• Brian Aufdenberg

Create / Document

I have always loved telling stories. For a large part of my life, that has either been through music or photography. For whatever reason, I have always felt at ease using mediums that used imagery and sound. I am not sure why that is to be honest with you. Sounds, shapes, and colors just made sense on a basic primal level to me. From the triumphant sounds of a commanding brass section to a funk break beat to the grittiest of growling bass lines. It seemed as if I were speaking their language. I could hear and understand what those musicians and composures were saying directly to me. In time I would start to make my own music and use that same language to express thoughts, emotions, and experience. I could tell stories through my DJ sets. It has always (at least to me) been obvious what mood I was in by the sets I would play. Looking back over the last twenty-five years of recordings, it is clear that music was / is my escape, therapy, friend, confidant, and means of expressing my feelings.

With the photography, it is a little bit different. I am drawn more to document the world around me more. I have been looking at and chasing light for as long as I can remember. Noticing how it comes diffused through a frosted window falling on a stack of old dishes, or how a streetlight illuminates a quiet city alley. I have always been drawn to capturing the world I see. More often than not, it is in the small details of this world. The couple at a café. Some old chairs in a garden. The sun coming up over an empty beach. Fresh produce from a local farm. The sometimes forgotten about traces of existence have always seemed to catch my eye. It feels as if they almost call out to me to document them.

One thing that all of this time during Covid-19 has let me do is really stop and take a look at my process and purpose. I had been struggling with splitting my time between photography and making music. I was not sure what to focus on if I am being honest. So I started really looking at the why I was doing either and that is how I came to the realizations above. One was my output, and one was my input. The music serves as how I express my inside to the world. It is my engagement. My contribution to the world and culture. My photography is my way of processing and reflecting the world around me back into it. One part serves create, and one part serves to document. With this realization it was clear to me then that I didn’t need to worry about which got more time or if one was more important then the other. I now just accept they are both valid and worthy of my time. That wasn’t always the case in transparency. I just am mindful now of their purpose, and can use that to nurture and grow the future. That peace of mind is something I had struggled with for a while, but feel more and more at ease with it.

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