Above: Thought Trade warms up for their performance on Alaska Live in the KUAC studios. Left to right: Daniel Opgenorth, Casey Smith, Travis Burrows, Sabe Flores, and Patrick Mailloux.
Fairbanks band Thought Trade was featured on locally produced Alaska Live on June 26, 2013.Given the right mood their fluid, rhythmic, stream-of-conscinouse style of playing can put one into a trance. Listen for yourself to the Alaska Live podcast, or check out their blog with interesting insight and links to more music.
Thought Trade sound check. Nine people and lots of gear in a petite room.
I recently wrapped up my professional media internship for my undergraduate degree at UAF. I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity then working with Lori Neufeld and KUAC. I got to help with the live-radio program Alaska Live, be an on-air host for all the fantastic NPR shows, and even host my own music programs. My audio skill set has grown dramatically.
One of the last projects I worked on was an Alaska Live with Fairbanks-raised cellist Patrick Hopkins, who recently graduated from Juilliard Music School. Check out the podcast with music and conversation on KUAC’s website.
One of my favorite music images came form this shoot. It has more layers then a standard shot, and includes my work station.
Recording levels, wavelengths and board lights in the foreground, cello playing in the background.
Patrick Hopkins concentrates on the music.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: raw files are superior to jpeg. It is rather disappointing to be photographing and realize the camera is only recoding jpegs. That is what happened during this shoot. Enough on that.
Perhaps best known for his weekly Pianno Puzzlers segment on NPR’s Performance Today, Bruce Adolphe recently played in Fairbanks. Piano Puzzlers, as his website describe, “…Adolphe at the piano, playing folk tunes and popular songs in the styles of famous Classical composers,” was played with live contestants in the studio for the first time ever on Alaska Live, at KUAC.
All three contestants got the answers right, check out the puzzlers, fun conversations, and great piano playing in a series of two podcasts.
Bruce Adolphe, host of Piano Puzzler, warms up before playing for conetestants.
Bruce Adolphe plays a Piano Puzzler for contestant April Jaillet.
- Left to right: Maryanne Babij, April Jaillet, Jeff Iverson, Bruce Adolphe and host Lori Neufeld.
I had few gigs to juggle Saturday, April 20, 2013. I had a brief, but necessary, walk on part in The Firebird at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Between those was load-in and sound check for St. Animal, headliner at The Pub that night. After sound check a brief trip over to KUAC’s studio to help out with Alaska Live, feature Eel House. Immediately after the second performance of Firebird it was back to The Pub to soundcheck the opening band and start the show.
Eel House is a four-piece with vocals, their music is a mix of contra dance, bluegrass and indie-rock. I didn’t have to time to stick around and get all their names.
Keys, drums and vocals comprise part of Eel House, who performed on Alaska Live with Lori Neufeld.
Bass and fiddle make up the two-remaining members of Eel House.
St. Animal has six members who at any point in time play a variation of drums, bass, electric guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, trumpet or trombone.
St. Animals plays an energetic set at UAF’s Pub, Saturday April 20, 2013.
Please excuse my lack of posts in the previous week, I had been traveling with limited use to internet.
Jumping back into posts today with a brief Music Monday. Clinton Fearon, Jamaican Reggae artist, played a solo show on Alaska Live with Lori Neufeld March 8, 2013. Check out his podcast on KUAC’s website.
There was a shortage of light during this particular shoot, so even at ISO 3200 my shutter speed was a somewhat testy 1/25th of a second. Thanks to a steady hand and image stabilization I was able to get a few sharp shots. One cool effect of a slow shutter is the blurring of Clinton’s strumming hand.
Clinton Fearon uses music to spread his message of hope and love on Alaska Live, with Lori Neufeld.
Boston-based band Nor’easter, founded by Max Newman of Fairbanks, spent some time sharing music in the KUAC studios Feb. 1, 2013. This contra-dance band features Max Newman on guitar and mandolin, Cedar Stanistreet on fiddle and Julie Vallimont on piano and accordion.
Being a band with Alaska roots, Nor’easter got the filming treatment during their Alaska Live session, which I will embed at the end of this post. Want more? Check out their full Alaska Live podcast.
It’s evident they have fun sharing their music, which indeed induces foot tapping.
Welcome back to the second installment of Music Monday, on Far North Light.
Twice a year, in summer and winter, The Fairbanks Folk Festival offers a chance for some of the many Interior Alaska bands a place to conjoin and perform. February 9th, at Pioneer Park’s Civic Center, over 30 acts took turns filling 15- and 20-minute sets. Performances ran the gamut from solo singer-songwriters and a comedian to picking sessions with dozens of stringed instruments.
I was there finalizing recordings for my internship at KUAC, which allowed me some time to photograph as well.
Check out “The Best of the Fest” podcast on KUAC’s website, where you will also see a slideshow with more pictures that I took. I recommend the recordings that start with Ester Jelly Jam and New Cut Road.
Bruno Grunau, of the band Ice Jam, plays mandolin with his 6-week-old daughter Annabelle.
Warming up in the green room at Fairbanks Winter Folk Festival.
A very full stage.
Emcee Lori Neufeld chats with members of Zingaro before they take the stage.
Ukulele Russ: One man, one ukulele, lots of hair.
In an effort to increase the regularity of posting I will be creating a few themes for Far North Light. Today is the inaugural day of Music Monday, where I feature photos of the various venues and concerts I’m involved with around Fairbanks.
Capturing the essence of music in a photograph is no easy task. Obviously the biggest hurdle is lack of auditory signals. What is possible is trying to capture the symbiotic relationship band members share with one another, as well as audience members. Much like a sound wave reflecting off ceilings and walls, energy fills the studio or dance floor, it’s that energy that is possible to photograph.
Often to capture the intensity a plethora of obstacles must be navigated. Studio settings don’t offer audience members, or the added energy they bring, to incorporate into the photo. Bright spotlights accompanied with dark surroundings can easily lead to blown out highlights or indiscernible shadows. My technique is expose so no highlights have lost information, then bring back detail in the shadows. Rarely is ISO set below 1600. Another common impediment is a cramped enviornment: instruments, bodies and microphones can easily decapitate an important figure in the background. Thanks to the near unlimited picture taking ability of digital, shoot enough and there’s bound to be good frames.
As I mentioned in a previous post I’m doing a professional media internship for KUAC, Public Radio of Alaska. I assist Lori Neufeld in the production room for her show, Alaska Live, a live-music radio program feature Alaskan and visiting artists. The most recent band to play in the studio was The Young Dubliners. This Celtic-Rock band played a mellow version of their stage show. Check out the podcast here.
The Young Dubliners perform on Alaska Live in KUAC’s studio at University Alaska Fairbanks.