“It was the best job I’ll ever have. The brief was set by ourselves. We didn’t have endless meetings or a boss telling us that we had to do this or that,” says photographer Ian Patrick. “This was a job with no rules – we made it up as we went along.” When Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood travelled to India to record an album with Israeli composer Shye Ben Tzur and Indian qawwali group The Rajasthan Express he invited Ian and filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson along to record the process. The images presented here were used in the inlay for the album Junun that was released last year.
“When we were out there, we filmed every day for 16 days in total,” recalls Ian. “It became apparent there were opportunities for still photography too.” Alongside the album and a 54 minute film produced by Paul, Ian was able to take a series of 25 portraits of the musicians and people present during recording such as the fixer. “I wanted them to be a little bit like an old masters painting,” says Ian. “I have taken a lot of portraits in recent years, and really wanted to define my style.”
Ian had first encountered the musicians when they played a concert at the Royal Festival Hall. He was struck by how charismatic the performers were and was pleased to get an opportunity to shoot them in India. “I was prepared for them to be quite showman-like. They were confident and throwing all sorts of poses,” he says. “But I wanted the shots to be more introspective, and show the real interest in their faces and mannerisms.” There are plans to release a deluxe version with more images and the possibility of a book and exhibition later this year.
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