As I created the images in this book, I was often feeling influenced, consciously, emotionally, and (no doubt) subconsciously, by my love of the wacky, crazy, yet strangely organized (while disorganized), free-form “avant-garde” chaos that is the music of Ornette Coleman (1920–2015).
The images in this book are often angular, busy, and chaotic, but some are also flowing and sinuous in a bizarre way – like most of Ornette Coleman’s music.
Those who hear Coleman’s music either love it or hate it. An example of this polarization is the response to his Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation, released in 1960. In the January 18, 1962 issue of Down Beat magazine, in a review titled “Double View of a Double Quartet,” noted music critic Pete Welding gave the album five stars, while another critic, John A. Tynan, rated it zero stars.
Coleman’s music, while much criticized for being dissonant, atonal, and without a rhythmic signature, also had Leonard Bernstein as a fan who helped Coleman’s bassist Charlie Hayden obtain a Guggenheim Foundation grant. Jazzwise magazine listed his album The Shape of Jazz to Come at No. 3 on their list of the 100 best jazz albums of all time, and his 2006 live album Sound Grammar won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for music, Coleman being only the second jazz musician to win the prize.
I should mention that if you have Amazon Prime you can stream, free, the classic album The Shape of Jazz to Come, as well as Beauty Is A Rare Thing – The Complete Atlantic Recordings (with 57 songs spanning over 7 hours).
Whenever my creative muse becomes sluggish or boring, I listen to a cut or three of Ornette Coleman’s music to give myself a hard mental and creative jolt. I hope that the images in this book will give you a similar creative boost.
I chose photos of modern architecture as a starting point. The original photo undergoes multiple processes in Adobe Photoshop, however, no parts are replaced with content from other photos and, other than cropping, nothing in the original image is removed or added.
Each photo involves many different steps to achieve the desired effect.
All the effects involve post production changes, such as creating multiple layers of the photo, mirroring, duplicating a change then inverting it, changing of original hue (color) to something different, etc. etc., and finally blending all the changes into a new, and often totally different, image.
The end result is often a surprise.
Original photograph of the cover image
My final result: