Aug 4, 2009

Judy Collins in concert, photographed with a Kiev 4a in Famalicão, on the 20th of June 2009.


We at times spend our days rushing restless.
Endless hours are spent aimlessly running like a starving cockroach in an empty kitchen!
Like standing on the platform looking at a missed train leaving the station, gazing goodbye as it slowly fades away...

I think that we should better stop and think, we should better watch the sunset, we should better listen to some meaningfull music...

Judy Collins live in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Casa das Artes, 20th of June 2009

Judy Collins is one of that very rare breed of singers who picks up a song by somebody else, and easily makes it her own. Besides having such a great educated voice, that voice expresses a style full of character and maturity.

Pick up a Leonard Cohen or a Bob Dylan song, take some Lennon / McCartney lyrics, offer her a song by Harry Chapin or Sandy Denny: Judy Collins will make her own world out of it. As if she had been singing it from the craddle.

What a talent, what a personality!

Judy Collins introducing Mr. Russell Walden, musical director and piano performer (sadly hidden by the piano...).

My very close friend Fred (we have been some kind of brothers for over forty years now...) just called inviting me to go to the concert of Judy Collins in Vila Nova de Famalicão, in the North of Portugal. He would buy the ticket, as a birthday present, and we would take his car to drive us there (good old Fred knew that I was completely broke...).

All I needed to do, was to jump in and enjoy the ride...

And what a joyful ride it would turn out to be!...

At seventy (!), Judy's voice just sounds great, so young and fresh as some thirty years ago, not losing a bit of her seemingly eternal charm.

You have to see, and hear (!), to believe.

What a LADY!!!

Judy also performed some songs at the piano

I shall be forever thankfull to Fred and Ana, for this wonderfull birthday present!

And, most of all, thank you Judy for all these years of great music and joy!

(You can find a link to Fred's My Space page below. Lots of interesting music there. You can even hear some of his broadcasting in Évora's radio station, Rádio Diana!
If you care about music, you shouldn't miss that precious link!).

This is the cover of a record by Judy Collins that I treasure for many years now. I first bought it as a LP, at least for two times, and then, as it got worn out, I bought it again in the form of a CD, when I was in Chicago to photograph Mies' buildings.

One of those special, intimate recordings!

On this record, Judy sings an excellent cover of Leonard Cohen's "Bird On The Wire", maybe only matched in intensity by the cover version sang by the late Tim Hardin.
I have already mentioned a song by Bob Dylan on a former post of this blog, "I Pitty The Poor Immigrant". Judy sings that song on this record too.
In my opinion, another highlight of this great album is a song that she penned herself, and that she also sang in the concert at Famalicão: "My Father".

Without question, it is hard to encounter something better than the title song, "Who Knows Where The Time Goes", a song by the late Sandy Denny, who was better known as a vocalist with the british folk rock bands Fairport Convention and Fotheringay, besides her solo albums. Sadly Sandy Denny died in 1978, aged thirty one. The version of her song by Judy Collins will certainly help to immortalize Sandy's work for many ages to come!

On this record, Collins is backed up by such great musicians as Stephen Stills (remember "Judy Blue Eyes" from Crosby, Stills and Nash?), who apparently happened to be her lover, and James Burton on guitar, Buddy Emmons on pedal steel guitar, Chris Ethridge on bass and James Gordon on drums. Piano and keyboard duties are shared by Michael Sahl, Michael Melvoin and Van Dyke Parks.
Judy Collins also plays acoustic guitar and piano.

Please, do yourself a favor and don't miss this record!

The photographs on this post, shot on Kodak Tri-X developed on Kodak D-76 1+1, were made with a camera new to me.
As a matter of fact, this was the first time that I ever used a Kiev 4a rangefinder camera (soviet copy of the Contax II, launched in March 1936), equiped with a Jupiter 8M lens (soviet copy of the Carl Zeiss Sonnar).
I didn't use a light meter and guessed the stage exposure. The resulting negatives are a little dense for scanning, but I believe that they would be all right for printing in the dark room.
Stage lighting is usually very contrasty, and you either lose shadow detail or blow your highlights. Obviously I prefer to lose shadow detail...
I didn't move from my seat on the second row, and, never having used the camera before, I was afraid that the shutter could be heard out loud.
I also missed the white framing lines from the Leica. In the dark, I couldn't see the limits of the image. Not so comfortable for someone who likes to compose with exactitude...
As I only have a 50mm lens for the Kiev, I also couldn't fill the frame as I sometimes wished.

So the pictures are less than ideal...

But who cares? The music was absolutely enlightning!



  1. I WILL get hold of this record. Excuse my ignorance, but is she also the writer, Rui?
    I enjoyed reading this - very informative
    As for the captures of her - you are too humble - they are fabulous!

  2. Great shots, I haven't heard the album for years, an old girlfriend had it along with another can't remember exactly. I think she did a wonderful version of Joni Mitchell's Both Sides Now....
    Long time ago...

  3. Hello Esther and Mark Antony,

    Glad to hear from both of you again.

    Yes, Judy also sang Both Sides Now at the concert, and what a song that is! I love the music of Joni Mitchell, she has a very special place in my heart (her record "Blue" is one of those that I would take to a desert island...).

    Esther, you don't have to apologise for your ignorance: I should be very amazed if you knew a record from 1968... Besides, I am sure that you know a lot of records that I never heard of!

    As I said, Judy mostly sings cover versions, but whatever she sings, it just sounds like Judy Collins! (the only thing I dislike, is that every now and then she sounds too much "country" for my taste...).

    As for the photographs, I will soon post some more images of my first experience with the Kiev. An interesting camera, although maybe not that easy to use for me (you have to hold it differently than the Leica).

    Greetings to both of you, each in it's side of the earth. Have a good time,