For the recent TEDx Queenstown event I was asked by the organisers to create some images to support Mathias Lefebvre’s presentation on stage.
Mathias is better known as “The Pianoman“. And no, I dont mean Billy Joel’s piano man! Mathias is known for tinkling away on the piano on Queenstown’s lakeside. Self taught and playing on a piano he reclaimed from the local tip, his sound has a way of getting into the quiet, reflective part of your head. Since the theme of this years TEDx Queenstown event was a “sense of place” I decided to try and create some images that captured Mathias’ sense of place. He usually plays in a particular spot next to the wharf at the bottom of the mall. He has been photographed numerous times with one photograph even winning an international photography competition. His spot is often a crowded one, so shooting a calm, reflective version of it was going to be a challenge. Numerous visits yielded unsatisfactory results. Until one early morning I was able to create this shot using a 6 minute exposure to smooth out the lakes surface and the early morning clouds. For me this represents the way Mathias’ music just seems to ‘flow’ from one mood to the next. My original idea was to try to recreate Mathias’ place by building a “Hockney-esque” montage of images taken at his spot. I’ll post that image on another occasion because that was a fun project too. In the end though, this is the image that appeared on the 6 metre wide screen behind Matthias as he began his presentation.