island and a Moorish boy who got stranded there after a pirate assault. Although the play also included choreography by the musicians and “improvised percussion”, in this moment only the director was in movement. An event of this kind imposes a lot of respect and awe (especially in such a small place), and the feeling of being annoying the people around while I should just being listening kept me from taking more pictures. Anyway, I believe this picture perfectly shows the mood and grace of the moment, with a very energetic director leading those artists.

Although the picture was originally taken in color, I processed all the set in Black and White, as I believe it better fits the classic mood of the moment. Also, the very high contrast between the people and the back of the scenario calls for this kind of processing. I toned the highlights slightly to a kind of sepia to respect and transmit the warm tone of the original lighting existing during the performance.

For the lovers of orchestral music, the following is the full list of pieces played by the band during the event:

-Andrés Contrabandista (Andrés the smuggler), by Oscar Navarro.

-Destellos del alba (Flashes of the Dawn), by Ferrer Ferrán.

-Libertadores (Liberators), by Oscar Navarro.

-The island of light, by José Alberto Pina.

-De Cái (From Cái), by Pascual Piqueras Cabanillas.

After this good experience, I long to be there on 2017 concert and I really hope that year after year they increase the popularity of the event. I give my best wishes to all the band members and I encourage them to keep with the hard work that leaded to such an amazing concert.