Sunday, June 30, 2013

Old age and Tom Hussey

On the Sunday TV programme tonight they discussed dementia and Alzheimers, and some innovative approaches to dealing with the issue.  In one sequence they showed how the music from a man's early years had a profound effect on him in his state of dementia.  He became articulate and animated, whereas normally he was virtually dumb and sat in one position most of the time.  Another woman with some form of dementia who had been a concert pianist could still play without difficulty the pieces she'd learned years ago.  Music is a powerful force in the human mind. 

I've known for years how much easier it is to remember text that I've set to music.  The musical line somehow gives the words a structure that they adhere to more readily than if they're left just sitting with mnemonics to link them. 

But I wasn't going to talk about music, particularly.  In the programme they included several pictures by a photographer called Tom Hussey.  The pictures each had an old person in front of a mirror, and in the mirror was a version of themselves as a young person.  Sometimes another figure was included in the main scene.  These are wonderfully evocative photos, and the announcer mentioned the photographer's name and said his site was worth visiting.  It surely is.  There are portraits, photos of kids, action photos, groups, and photos taken to show a more creative element.  Much of the photography has what you might call a 'commercial' edge, in the sense of them looking like photos that could easily appear in a high class magazine as part of the advertising.  So it's no surprise to read in his biography that that's his main line of business. But plainly he takes photo for the pleasure of it as well.  There are also several short films, some of them made for ads, and some like mini-documentaries.

Check out the site and enjoy!
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