#961. “Photos that sing to me” (challenge results + next topic)

By pascaljappy | Uncategorized

Feb 02

Well, better late than never, right? This challenge was announced not last month, not last year, but last decade. Unacceptable 😉 But music is worth the wait, so here it is finally.

A Christmas Carol, maybe?

I’m usually quite nervous about forgetting contributions after a few weeks of receiving them via email. Not this time. This time , it’s been longer and I’m petrified 😉 So, you know the drill: if I’ve forgotten you, please tell me (indicating the title of the email), I’ll do my best to correct asap.

But, about your photographs: first of all, thank you for sending them. Secondly, I think they illustrate perfectly the difference between a challenge, a competition and a collaborative project. A competition is an arbitrary face off between photographs (and can be glorious in the hands of good judges), a collaborative project is a set of people working to create photographs of a common topic, following a predefined angle or set of ideas. A challenge leads to a bunch of photographs that have nothing in common, save for the seed idea, every photographer taking a different point of view on it.

And this post again shows how diverse our, your, production can be, even around a fairly difficult and obscure topic. So well done and thank you for sharing those. Not every viewer will enjoy every set and that is the beauty of it. We don’t seek universality but personality. Kudos!

Sturm und Drang ?

And that is how the photographs below should be viewed. Of course they stand alone, but they also give us an insight into the reasoning of the photographer, and potential ideas for ourselves. Some are photographs of live music. Others are evocations. Others are photographs of ideas. And so on.

As Jean-Claude rightly notes in the message accompanying his photographs, this game is fun but almost never works out. Meaning you probably won’t hear the same music as the contributor when seeing his or her photographs. But that’s OK. Think about the diversity of ideas behind the pairings, not about the pairings themselves. This is where the challenge can be useful and fun.

Onwards 🙂


Philippe Berend


Here are two pictures of plants emerging from a very dark back ground. They remind me of Mozart, and; more specifically, the lighter and more charming Mozart, like this concerto for flute and harp K 299.

Plants have infinite beauty, a beauty which is both free and gratuitous, fragile and ephemereal. Their beauty serves no purpose, in the wonderful words of Angelus Silesius “the rose is without why, it blossoms because it blossoms, not concerned with itself, not asking if one sees it”. Silesius reminds us that flowers, breathtakingly beautiful though they may be, have no meaning. They don’t matter.

Mozart’s music is the same. One minute it is there, and delights us and then no more. Meaning will come later to lay music, with romanticism. But, though without meaning, the beauty of flowers, emerging out of nothing, pulls at our heartstrings, and we sense that something extraordinary is at play here, that they are not the product of happenstance. They remind me that, while they embody fragility and impermanence, they can also encompass al the beauty in the world, as cherry blossoms do for the Japanese. Like the quiet whisper that was the Lord God, and not the great and powerful wind or the earthquake, in 1 Kings 19:11-13.


Pascal Jappy

When I’m 64 (poor unloved old Porsche)
The Battle for Evermore (Led Zeppelin), because that’s how I feel our world is playing out today and we are just spectators, powerless or unwilling to act.
The rite of spring (Stravinsky) An innovative piece about an ancient ritual of sacrifice to ensure renewal. New forms of work and collaboration are very dear to me and often doomed to fail (as I have sadly experienced first hand) but will eventually usher in a much needed new age.

Jean-Claude Louis

Monument to the victims of fascism, Berlin. Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night), Arnold Schoenberg’s haunting masterpiece, conveys the sense of anxiety and despair of the people on their way to death camps.
Humpback whales, Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia. Following whales and listening to their songs with a hydrophone is an unforgettable experience, some of the most beautiful music I’ve heard.

Steve Mallett


Shot these at a Betsy gig in our local hal – she’s a local girl and it was packed out with all her old school pals. Whilst her music does little for me the gig was wonderful.


Sateen Prion


Sateen adds: “Elton John’s tribute to Marilyin Monroe – A candle in the wind – is a beautiful hymn to hope for all those who are different. Like this lily, which wilted before it ever got to bloom but shows a grace of its own, and was lying alone in a dumpster”.


Pascal Ravach

17/03/2017, Vietnam…
A contemporary music score…
14/08/2019, Thailand
If Pollock wrote a score… or “Dripping Notes »

Nancee Rostad


Even though this is an image of ice it totally reminds me of all the components of our galaxy: stars, coronas, planets, meteors, and satellites orbiting and rushing about. The1960’s hit instrumental “Telstar” by the Ventures seems to capture the energy and perceived movement in the image. The song was named after the world’s first active communications satellite which was launched on July 10, 1962.


Lad Sessions


Lad adds: “Here are some early entries to your next challenge.  I can’t always name the precise tune, but will try to convey a mood of these pictures that hum to me.”

springtime reverie, a daydream
new life
the joy of light, …
… but also evanescence
transcendental meditations
“Stormy Weather”

Kristian Wannebo

Taagen letter (~ The Fog is Lifting)
by Carl Nielsen

John Wilson


I love good music of any kind regardless of genre, artist, composer, nationality … If its good music, I’m there. So being a photographer with that broad a taste, music often suggests images. “The Mysterious Forest” is a series of images created from images of trees photographed against a winter sky produced over several years of messing around with no thought of ever doing anything beyond the collection. Then along came Audio Machine and the piece “The New Earth”. Each time I listened to it I kept
thinking of trees. Hmmm … what if.


And now for something completely different: Humour


“Why so serious?”

The Joker

Looking at my overflowing hard drive contents, I realise how few of my photographs are funny. Isn’t that very sad? I mean, humour sustains us. Why shouldn’t our photographs be funny?

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Job_17051-767x1024.jpg
This is vaguely funny. Not good enough, though 😉
This is a photograph of something funny, not a funny photograph. OK, but not great.

So that’s the topic for this month’s challenge. Anything funny. The funnier the better. I don’t care what camera made it, where it was made, whether the image quality is good or not. Let’s just make it funny 🙂

It will be the “clicks and giggles challenge” 🙂

So, please send your photographs to me in an email (pascal dot jappy at gmail dot com), with the name of the challenge in the title, and jpeg photographs of 1000-2000px long edge dimension. Feel free to add any text you want and I will add your words to your images. Cheers.


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  • Philberphoto says:

    Clicks and giggles? I LOVE IT! Though I have no idea how I’d need to go about answering this challenge, I just can’t wait. And I chuckle in advance at all you talented folks’ contributions!

  • Pascal Ravach says:

    John, after your wall, this is your second image that stays « printed » in my mind.
    I enjoy ancient Asian paintings; this image has a perfect balance… both static and dynamic, out of time and lively, full and empty. Couldn’t add or remove anything.
    I too like most music genres (but few stuff in each), I enjoy watching this timeless image with a more meditative music… yes it seems « over-evident », but
    « Traces 1 » from Tigran Hamasyan works for me 🙂

  • Jean-Claude Louis says:

    Philippe : Images + Mozart + your writing = Poetry – Remarkable

    Nancee : nice view of the universe 🙂 We must be from the same generation, the one that was lucky to see the beginnings of the space age – Sputnik, Gemini, Apollo, the landing on the moon – wonderful memories

    Pascal : The Porsche 64 – I’m past that number and can relate to the state of decay 😉 Doing the garden, digging the weeds, who could ask for more? – Photography perhaps?

    John : Beautiful image. I see a touch of Klimt in the patterns and colors of the trunks. Well done.

    • pascaljappy says:

      Thank you Jean-Claude. We discussed you images and chosen privately and you know how impressed I am with both 🙂

    • Pascal Ravach says:

      Jean-Claude, your 2nd pic – brilliant choice – reminded me a book I recommend since ages: « Why do Whales and Children Sing?: A Guide to Listening in Nature »  by David Dunn…
      Here in Quebec, we have belugas and whales; in BC, a musician used to kakak to whales, play jazz on his sax and hear whales reacting!
      A fascinating book, and an Image I had for so long in my mind 🙂

      • Jean-Claude Louis says:

        Thank you, Pascal. Didn’t know about that book; I ordered a copy of it on the spot 🙂 Being in the outdoors is always a multi-sensorial experience and an endless source of inspiration for many art forms.

  • Nancee Rostad says:

    This was a fun challenge, Pascal! I almost always have music come to mind when I’m photographing; however, I can’t say that the music I chose for my submission came to mind in that way.
    I’m very impressed with everyone’s submissions and the accompanying musical selections – what a pleasure it was to play the music while viewing the images!

  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    Sigh – didn’t understand the question, so I haven’t submitted an answer to it. Instead, I’m sitting here as someone passionately devoted to both music and photography, admiring everyone else’s efforts.

    For the record – I don’t have the usual classifications of music – like “classical”, “baroque”, “romantic”, “modern”, “popular”, etc. I have simply two boxes for music ” good” or “bad”. But for the fact her father died right next to her, 40 minutes before she was due to sit her final exam (a 3 hour, practical, on the piano – all from memory, without access to sheet music), my mother would have had a Dip.Mus. the Conservatorium. And although times were tough, she paid for my music lessons for 7 years, until dad’s sister took over and paid for the rest of my lessons at the Conservatorium. So “words were said”, when my tastes in music didn’t exactly accord with mother’s. Never mind – we each find our way in the world, as we grow up.

    And so it is with photography – I don’t have borders – just “good” or “bad”.

    Scanning back and forth through these photos over the past couple of days, I have not been able to overcome my lack of a “judgmental gene” and decide which of them I like best. It’s not like choosing between merlot and coca cola. Or between Dutch chocolate and Cadbury’s.

    Thanks to all of you, for sharing. That’s about the best I can come up with.

  • Dallas says:

    Congratulations to all contributors.

  • Sean says:

    There are some lovely and well crafted images in this post. I particularly like both of these images ‘Sturm und Drang ?’ and ‘When I’m sixty four’ – the authors know who they are 🙂 In the ‘Humour’ section, I like the B&W one of the Birds of Paradise flowers – it’s like a noisy session between some Magpies in a carpark, arguing over which one gets to eat the French Fry’s spilled on the bitumen.

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