A blind man sings on a New York City subway.
You take your viewer on an AUDILE voyage underground, allowing us to listen to and enjoy the transcendent voice of this street entertainer. As he sings for the public, he receives occasional donations to his cause. We know this because he gives a second aural gift — a “god bless you” — that the donor can carry away forever. Once I my eyes allowed me to catch the slightest bit of an image, the opening and closing of the door and then the swoosh forward of the train, I realized that the dynamic forward movements were actually taking us back in history. The recognition of this ever so clever manipulation of history was a breathtaking moment. In this way, you brought even more attention to the monochromatic vision of history that comes with traditional black and white photography. Also, at the end I heard a woman’s verbal description of what I had heard. The compassion in her voice was palpable.
At first disorienting, one can’t help but be drawn in by the grey journey the voice take us on. I love how non inherent the setting is, forcing us to discover our surroundings the same way an audile would: mostly through sound, and secondarily though visual clues. The final moments bring relevance and gravity to the piece, and while the footage is from a specific era, it could most certainly be from today. Timeless.
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