I’ve updated my project entitled Behind the Scenes with The London Lucumi Choir.
The London Lucumi Choir, directed by Daniela Rosselson, is now in its 13th year. The choir and was originally conceived and co-created by Daniela together with percussionist Dave Pattman and singer Martha Galarraga of the Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba in late 2006. I started singing with the choir shortly after its inception – I know that my first gig was in March 2007. The project presents a series of photographs taken over this period featuring present and former choir members and collaborators. Rather that being an official document, this is a personal record, including everything from portraits to random fashion moments. The photographs were taken at rehearsals, recording sessions, and backstage at gigs with locations ranging from Hampstead Heath to Havana, Cuba.
Below, rehearsal cuddle, 2012. From left, Nana, Sheila & Daniela:
Bill Bland & Jim le Messurier playing percussion in Highgate Woods, 2017
Percussionist Javier Campos Martinez, 2012
Ola’s hair, 2018:
Anita listening to a take, 2019:
Sheila applying Anita’s makeup backstage, 2010:
Percussionist Afimaye, Havana 2008:
Susan Sontag, in her seminal book On Photography wrote that photography is a chronicle of mortality*. This project relates to her theory in that over the years we can witness change in the photographs. For example my son Dan was a teenager and the youngest member when he joined the choir back in 2008 and is now a 26 year old man.
Dan on a choir trip to Cuba, 2008:
Dan & Grace recording in Nottingham, 2019
Although there are a few remaining original members, most people have come and gone; and some have returned after a gap of several years. Quite a few have gone on to become established artists in their own right. Some members have had babies, or become grandparents. Sadly we have also lost a couple of members. I’ve chosen to mix up the images in preference to organising them in a linear, chronological way. My intention is to convey an eclectic, behind the scenes patchwork quilt, honouring my experience with the choir.
Below – The late Martyn Thompson on the left, Keith Johnson on the right:
Evening rehearsal, 2016:
At the Barbican Centre, learning to sign as part of collaboration with The Great British Songbook, 2019:
See the whole project here: https://www.mishaminoff.com/portfolio/behind-the-scenes-with-the-london-lucumi-choir-portfolio/
* Sontag, S. On Photography (Penguin,1977), p.70
Also published on Medium.