Monday, December 31, 2012

Molly and Martin

She was eight-years-old when I first photographed her -– cross and beautiful. We met again 20 years later on the road not far from her house where she used to ride her pony. She had not wanted to be photographed the first time, she told Caroline, but her mother had persuaded her. Now she has a horse but if the Philipstown Town Board have their way and pave this road she may never be able to ride down it again. Molly and her friend Martin both have jobs in the environmental protection world in the Catskills. Martin has a rein attached from round his waist to the two dogs on the right, so that the dogs can pull him on his cross-country skis. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Silent Night

Saunders Farm Nativity from Dmitri Kasterine on Vimeo.

Horses and unaccompanied singing are two loves of mine.  I grew up with horses, but as a child I was not as keen as my mother and sister were. It was not until Gay Kindersley put me on one of his steeple chasers (admittedly an retired one) that I began to understand the thrill and intelligence of the beasts, and will now go out of my way to watch or ride a horse.

At school I was head of the choir, therefore I heard a great deal of unaccompanied music. Recently a highlight of my wanderings through YouTube is the discovery of a recording of Schubert's Mass in G Major by the National Chamber Choir of Armenia, an ensemble that no one has probably ever heard of. But listen to them, particularly the Benedictus. This, as musicians will know, is not actually an unaccompanied piece, but so powerful and pure is the soprano's voice, she could well manage without the orchestra. Then, of course, Keith Richards has recently revealed that he was a boy soprano of great accomplishment, singing many times at the Albert Hall, and winning all the important school competitions in the 1950s. Then he had his first set-back in life... his voice broke. I wish I had heard him.

Strolling about Sandy's barn and field last week I saw the young children lost in their love of both activities.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Preview pages of Newburgh: Portrait of a City

I am giving a talk and signing of my book 
Newburgh: Portrait of a City at Mill Street Loft, 45 Pershing Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY. on Friday, December 7, 2012 from 5.00 pm - 7.00 pm. It is being held in conjunction with Three Arts Bookstore.

The book is published by The Quantuck Lane Press with a foreword by David Dasch. 
It is designed by Laura Lindgren.