Irish Boy

Yes, 50% of me, and proud of it, too.

I’ve not dropped my habit of titling my blogs after music. “Irish Boy” is the opening track of Mark Knopfler’s soundtrack album to the movie “Cal”. It’s a piece of music I have loved for many years now, and I have “history” with it. It surfaced today while I was sitting editing photographs from my day out in the Alps (I’m still in Chamonix, as I write). I have it as the ringtone on my ‘phone, but I have the whole album on there, too.  It’s also the piece of music I want to be played out to at my funeral, though (you’ll be glad to know) that’s not what hearing it again brought to mind.

There was a time when I supplemented my meagre salary by touring a tape/slide show based around my regular trips to the Italian Dolomites. Tape/slide stuff was expensive. Two projectors (at least) and a music player that would syncronise the pictures with music and change the photos as it played. Plus loudspeakers suitable to the venue, and occasionally a screen, too, though I eventually insisted that this be provided by my hosts. The artistic opportunities were huge, especially for fade/dissolve transitions between shots. I’ll openly admit I was hugely influenced in what I did by seeing several shows by photographer and writer, and all-round very good bloke, John Beatty, who I was once honoured to host at a local fund-raising event. Tape/slide is also now pretty much dead, I guess; overtaken by laptop and digital projector-based evolution.

Not only was the stuff expensive, it was heavy and cumbersome. Mine fitted into three large cases and several carrier bags full of leads and plugs. Setting up would take ages. I usually had help to cart the stuff about. One evening my sherpa moaned “I feel like we’re moving mountains”. The first seeds of the name of my website were thus sown. A few months later, I showed a set of photos I was very proud of, at a show in an upstairs room of a pub, and a woman came up to me afterwards to say “Those mountains were very moving”. What else could I now use as a title. “Moving Mountains” was born.

One of the things about my shows I know (‘cos they told me) people found really drew them in was my choice of music to go with the photos. Very often, I’d use all or most of the “Cal” album. Even when the shows were based around a medly of all kinds of tracks, they’d invariably end with the album’s final track “The Long Road“, and always, but always begin with “Irish Boy”.

Therefore, it’s become a piece of music I relate to in a very visual sense. I have little difficulty recalling many of the images that went with it. I am also one of many people blessed with sound-colour synaesthesia Basically, hear sound, see colour. It’s had me wondering whether there’s a form of the condition where you can see sights and hear music. Now, that would have been a really useful thing back in the tape/slide days!

I have just over a week left here in Chamonix. I was going to have an extended trip home. I’ve just decided against it, and booked my return journey accommodation. I really just felt like this stay here would be too tough an act to follow. If you want to see what I mean, have a look at the most recent dozen or so photos on my gallery at the 500px web site. I can’t match that on my homeward trip!

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