The Lost Negatives

These two bodies of work grew simultaneously dovetailing each other.


These photographs were taken in the 1980’s whilst photographing in the fringe theatre and music scene. I fell into a world where the rise of a heady mix of jazz, world music and contemporary classical music was very eclectic and fascinating. There was a vibrancy and spontaneity of finding new ways to experiment and exploring the world.

I think one of the moist poignant moments was seeing Nina Simone at Ronnie Scotts in 1985, where rising out of the darkness came the most extraordinary voice that I had ever heard live, sending shivers through my body, it was strange, radical and moving.

Almeida Music Festival 1985-1990

At the same time, I was fortunate to be commissioned to take photographs at the Almeida Contemporary Music Festival between 1985-1990 and to experience a whole raft of music that I had never heard before. These Festivals found a way of perceiving music, freer and more open for composers, musicians, performers and audience alike.

My favourite recollection is of spending a day in June 1988 with John Cage, he was working with Yvar Mikhashoff a pianist and they were sticking all kinds of objects in the Steinway piano to create new sounds, and there was so much laughter and hilarity, it was a warm, engaging and such a creative environment. There was a seriousness as well as a true sense of play.

‘Here we are. Let us say Yes to our presence together in Chaos’.                                                                     

 John Cage