The Creator Has A Mastertape

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I am just about coming round from a most wonderful Steven Wilson Concert I went to last night, here in my adopted home town of Manchester. I was very fortunate to have seen the tour at the beginning of it’s run on day three in Barcelona, and last night at the Bridgewater Hall, as the curtain came down on the European leg of the “To the Bone” concerts. The show was more relaxed and a tat longer than the one in Barcelona. The band and Steven were on fire. What a night……

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Pariah

I’m tired of weakness
Tired of my feet of clay
I’m tired of days to come
I’m tired of yesterday
And all the worn out things that I ever said
Now it’s much too late
The words stay in my head

I’m tired of Facebook
Tired of my failing health
I’m tired of everyone
And that includes myself

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Home Invasion

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Refuge

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Here in the wreckage
The winter is hard
I sleep in the same clothes
That I drag through the mud

And if you ask me
Nothing’s changed
There’s nowhere else I can go
So I stay

We’re writhing rats
We make beds in the straw
And then we build houses
Paint our names on the door

And if you ask me again
Is this life?
I don’t see I have a choice
But I still smile
And bide my time

I who have no roots
And nowhere to go
And as for the future
Well I really don’t know

But if you ask me
I will nod
But if you ask me…

My dear wife
And my children of God
The borders were already drawn for us

Hold on to life
In this refuge of dirt
And search for a place you can breathe again
It’s not a crime

I’d love to see you again
Sometime soon
But will you give back to me now
What you stole?

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People Who Eat Darkness

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I live in the flat next door
And I can hear you fuck your girlfriend through the wall
But the only thing we share
Is the slightest nod as we’re passing on the stairs

But behind the closed doors
The bees were buzzing
Inciting me to war
You’re penitent maybe
But it’s really not your fault you fail to see

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We who eat the darkness
We who eat the darkness

I take out the trash at night
And on Thursday’s I go shopping for supplies
I walk my son to school
And I seem to have the same problems as you

But what you will see
Are the threads of what I want you to believe
And all that you hold dear
Is under threat from someone all too near
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We who eat the darkness
We who eat the darkness

Well you lost control
And your kids became confused
Among the powder kegs
With nothing left to lose
So now your chickens
Are coming home to roost

Do you think the fight is real?
Do you feel my teeth are snapping at your heels?
You who tell me how to live
And you feed me with your poison ’til I’m sick

Pretend that we’re not here
If you look the other way we disappear
We want you to ignore
The people who eat darkness from next door

We who eat the darkness
We who eat the darkness
We who eat the darkness
We who eat the darkness
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Well you lost control
And your kids became confused
Among the powder kegs
With nothing left to lose
So now your chickens
Are coming home to roost

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The Sound Of Muzak

Hear the sound of music drifting in the aisles
Elevator Prozac stretching on for miles
The music of the future will not entertain
It’s only meant to repress and neutralise your brain

Soul gets squeezed out
Edges get blunt
Demographic
Gives what you want

One of the wonders of the world is going down
It’s going down I know
It’s one of the blunders of the world that no-one cares
No-one cares enough

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Now the sound of music comes in silver pills
Engineered to suit you, building cheaper thrills
The music of rebellion makes you want to rage
But it’s made by millionaires who are nearly twice your age

Soul gets squeezed out
Edges get blunt
Demographic
Gives what you want

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One of the wonders of the world is going down
It’s going down I know
It’s one of the blunders of the world that no-one cares
No-one cares enough

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Thank you and Good Night

http://www.berndkugow.photos/

Just Waving (Arriving Somewhere, But Not Here)

WAV1Nine o’clock in the morning
I’m taking the overnight train

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Checked the Date – February 2018

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I’m riding to someplace
Where I’ve never been

WAV10And I’m waving through the window as we go
Somebody says
What are you waving at ?
Well what do I have to lose
Somebody might wave back

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Seven o’clock in the morning
I’m carrying bags under my eyes
Been awake all night
Counting the hours to sunrise

WAV6Drawing patterns on a breakfast table top,
I lift my gaze, my mouth just drops

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There’s someone in the room waving at me
Hey there
What are you waving at ?

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What do I have to lose

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Somebody might wave back

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Arriving Somewhere

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To the Bone, Arepas, Tapas and flying Catalans

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I took the red eye to Barcelona to see Dominic, enjoy some Barcelona culture, some cuisine; and experience the magic of Steven Wilson in Concert. All in a 36 hour visit.

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One of those impromptu trips that has greatness written all over it, but could also move slightly off course.

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This one didn’t drift astray, not for one bit.

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Dominic was the perfect guide and we had a ball. We ate, drank, talked and talked and then drank, talked and ate some more.

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And then we sat down and had something to eat and drink.

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As the evening turned magenta we made our way to the auditorium to take our seats for the most wonderful musical experience. If you have the chance to see Steven Wilson – do not miss it.

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I was in my element.

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Thank you Barcelona, Dominic and Steven.

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A day I shall treasure for all time.

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http://www.berndkugow.photos/

Kolnidur

Imagine somewhere out there is a planet

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Populated by intelligent beings
Who may just look like us
And on that planet there stands a library

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Full of books
Written by Poets
Philosophers and
Scientists

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And maybe

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When the hatred and greed has become so great

That nothing more can save us here

Then, maybe there, a book can be found

Once opened you will find

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The recorded downfall of our earth
You will read reports about us
About our lives
About our death

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And our two sunsets
Which were so great
That no tears could quench them

And from seven billion eyes
A mourning red rain ran

Now just a floating tomb in space

And whoever wants to witness
That the earth shall never weep again

Needs to be united against war, greed, poverty, inequality, education inflation and nuclear madness

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And whoever cares will play their part in
That this book is never read

For seven billion eyes

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Will cherish our blue planet, our only home without fear for love, light and peace.

http://www.berndkugow.photos/

No Life Without History

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Hattie  2011

Looking back through decades of my images (I was hunting for two in particular), it did strike me just how many moments I have experienced, documented, forgotten and remembered.

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Abandoned Dance 2012

Regardless of what I did with any of those experiences after the fact, one thing remained common among all of them. I will never experience any of those moments again. In that sense, photography becomes a document of that which we will never again have. This is a potentially dangerous line of thought, I know. One should be careful how often one looks back. But despite that danger, I am helped by what these images remind me off.

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Masks 2014

I think we have a lot of trouble valuing the future. And we got awfully caught up in the present. Looking back is often where we best realise the value in what we have had, or experienced.

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Boy and Puppy 2013

Going through the decades of collected photography I was first startled by all the things I have seen in these past years. In truth, I have seen much more than that but I have been making images from my life for about 35 years now, which is way more than half my life.

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Mike and Anto 1990

So there is much I have done that has not been documented by me. It is a heady record of sights seen, friends had, trips made, quiet moments spent and the turning, turning, turning of the years.

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Simone 2013

It was a bit sad too, I admit. Images I looked at and remembered well surprised me by already having aged five or six years. Was it really that long ago so fast? To see photos of yourself younger, or people you knew who no longer live. These can be melancholic pleasures.

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Jesper and Ken 1988

But I think this is OK, at least in measured doses. This reminder of time slipping by, of things loved and lost, of no river being stepped in twice; is what helps me colour the present more vividly, this is what helps me float through the little dramas of today that I really have no business allowing myself to become entangled by.

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Dorset 1984

Why do I want to spend those precious moments angry at traffic, or frustrated by the things that need attending, ruing the weather? The answer is that I don’t. I only get that particular moment once and if I am lucky, I’ll make a photo in it to remind myself later how valuable a bit of time it was.

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Gilbert, Pierre, Jean-Dennis, Susan – Chartres 2011

And as the title promised  – A Life needs a history.

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Unknown

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Eyes Ears Heart And Soul

MP2Photography and

MP1Music

MP3What is it about music that moves us in so many different ways?

MP4What is it about a photograph that moves us equally?

To me the they are two sides of the same coin. When I listen to music I see pictures, images – re-visit places. The same applies the other way. When I am submerged in making a photograph the ambient noise disappears and sounds, well-loved sounds, enter the moment and envelop me.

DSC_6031Our tastes may differ but music’s ability to move us on a deeply emotional level is universal. Music can trigger profound memories which previously lay dormant, exciting our sense of nostalgia and creating intense feelings of joy or melancholy.

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There is something ineffable about the way in which music makes us feel, as if at its most profound level it takes us into the realm of the sacred, where words can no longer do justice and attempts to describe it only sully the experience.

MP5Music has the power to transport you away to the places you belong and give you wings.

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“I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don’t want to know. Something’s are best left unsaid. I’d like to think they were singing about something so beautiful, it cannot be expressed in words, and it makes your heart ache because of it. I tell you, those voices soared higher and farther than anybody in a grey place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made those walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last man felt free.”

From the film The Shawshank Redemption. Prisoner Andy Dufresne defies Warden Sam Norton by playing  Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro – over the prison’s loudspeakers.

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And as I sit here and try to capture the essence of what music is, “Max Richter’s – Three Worlds: Music From Woolf Works” gently pours out of the system and transports me away. I am lost in the beauty. This piece is so elegant and so moving. I close my eyes. Indulge myself in the sense of sound. Feel a smile gently rise across my face. And I’m gone. To where I am transported, nobody knows but I am away.

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And hopefully I return with some images.

http://www.berndkugow.photos/

Value and Values

What is the value of fear – What is the value of a photograph?

Joe

Joe

Some of my favourite photographs were also the scariest to shoot. That to me is what makes photographing people so exciting— the joy I get from it, and also from the fact that it is hard. Extremely hard. I think 90% of photographing strangers is just having the courage to click the shutter.

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Ben

I am not talking about long distance candid shots with a long lens, but being there and engaging with your subject, becoming part of his or her day, however brief. I either use my 35mm on my Nikon and Leica or my Rolleiflex with its standard 80mm lens. I am always close, visible and not hidden.

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Simon

 So what is the value of such a photograph? Is it in the selling price? Is it in how many people crowd into a museum to see it? Is it found in the many times you look at in a quiet, private moment and smile?  I guess everyone will have their own answer. I have mine and I also believe that placing a value is a slippery thing.

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Candy

It is not something that has to be defined to exist and it is one of those things that the more you try to pin it down the more elusive it becomes. Answering this question is the will-o-the-wisp that just leads you deeper and deeper into the swamp. The more certain you are of your answer the deeper in the quagmire you really are. Just tread carefully but fearless.

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Mr.Smith

It does not matter how experienced we are becoming in photographing strangers, we will always feel a bit of fear. Rather than seeing fear as the enemy, we should see fear as our friend. Fear is our guide. When we do what we are afraid of; it is one of the best ways to grow.

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Jesper and Ken

And should we be fortunate enough to make a half decent photograph and/or to be able to give a resulting print as a gift and it is received with joy and surprise we have achieved something special and valuable.

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Tom

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Janet

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Charles

It may not have any great monetary value, but it can bring joy and could be the only evidence that that person exists.

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And yes, it teaches you a bit about a value that photography can have.It always strikes me to see how much a simple portrait can matter to someone whilst just around the bend people are drowning in photos of themselves

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