Since I started blogging I have met so many supportive and helpful people, people who have inspired me to be myself and pursue my dreams. One of them is Pascal Barnier, a French artist, and a good friend. When he listens to my singing he uses his illustrations to share with me what he sees in his imagination. I find the results absolutely fabulous and have loved sharing them with you all over the last three years.
When he found out that I was to release the “Haugtussa” as an album he decided to produce a video of his images set to my music. When I sing I have in my mind the images of the characters and the story that I am trying to tell, it helps me to find the right emotions to accompany the melodic music and expressive poetry. So to be able to see what someone else imagines when listening to my singing to me is quite fascinating.
Here is the video and I would love to hear what you think of it. If you have listened to the Haugtussa, is this how you imagined the story?
The established photographic artist Pascal Barnier combined his holiday to Scotland with an opportunity to see me in my first operatic main role, as Eve in the Dove Opera “The Walk from the Garden” in Glasgow. He also came along to listen to me sing with my friends in the RCS Chamber Choir at our concert in St Mary’s Cathedral. Pascal is the artist that created several of my social media banners and I love his work and his passion for colour, vibrations and light that he says he imagines when listening to my singing.
Having My Picture Taken With Pascal Barnier Just After My Performance In “The Walk From The Garden”
Over the past few months he has been listening to my first album “Canzoni D’Amore” whilst he creates and I’m truly honoured that he has used my songs as inspiration for some of his work. He has decided to group these images together and use them in a book “A Collision of Classical Music and Photographic Art”.
We first met on Facebook about 18 months ago when Pascal created a blog of his works. It’s great to collaborate with other artists and the photographic creations he gave to my parents last month were just lovely. I have also helped him out by reading the French to English translations of his other books and made suggested improvements to his English translations, although I didn’t want to alter the flow too much as I felt that it was important that his work sounded authentically French.
I was thrilled when Pascal agreed to let me interview him for my blog.
Pascal did you study art or photography in Higher Education or are you self-taught?
I actually studied photography autodidact until I was 18 years old. I then took a degree in Graphic Art and Printing along with photography lessons and art history. Then a 35mm projection degree to explore the continuous use of light.
When I read a magazine or book on the art in printing, it inspired me to meet the artists, to find out about their techniques and to work with the best images for reproduction. I seek to know the history of my photographic subjects.
I was also Head of the foundation of a painter. It was in an old chapel, the wall covered with a fresco of 700 m2, which represented the vision of the painter, the Apocalypse of St. John.
For about two years I have done personal research on art and parallel research on light.
So I would say that about 40% of my studies were through academic routes and 60% through self-taught research.
Where does your passion for your work originate?
I have always been fascinated by light. The sunrise, sunsets and lightning during storms, sun rays through the clouds or through the branches of trees in the forest. At first I tried to draw, then to paint and finally I discovered photography.
When I was little, my grandfather always said, if you want to achieve something, work hard at it, keep learning until you arrive at what you want. So for 30 years, I have not stopped and my passion is still there. I can patiently wait for hours at sunset, or walk for kilometers in order to take a picture, and for me it’s magical every time.
What inspires you, for example in your flamingo series I wondered why watering cans?
I have a degree on the acquisition of language and sign language. For me, shapes, objects, colours tell stories, they produce vibrations and make music. Flamingos standing on one leg, remind me of Yogi or Egyptian scribes, observing the world like someone ancient and wise, their pink feathers to me take on the colour of the morning sky, in the light of the new day.
In my work, I try to offer the public a different view on the world. The flamingos are there to act as guides, which encourages the viewer of my images to visit the locations rather than just watch as a spectator.
Watering cans symbolizes sharing, I hope that my images carry with them lessons that flow like water. To me a safe it is filled, it is closed, it is buried, but a watering can when it is full, it can be emptied when you need it, and fill it back up and start again.
As an artist who is in a touring show, every day they start with a new audience, sharing their passion, their work to bring happiness to everyone who comes along.
What is your musical taste, do you play any instruments?
I love music that tells me story that fills the imagination with background images, such as classical, jazz and folk. I do not like repetitive music, containing a phrase that is repeated indefinitely.
I love the harp, violin, and piano because you can feel the music as the vibrations penetrate through your skin. Unfortunately, I’m not a traditional musician, but rather a different type musician, someone who plays the camera to compose visual melodies.
What inspired you to make me the subject of your work?
Your first comment on my blog attracted me to yours, a wonderful discovery. Which I have continued to read ever since. I liked the way you talked about your passion and I found so much in common between the ways we both worked. Then there was your voice, I had to organize recitals in the painter’s foundation and had come across many singers who I considered “technicians” of their art. But your voice overwhelmed me with light, colours and images. I knew then that our artistic worlds would in some way fuse together. Working with you is to be in a world where song gives birth to pictures and where images are singing. Why would I not want to share this with the world around me?
Is there anywhere that people can see your work?
I have a website that I hope will integrate with my library and also my shop (late June) But you can find my work at the following sites :
and soon, I hope to exhibit my work at a shop in Brittany, in La Baule, with photos on paper, aluminum, plexiglass, books, CD, scarves and mugs.
When I was putting together my slides for my PechaKucha presentation last week it made me think about everyone that social media has introduced me to. I have met such a vast array of gifted people passionate about what they write and so helpful in sharing their knowledge with me.
Over the summer I was lucky enough to record the songs that I had been working on over the past couple of years. I wanted to have something to look back on to remind me of the fabulous time that I have had at the RCS and the wonderful people that I have worked with on improving my vocal technique.
I was excited with the results and shared them with my family. I never really thought about trying to sell them as these recordings were intended to be a personal record of my training but my dad convinced me to burn a few CDs to sell at my recitals and concerts next year as I am often asked if I have any.
But now looking to the future I wonder if it would be possible to try and raise some funds for my future training by trying to sell these tracks on iTunes. I have no idea how they will be received but whatever funds I can generate will help me towards achieving my dreams so I have nothing to lose by giving it a try.
I would love to hear any suggestions that you may have to help me with this project as this is all new to me 🙂
If you are interested in checking them out here are the links :
Special thanks go to George Todica for his beautiful piano playing on these recordings and to Pascal Barnier for his fabulous images used for the cover art. It has been a tremendous treat to work with such good friends.
It would be a great if you could share these links and I would really appreciate it 🙂