Moers Jazz Festival 2016

Discussion in 'Street, Documentary, and Portrait' started by Hypilein, May 17, 2016.

  1. Hypilein

    Hypilein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 18, 2015
    I have just come back from Moers Jazz Festival, which happened this past weekend. It was absolutely amazing with lots of interesting music going on. This was also my first proper opportunity to put my new P35-100 f2.8 through its paces. All shots posted here were shot with this lens, are between ISO 1600 and 3200 and shot at f2.8 and around 125/s (varied slightly with available light) in Shutter Priority.

    The festival went over 4 evenings with a variety of music that went from free jazz to jazzified orchestral pop. Group size varied from Big Band all the way to solo or duo performances.

    My personal highlight of the first day was the "No BS! Brass Band". They really put a lot of energy on the stage. Unfortunately I was sitting further back, so I couldn't get any real close shots, but as there was a lot of group dynamic on stage this also helped to capture the whole scene.

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    The next day provided an interesting mix of jazz influenced by more popular form. Maja Osojnik and Patrick Wurzwallner presented a duo project with popular song forms called "Let Them Grow" which was very intresting despite the fact that I usually don't like the extreme usage of electronics.

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    Jeremy Flower brought in a local chamber orchestra for another decidedly "pop" project called "The Real Me". This was quite difficult to shoot, because I was sitting a lot closer (5th-7th row) and shots of large ensembles are often very static and emotionless, so I just focussed on the singer and violinist Carla Kihlstedt.

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    After the more popular projects in the afternoon the Harold López-Nussa Trio around the cuban pianist of the same name brought back the Jazz in full force, although with a slightly cuban touch. Absolutely brilliant pianist, who is well worth a listen. I find pianists quite tricky to photograph, as they are always hiding behind their instrument, but I was lucky as the piano was turned at exactly the right angle to see both the keys and sometimes the face of the pianist.

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    Harriet Tubman & two times grammy winner Cassandra Wilson closed the evening on, what can only be called a disappointing note, as their concert had no fire what so ever. I've noticed this before with famous performers. They seem to just "do their job" on stage. That said, Cassandra Wilson's voice is absolutely amazing and their stage presence was very good.

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  2. Hypilein

    Hypilein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 18, 2015
    The next day included another Cuban Performer. David Virelles presented his "Mbókò" project, which was a lot more modern in a jazz sense. I really enjoyed the incorporation of traditional cuban percussionist and singer Román Diaz, who provided a solid and contrasting backing to the fairly free piano playing.

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    Probably the highlight of the festival for me was the group Dawn of Midi. A classical piano trio in instrumentation who created some crazy rhythmic interferences using what I think were indian tala rhythms.
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    The final act of the third evening was Moon Hooch. A band of two saxophone players and a drummer playing what could be described as house music. You don't see contrabass clarinettes that often...

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    The last day was a bit shorter, but certainly still interesting musically. German Pianist Hauschka performed together with the Finnish drummer Samuli Kosminen (known for his participation in the Icelandic Band Múm). The combined electronics and prepared piano created some really interesting sounds.

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    The last concert of the Festival was Jacob Collier and Becca Stevens. I was really looking forward to listening to Jacob play, as I really enjoy the stuff he puts out on youtube, but a set full of ballads is just not fitting after a weekend of freejazz. I took some photos anyway.

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    I have to say that I am quite pleased with the results the P35-100 gave me. Last year, I was still stuck with the S60 and even though it is a really nice lens, you really need the flexibility of the zoom, especially when you are not officially allowed to take photos and therefore need to hide in the crowd. The P35-100 allowed me to sit back a little bit and the wide end even gave me the opportunity to give me some shots of about half the stage.

    I used the GX7 for all of the shooting and quickly switched it to back button focus. Performers rarely move that much in distance on the stage, so you can just put the camera to the eye and shoot without having to wait for the focus, although focusing was quick enough. I used a mixture of electronic shutter and mechanical shutter depending on the loudness of the music. I knew that this would result in banding, but I prefer not to annoy the people around me enjoying the music. Also, sometimes the banding can be a really nice effect as well.

    Hope these were not too many photos, but it's hard to decide. There is still a bunch more in my Lightroom collection... Feedback welcome!
    Last edited: May 17, 2016
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  3. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
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