William Eggleston's Music, Much Like His Photography, Thrives Off Ambiguity
In the 1970s,
William Eggleston shocked the New York art world when the Museum of Modern Art exhibited his color photographs (Until then, most
serious photography had been black and white). Eggleston's pictures of the everyday established color photography and turned him into an art star. At the age of 78, the Memphis native surprised people yet again by releasing his first body of original music last October, an album titled Musik.
NPR reporter Rick Karr speaks with Eggleston and Memphis writer Robert Gordon about the parallels of Eggleston's inventive nature in both photography and music.
"In the way that you hold a shotgun at your waist and point it — y'know,
you're not looking through the sight? He liberated his camera from his
eye," Gordon says. "To me, that's very improvisational."
"I can easily see a very close connection. But I cannot explain it," says Eggleston.
Click the audio link for the fullAll Things Considered story and hear Eggleston's piano improvisations.
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