So earlier today I had the first rehearsal for a performance of Mozart’s Requiem in Glasgow Cathedral on Friday (tickets available for those who want them, I’ll share the event on Facebook). It was great fun, exhausting, and just a great rehearsal. Mozart’s Requiem is a great piece, both to sing and to listen to, and I’ll probably post again about rehearsals or the concert at some point in the coming week.
After rehearsals, due to the weird timetable running out of Queen Street Station, I had some time to kill before the next train home, so decided to join some of my fellow choir for a drink in the pub.
Whilst there, somehow the conversation topic at one point was squirrels (musicians are weird people we discuss weird shit okay). A photograph was shown around the table of one such squirrel. One of the members of our choir had travelled to New York to see an opera at the Met (lucky bugger) and had encountered the squirrel in question and taken a photo (apparently the squirrel had been really close to him, which had therefore meant it merited a photograph). His girlfriend sitting across the table then commented her disdain at being sent a photo from at trip to New York, and instead of it being something big like the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty, he had sent her a picture of a squirrel.
And it got me thinking, it’s strange the things we think are the most interesting or important parts of travel. We sit and we think and we fantasise about our trips abroad, and we always picture the big moments, just like our trips to big landmarks like the Empire State.
But when we’re there, yes we take the trip to the Empire State and we take photos of it and we plaster them all over Facebook and Instagram to rack up the likes, but we then also take pictures of the busker on the street corner, the little old lady and her market stall, the squirrel that came really close.
And when we get home and we look back through our photos to try and keep the holiday high running just a little longer, it’s not the perfectly angled, perfectly edited photograph of the Empire State Building that holds the most memories and cherished moments, it’s the photo of the squirrel or the little old lady.
And do you know what I think the common theme between these photos is? They’re the photos that have a story behind them, a memory now trapped on an SD card, because they always do, don’t they? You took that photo of the Empire State because it’s what everyone does. You took that photo of that squirrel because it was really close, you were excited, and you just had to take that photo.
And the same idea runs into our day to day lives. Recently I was looking through some old photos with my gran, and as we did so, stories came flooding back, the stories attached to those photographs. Like, in once instance, she showed me a photo of my uncle on holiday in Canada with the family, and told me that around two hours after the photo was taken they had to treat him for sun stroke, and that she had to shout at my dad who should have been taking care of him to avoid such a situation.
It really is incredible what stories and tales photographs can hold, and its always funny that it’s the photos with a story that mean the most to us. The photos that are a still snapshot, a single slice of a memory, frozen forever in time.
What about you? Do you agree? Is that why these photos mean so much to us,? Is that why we take those photos on holiday? Let me know what you think!