Petra Richterová, Ph.D. — Sound of Light: Music Photography and Conversations with the Artists (Paperback)

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“The magic and mystery of music permeates and animates every domain of culture. Petra Richterová’s Sound of Light is the work of a brilliant artist-scholar who is able to capture the profundity of music as it manifests through the words, sounds, and movements of some of the greatest musicians of our time. Shot with passion and precision, Richterová uses her enchanted eye machine to take her reader on an intoxicating journey across the Aurora Borealis of black Atlantic music.”

–Dr. Michael E. Veal, Professor of Music, Yale University


Sound of Light: Music Photography and Conversations with the Artists uncovers 25 years of my photography focusing on the griots of African American and Afro-diasporic music. Following black music scenes in New York City and on the road, it is a love letter to the art of music and the art of photography. The book consists of images plus conversations with musicians about their artistic process and the spirituality of music. Seeing jazz, hip hop, funk, soul, rock n' roll, street dance culture and beyond, the volume reflects the relatedness of black music and performance styles, celebrating the common root of artistic expression from a personal perspective. Cultivating my vision as a photographer has meant seeing beyond the world of forms and discrete artistic mediums, allowing me to transcend the process of my rational mind to work with an iconography of the spirit. The two photographic chapters, OFFstage and ONstage, offer a soulful glimpse into the fullness of the itinerant performer’s experience. Those interviewed are all longtime collaborators—this intimacy and openness comes across in honest conversations about the creative process. Prologue by the late poet and cultural critic Greg Tate. Interviews were conducted with Robert Glasper, Angelo Moore, Marcus Strickland, Will Calhoun, Greg Tate, and Marcus Miller. Featured artists include Wynton Marsalis, Bilal, Ishmael Butler, Fishbone, Keyon Harrold, Parliament-Funkadelic, Jason Moran, Living Colour, Wadada Leo Smith, Chucho Valdés, Youssou N’Dour, Pharoahe Monch, Hassan Hakmoun, Randy Weston, Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber, Cavalier, Chris “Daddy” Dave, Storyboard P, and Salif Keita, among others.



Dr. Petra Richterová is a PHOTOGRAPHER, FILMMAKER, and SCHOLAR who received her doctorate from Yale University (2010) specializing in the Arts of the African Diaspora. She has photographed for Jazz at Lincoln Center and The Black Rock Coalition, and her images have been shown at Columbia University, Fábrica de Arte Cubano, and The Studio Museum in Harlem. Petra’s first short film, ON MY MIND, premiered with Afropunk in 2020, and her latest short film, ARE YOU HEARING ME?, was released with Vibe Music Collective in 2021. She is a 2021-22 Scholar-in-Residence at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (NYPL), and Professor of Art History at Savannah College of Art and Design. She spends her time between Brooklyn and Savannah. @petrarichterovaphotography

Book Info 

Publisher: Roc Nomadia Productions 2022

Language: English

Softcover: 230 pages

ISBN: 979-8-9852034-0-0

Dimensions: 8 x 0.65 x 10 inches




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