I was at Rich Mix in Shoreditch on Thursday night to take some pictures of Soweto Kinch. He was playing a few tracks form his recent album, "Nonagram", but also performing some of his trademark freestyle raps, joined at the end of the evening by rappers Jonzi D and Kingpin. "Conversations With The Unseen" was the first Soweto Kinch Album that I bought and it introduced me not only to his playing and rapping, but also to the musicianship of Troy Miller on drums and Femi Temowo on guitar. I subsequently bought Temowo's album, "Quiet Storm" and Miller's album "40 Days". These 3 albums had great impact on me as jazz albums, but also were innovative in their blending of jazz and hip hop beats. As you can see on other pages on the site, both Temowo and Miller feature in my photos and artwork, so having the opportunity to photograph Kinch playing live was an opportunity I couldn't miss and allowed me to get further with producing a body of work that was a visual response to my musical inspirations over the last decade or so.
The soundscape created by the Kinch's trio at the Rich Mix was augmented by his use of loop pedals which helped to re-create some of the textures on "Nonagram", but had a different impact live. I wanted to capture the intensity and focus of the performance by zooming in close up to the musicians with a telephoto lens and trying to record their concentration as they played- a challenge in any low lit conditions where the subject is moving unexpectedly. This was contrasted with the raps and improvisations that managed to involve the lively crowd in the proceedings too. The climax of the show was the freestyling between the three performers, Kinch, Jonzi D and Kingpin, where audience contributions for key words were incorporated into the rhymes.
I've been through the photos and I think I've found some decent images to turn into stencils...watch this space.