I’ve been doing lots of work on my website for the past few days, stretching my very basic understanding of HTML to the limit (read: copying and pasting other people’s advice into my site until it works) and it’s now looking a bit better. There’s lots more to put up, but head over and have a look and tell me what you think! Is there anything missing? Too much of something?
While I was in Rwanda I got the news that Ross Langdon was killed in the Nairobi shootings, along with his girlfriend Elif. I didn’t know Ross as well as a lot of people in Kampala did, but he was one of the first people I met here and would always take the time to meet me for a coffee or a beer when he was around.
I had the good fortune to visit Kyambura Lodge with him to take pictures, and even last Sunday, the same day as I heard the bad news, I had been telling somebody about that trip. It left a lasting impression on me to see a person so absorbed in the process of his work, so focused on the little details while at the same time being the mind behind such grand things. He was a great and good man, and I will miss him a lot.
Here he is talking about one of his many passions, sustainable architecture.
I originally posted this in March 2011, but I was going through my old pictures today and found these, and thought that it deserved reposting. Down at the bottom is a recording of the musicians in action- even if you ignore the rest please give that a listen, it’s amazing.
Opio Charles and Okello David made my day today. No question at all. I was photographing in Purongo Market (it’s near Pakwach, in the North West of Uganda) and I could hear some really amazing music coming from somewhere. I walked around until I found its source- sitting on the little wall outside a small shop, two udungu players sitting and strumming their instruments.
The udungu is a sort of harp, or maybe like a guitar with a warped neck. The body has a piece of skin stretched tightly to form the amplifier, and the strings, bits of nylon, are stretched up to nails which are carefully tightened. Like most instruments its form varies from the rudimentary to the refined, but these two instruments were beautifully made and looked like they were played daily.
Okello David is blind, but I didn’t twig until after I had listened for a while and I tried to shake his hand while introducing myself. My mum is an eye doctor and always tells amazing stories of people who do more with no sight than most do with full vision, but to play a mini harp/guitar really takes dexterity. I was amazed.
Okello David playing
Opio Charles tells him what is going on, and when to shake hands. The two were an amazing pair, and I was sorry to be working. I could have spent ages with them and their music, but I had to run.
So here is a measly two minutes, badly recorded off a mobile phone and intercut with me sounding like an idiot, of their wonderful sound. They practise in Purongo, beside the market, and they’re amazing to hear. Amazing.
I am a Uganda-based freelance photographer, and this is a receptacle for whatever I'm toying with at the moment, varying greatly in quality like the goat stew which so often powers it. Personal blog etc.