Music for photographing abandoned houses

Few subjects captivate me as much as abandoned houses in the Virginia landscape. So much so that I have dedicated a large chunk of my personal work to seeking out these houses, as well as frequently returning to the same one to photograph anew. The reason. quite simply, is a spirit-based energy I feel in their presence. These "open caskets" suggest a dying dream that's "soul" is slowly returning itself to the the natural world. So with that I give you our latest playlist, "Music for photographing abandoned houses". Most of the music suggests a rickety ambience that is often found in experimental  primitive guitar music. Soulful and psychedelic.  Enjoy!

 

Experiences and thoughts on photographing abandoned houses:

 

1. I rarely if ever go inside

  I am not opposed to going inside but generally am more interested in capturing the energy/angle of the structure and it's relationship to the landscape it decays in. It's kind of like photographing a dead body but avoiding the autopsy if you will

 

2. The overwhelming textural detail is perfect for 35mm film

One of things that quickly became apparent when photographing abandoned houses, particularly in winter is the insane of amount of textural  detail between the rotting wood, over grown vines, tree branches, dead grasses. It's an amount of detail that a 35mm negative has trouble capturing. Sometimes the film looks a little splotchy in the dense areas. To me this creates a "ghostly staining" that in a sense creates a little ambiguity which mimics decay. 

 

3. These subjects are incredibly fleeting

I have been photographing these houses for about 3 years now and since then 4-6 of these no longer exist. The fleeting nature of the subject matter gives it an additional energy and poignancy that drives me to want to capture what I see and feel. Not only that, but because of how vulnerable these houses are to the weather, vandalism, and animal interaction they can take on dramatically different appearances. I've had a story book white house go from pristine to, graffiti-covered, to fallen tree on roof, to completely gone and just a pile of dirt. Again it's these constant changes that drives me to keep returning to experience the change. Every time one of these places is gone when I return I can't help but feel a little sad but also grateful that I captured it.

 

4. I rarely feel "scared" or "creeped" out by them

Most people respond to decaying abandoned homes with cliche reactions like "haunted", "creepy", "horror-movie", "spooky". I totally understand those reactions but I must say I rarely feel those emotions. Most of the time, and this is going to sound a little strange, I feel like the house is happy that I stopped by and there is this beautiful welcoming spirit I feel. I feel like time has stopped and I am paying my respects to a forgotten place and life. And once I meet the house for the first time there is this constant "calling" deep inside me to come back and visit an old friend. 

 

Thanks so much for reading and I hope you found this a little inspiring to go out and make photographs of things that deeply captivate you. 

-Dave Rothschild 

 

 

Music For Intimate Storytelling

As a photographer one of the biggest mistakes or challenges I face on a regular basis is the idea of "intimacy" When you are in a location making photographs the experience will always feel more 'real' because you are "there". But when looking back at the images I make I often feel a distance between me and subject that I did not feel in the moment. The images that I tend to feel the most 'moved' by on an emotional level are the ones where I am very close to my subject. The best photographers are the ones who are able to connect a feeling to their images in a way that is profoundly intimate, so when some one views their work they can feel it on a very deep level,  despite having no direct relationship to the subject like the photographer had. So with that I bring you our latest playlist MUSIC FOR INTIMATE STORYTELLING. These songs are quieter and encourage the listener to connect to the stories in the songs which resonate a gentle intimacy. 

    playlist: 1. Sam Amidon- Bright Sunny South 2. Mandolin Orange- House of Stone 3. Perfume Genius- All Waters 4. Grouper- Invisible 5. Colleen- Everyone Alive Wants Answers 6. Dylan LeBlanc- If the Creek Don't Rise 7. Kurt Vile- That's Life, tho 8. Sufjan Stevens- Fourth of July 9. Iron and Wine- Love and Some Verses 10. Marissa Nadler- Drive 11. Nick Jonah Davis- Cold Wind on the Long Mynd

 

 

playlist:

1. Sam Amidon- Bright Sunny South

2. Mandolin Orange- House of Stone

3. Perfume Genius- All Waters

4. Grouper- Invisible

5. Colleen- Everyone Alive Wants Answers

6. Dylan LeBlanc- If the Creek Don't Rise

7. Kurt Vile- That's Life, tho

8. Sufjan Stevens- Fourth of July

9. Iron and Wine- Love and Some Verses

10. Marissa Nadler- Drive

11. Nick Jonah Davis- Cold Wind on the Long Mynd

Music for Hypnotic Skies

It's hard to say what motivates me to go out day after day and make photographs but for me it really comes down to one thing: the sky. Why? Because that is where light emanates from. Now most of the time that light is plain or harsh but for the briefest of moments it can be simply mesmerizing. We all know how colorful and dramatic sunrises and sunsets can be. But my favorite light to work with is storm light. The dark skies before and after a storm when the sun is shining on one side of the storm makes the sky a painterly purple. Often sun rays poke through some of the breaks in the clouds and rainbows can occur. It's simply "HYPNOTIC",  So with that our latest playlist:

Here is the track list:

"Teen Angst"- M83

"Same Dream China"- Gold Panda

"Generation"- Liturgy

"Zones Without People"- Oneohtrix Point Never"

"Unrecorded"- M83

"Olympians"- Fuck Buttons

"Brazil"- Luke Abbott

"A Paw in My Face"- The Field

"Grass"- Animal Collective

"Cyborg"- M83

"Where Does Time Go"- Oneohtrix Point Never

 

 

 

MUSIC FOR THINGS THAT END BEFORE THEY START

I hope everyone who had a chance to listen to "Music for Harsh Landscapes" was moved and inspired by the music. That playlist was definitely a challenging place to beginSo that brings us to a new collection of music, "Music for Things That End Before They Start.". Our visual  world is constantly arising and dissipating, appearing and then vanishing, which is what makes photography so challenging and important. I think back to a rainbow and an intense stormy sky over rural Virginia farmland that vanished before I could get to the right spot.  With that spirit in mind, the music here is mostly experimental electro-folk where a lot of the elements arise and evolve quickly. .

 

 

 

 

Here is the Tracklist:

"You Always Keep Around"- JBM

"Iguazu"- Gustavo Santaolalla

"Cello Song featuring Jose Gonzalez"- The Books

"You"- Matmos

"Tropic of Cancer"- Panda Bear

"Cinnabar"- Isan

"The Journey"- Voice of the Seven Woods

"Opening"- Phillip Glass

"Wheelhouse"- Kurt Vile

"Long Nights I"- Daniel Bachman

"Reach for the Dead"- Boards of Canada

 

 

 

Music For Harsh Landscapes

A few times a month I will be posting music playlists that are intended to inspire photographers while listening to the music. The playlists will be set up through 'Spotify'. Each playlist will have 11 songs. Like a lot of photographers, music is a huge part of their creativity. Some of my happiest, most liberating experiences are while driving to photo locations and listening to music on the open road. I have also been a musician for a long time now and produce my own work.  So without further adieu, to hear the music click on the link below:

 

 

Here is the tracklist:

 

"Borderlands" -Tim Hecker

"Shivering Aurora"- Skullflower

"Abandon Window"- John Hopkins

"Red, Black and Green"- Pharoah Sanders

"Pelham Island Road"- Oneohtrix Point Never

"Being Her Shadow"- Grouper

"Out to Where I am"- Infinite Body

"White Dwarf Butterfly"- Jefre Cantu Ledesma

"Dark Room Distortion"-36

"Spiraling Skeleton Memorial"- James Blackshaw

"Mouth of Sky"- Mount Eerie