In the summer of 2015, writer Roman Ehrlich (born 1983) and photographer Michael Disqué (born 1980) visited the German army base Camp Marmal in Mazar-e Sharif in Afghanistan.
Their aim was to portray the life of the soldiers in the camp without falling back on the standard narratives of journalistic reportage. What Ehrlich and Disqué found themselves drawn to at Camp Marmal were the structures that the soldiers had created for themselves, the extreme artificiality of the living environment and the civilian aspects of life that persisted in the camp, despite it being a military organization.
These banalities of war are at the heart of Theatre of War: the everyday life of the camp as seen in its offices, workshops and accommodation areas, in its utility hubs and kitchens, as the war’s employees occupy their time waiting and contemplating.
Published by Steidl. Foreword by Daniel J. Levitin. Preface by Richard Ehrlich. Text by Joel Selvin.
Can one capture, in photographic portraiture, the intense inner depth of emotion experienced while listening to music of one’s choice? In 1872 Darwin published his seminal treatise The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals which intersected with the dawn of photography. While the study of physiognomy has limited scientific validity, it nevertheless provides the impetus for linking portraiture and emotion. If “the face is the window to one’s soul,” capturing the rhapsody of emotion through facial expression provides a unique window into each artist’s inner being.
In this book, 40 legendary musicians from a range of genres—including Quincy Jones, Ringo Starr, Herbie Hancock, Dave Brubeck, Wayne Shorter, Iggy Pop, Esperanza Spalding, Herb Alpert, Sir Graham Nash, Philip Glass, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Emmylou Harris—were photographed while listening to three pieces of music of their choice. (With only two exceptions, they chose the music of other musicians rather than their own.) Music, painting and photography—indeed all art forms—share a common nexus for experiencing feeling, and are inextricably linked in contextualizing human emotion. Face the Music helps redefine the profound and transcendent influence music has on human emotion.