Friday, 22 February 2008

STEVEN TERMINI : Featured Artist Series

This is my first FEATURED ARTIST post in this blog, to share with my readers, of friends and acquaintances whose natural artistic talents have astounded and impressed me. Photography and the performing arts, be it poetry, drama, dance, or music can influence each other, and quite often, these disciplines intertwine indirectly and have been doing so over the centuries.

I have known Steven Termini for close to 10 years now.

Truly, this man's a genius.

A master of the piano, a composer, a classicist musician, jazz artist and an improviser.

Steve, as I call him hails from Texas, USA and studied
with Tatiane Sarkissova at the Royal Academy of Music, in London. He is an unassuming person, eccentric at times and terribly focussed in his convictions but tremendously good fun to be with, and you can't help but laugh at his Southern drool, but he admits he loves London, and England. Not surprising, since he was practically living the life of a perpetual student over here!

It was Steve who introduced me to the works of jazz maestro, improviser-supremo Keith Jarrett, who became a personal influence to his own music, and the subject of his research in his Masters degree.

I have always loved jazz music, the mainstream kind which one buys in compilation CDs like Jazz Greats, Greatest Jazz songs etc but with Keith Jarrett, you have to grow to appreciate his genius on the piano.

Like, the joy of skiing, once it hits you, you'll be blown away! I promise.

Steve just launched his website, and there are some audio works and videos you can sample and download. I photographed a few of his publicity images several years ago which have been included. I was then still pre-digital, so I think I used a Konica Hexar with Fuji Neopan 400, my favourite black and white film. All of the photos were taken at the Academy in available natural light, and that included a practice session with Korean Sun Roh, another brilliant violinist, whom Steve had performed with on several occasions internationally.

The sight of Sun and Steve performing on stage is mesmerising. One does not require much knowledge in classical music to appreciate the passion and raw talent that emanates from the hearts, minds and hands of these two musicians.

I urge you to watch this video in its entirety (10:49s), to understand but only a little, of what drives Steve to pursue his dream and what motivates his song-writing. He has certainly influenced me in my own work, and that is to be passionate but spontaneous about it and persevere, even through the darkest and loneliest of times.

© IceWater Productions

I hope Steven Termini will also inspire you in your own quest. Photography and music, both are disciplines which require foresight and practice, and both requiring the mastery of tools. We often hear that 'practice makes perfect'. The quest for perfection at least for me, is unattainable, but to a pianist like Steve it is imperative. His improvisational scores requires it, and anything less would be classed as failure.


Yang-May said...

I love these grainy black and white images - very evocative of the great jazz era (even tho' Steve Termini is a modern artist!)

Alvin Lim said...

it takes great courage for one to pursue what he is passionate about.

i like the way he said that try something same in different ways everytime.

by the way..the pianist n the violinist very very good!

svllee said...

Hi Yang-May, thanks for dropping by. How've you been? I like the grainy black & white images too, in fact the bulk of my work is in black and white a few years back!

svllee said...

Hi Alvin, thanks for watching the video. It is certainly interesting to watch the two of them at perform. Thanks for sharing your cartoons too! Its funny.

Alvin Lim said...

Thanks for the compliment Steven. :)
Yeap, i like to see such performance. I enjoy musicals as well...jz bit expensive here :D

Shazee said...

Hi. I didn't know how else to get in touch with you.

Could you send me the link for the YouTube video? I didn't even know there was one. I did some searching and found one although I'm not sure how you got from there to my blog. Could you explain that?

Anonymous said...

That's awesome. Termini is my piano teacher at college right now. He's amazing.

svllee said...

Thanks blossom114 for visiting! Wow,..what an honour being taught by Steven, mention 'mint tea' to him!