July 25th, 2010
Santa Barbara, CA
Co-Creating The Journey:
Photo Shoot With Lisa Beck and Budhi Harlow of Panzumo
West African Dancers and Drummers
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
Ursula K. Le Guin.
I don’t’ even know where to begin with explaining my relationship with Lisa and Budhi. Friends. Mentors. Co-creators. Teachers.
We perform together. We dance together. We drum together. We commune together. And we occasionally sing together. It’s difficult to separate out the levels of relationship that we have together. But one of the most cherished of these relationships is as their photographer. In the past ten years, we’ve had several photo shoots together which have unintentionally archived our journeys as artists from their first music cd around nine years ago with their first band to their connection with the ocean and Lisa’s growth as a dance teacher to this summer during which our creative energies only seem to growing without abandon and Lisa has become something of a mythical creature…graceful, gorgeous in a very unself-conscious way, strong. There is so much that I wanted to create with her photographically this time around that we decided to do a separate photo shoot of her as goddess portraits (to be released soon) and another of her and Budhi shining in their musical elements….
Budhi is a phenomenal musician, composer, teacher and performer. And in the past ten years, Lisa has not only blossomed as a highly talented musician and dancer but she has become one of the most gifted dance teachers I’ve ever known (up there along with Vanessa Isaac and my beloved Mamacita). Her humility, grace, unending ability to combine her multiple talents have helped make her such an amazing leader. Together they have helped to create a truly beautiful community of drummers and dancers in Santa Barbara over the past several years and one which I consider to be one of the many amazing blessings of my life.
I hope you enjoy these as much as I do. There is a beautiful synergy that occurs when creative spirits come together with a similar vision and you can almost taste it in the electrical texture of the photos….This is the path that I have envisioned for many years to come. It’s difficult to imagine having more fun than we did together on this shoot but, after years of experience with them both, I know it’s always possible! ;)