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Photographer's Note

I went to “All Over the Map,” a free world music concert at Toronto’s Harbourfront on Saturday (playlist here). Funkadesi were great, a blend of Jamaican and Indian music that was not to be missed. Later Daby Touré totally rocked the house (figuratively – the concert was outdoors), bringing an energy to his show that had the crowd on its feet dancing and cheering. Closing out the night was Yerba Buena, an increasingly well-known New York based latin group who got an even larger proportion of the crowd to their feet (they were clearly high on the imminent release of their new album, Island Life, and warming up for an appearance on Conan O’Brien on July 20). Still, my concert shots left a lot to be desired, as is so often the case when you can’t hear the music and feel the energy of the band.

In the Harbourfront Centre itself, however, browsing between shows, I found a display of odd and idiosyncratic musical instruments created by Iner Souster, a local artist and musician with a profound sense of the weird, the alien, and the wonderful (visit his blog to learn more), who builds odd and original instruments that are like nothing I’ve ever seen before. They reminded me of a cross between the bizarre and horrifying surgical instruments in David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers and the drawings of children’s author Dr. Seuss. This gave me a more accessible source of images. His instruments may have been static, standing on the floor or mounted on the walls, but they were compelling and, even without being played, gave the sense of being dynamic.

I couldn’t find a note providing the name of the particular instrument that’s pictured here, but I loved it. On its scorpion-like base a huge drum was mounted with a hide drumhead, while pod-like metal percussive surfaces projected up from the main body of the instrument, the entire thing supporting a huge canopy, like an umbrella. I photographed it against the backdrop of small drumheads which had been mounted on a nearby wall.

This is the best shot aesthetically, but to get a better overview of the instrument, see the workshop.

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Additional Photos by Lee Sato (ElSato) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 292 W: 3 N: 151] (824)
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