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The Story Behind That Picture: "Music - The Art of the Muse"

By: Thorsten Overgaard. February 6, 2020.

 

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For the Love of Music

When I attended the Clive Davis Pre-Grammys Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on January 25th it became evident that the makes and shakers of music are true music lovers.

John Legend took a deep breath before he performed a new song that is not out yet. I don't know how I got that close, but I did. Leica M10-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 © Thorsten Overgaard.
John Legend took a deep breath before he performed a new song that is not out yet. I don't know how I got that close, but I did. Leica M10-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Clive Davis (87) is known for his ability to find great talent and voices, and to have these artists record great music that becomes smash hits and forms life-long careers for those involved. He is also known for his yearly Pre-Grammys Gala that gathers everybody and their mothers. All the greatest names in music are present in the same room at this particular Gala: Usher, Offset, LL Cool J, DJ Khaled, Chance the rapper, Tyler, the Creator, Wiz Khalifa, Carlos Santana, Janet Jackson, John Legend, Jamie Foxx, Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas and many more.

It should be no surprise that Clive Davis loves music, though the ideas about how music executives are evil money-greedy people can obscure the view.

 

Beck opened the live music part of the Clive Davis Pre_Grammys Gala 2020 with four songs. Leica M10-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 © Thorsten Overgaard.
Beck opened the live music part of the Clive Davis Pre_Grammys Gala 2020 with four songs. Leica M10-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Loving the music and the Leica. Beyonce and Jay-Z. Leica M10-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 © Thorsten Overgaard.
Loving the music and the Leica. Beyonce and Jay-Z. Leica M10-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Nonetheless, with each introduction of the top names in the room Clive remarks upon their “love for music”.

You look around and you notice that there are a lot of heavy-hitters who have been in the music business for a long time, either in front of the microphone, playing an instrument, writing the lyrics or music, or managing behind the scenes.

It’s true that most of them stand out for their love of music. There are a few new names who seem to be too much into the diamonds, drugs and celebrity-status that they might or might not be here in 25 years to celebrate music. But the majority are there for the love of music.

 

King Combs (P Diddy's son) performing at the Clive Davis Pre-Grammys Gala. One of my favorites for his flow and look like a white swan, and my personal favorite photo of the evening. The outfit styled by Lade Aiyeku: west by The Row, shirt by YSL, pants by Maxmara, boots by Celine. Leica M10-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 © Thorsten Overgaard.
King Combs (P Diddy's son) performing at the Clive Davis Pre-Grammys Gala. One of my favorites for his flow and look like a white swan, and my personal favorite photo of the evening. The outfit styled by Lade Aiyeku: west by The Row, shirt by YSL, pants by Maxmara, boots by Celine.
Leica M10-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Music is…

Music is sound combined to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion. That’s the definition, and it’s pretty cool, isn’t it? The word Music comes from Greek and means, Art of the Muse, referring to the nine muses or goddesses. For example, the goddess Euterpe who played the flute, Terpsichore who sang, and Erato who played the lyre. In short, the art of wasting time and meditating.

 

Clive Davis presenting people in the audience, "...who loves music". Leica M10-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 © Thorsten Overgaard. Clive Davis presenting people in the audience, "...who loves music". Leica M10-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Money for nothing and chicks for free

Of course, what is very visible in popular music is the presence of money. If a song sells a lot and plays a lot, it generates a great deal of revenue for the artist and all involved. Someone who is clearly having fun doing what they like to do, and who is making lots of money.

 

The party took a new direction when Brandi Carlile and Cyndi Lauper performed and decided to hop onto table number 4 to get closer to the audience. Leica M10-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 © Thorsten Overgaard.
The party took a new direction when Brandi Carlile and Cyndi Lauper performed and decided to hop onto table number 4 to get closer to the audience. Leica M10-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

This was the theme of the Dire Straits song, “Money for nothing and chicks for free”, written from the viewpoint of a man watching musicians with long hair and weird wardrobes, on stage playing guitars, making money and being loved by the girls.

However unfair it must seem for the working man sweating in a factory or in an office day after day, seeing that this glorified job of making music looks so fun and pays so well.

 

Mase was the one who got everybody up their chairs with his old-school beats. Leica M10-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 © Thorsten Overgaard.
Mase was the one who got everybody up their chairs with his old-school beats. Leica M10-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Be a good example

Many of these musicians who are present have been responsible for the soundtracks of our lives, creators of the dreams of higher states. They are our support when love goes wrong, or in our celebration of the love for a city, as in Alicia Keys’ and Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind”.

Music is an important part of life and culture. Part of making music that influences so many is being a good example for others. The visibility, the words, the personality carry a weight of responsibility to the role.

 

Clive Davis' personal discovery he wanted to present to the audience this evening was Adrienne Warren who performed two songs by Tina Turner. The voice and personality impressed the audience who acknowledged loud and standing. Leica M10-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 © Thorsten Overgaard.
Clive Davis' personal discovery he wanted to present to the audience this evening was Adrienne Warren who performed two songs by Tina Turner. The voice and personality impressed the audience who acknowledged loud and standing. Leica M10-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Photographing

I spend three hours in the front and center of it all, the celebration of music, rubbing elbows with Beyonce, Jay-Z, Beck, Khalid, Mase, LL Cool J, Chick Corea, and others.


LL Cool J (which stands for "Ladies Love Cool James". Leica M10-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 © Thorsten Overgaard.
LL Cool J (which stands for "Ladies Love Cool James". Leica M10-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

For this particular night I had chosen the Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 on a Leica M10-P body as my weapon of choice. Compact, discrete, mobile and reliable. I had one spare battery that was thrown to me when I needed it, but otherwise I stayed low, unnoticed, and ready around the front of the room, as close to the action as anybody.

I had fun, got great photos, new friends and when anybody asks if I have ever been invited to the Clive Davis Pre-Grammys Gala I can say yes. Been there, done that. One of the very few.

 

Santana performed. Leica M10-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 © Thorsten Overgaard.
Santana performed. Leica M10-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

More to come ...

I hope you enjoyed today's Story Behind That Picture. As always feel free to email me with ideas, questions, suggestion.

 

 

Khalid at the Clive Davis Pre-Grammys Gala 2020. Leica M10-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 © Thorsten Overgaard.
Khalid at the Clive Davis Pre-Grammys Gala 2020. Leica M10-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

The outside of Beverly Hilton Hotel packed with limos dropping off one celebrity after the other. Leica M10-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 © Thorsten Overgaard.
The outside of Beverly Hilton Hotel packed with limos dropping off one celebrity after the other. Leica M10-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

 

Clive Davis' personal discovery he wanted to present to the audience this evening was Adrienne Warren who performed two songs by Tina Turner. The voice and personality impressed the audience who acknowledged loud and standing. Leica M10-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 © Thorsten Overgaard.
Adrienne Warren
. Leica M10-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

 

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Above: Beyonce, Jay-Z and the crowd bumpin' to the old-school beats of Mase's hit "Feel so Good" at the Clive Davis Pre-Grammys Gala 2020. Leica M10-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

 

Photo: Thorsten Overgaard by Ray Kachatorian
Photo: Ray Kachatorian

Thorsten Overgaard is a Danish born photographer, known for his writings about photography and Leica cameras. He travels to more than 25 countries a year, photographing for magazines and teaching workshops which cater to Leica enthusiasts. You can follow him at his television channel www.magicoflight.tv

 

 



 


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Thorsten Overgaard
Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish writer and photographer, specializing in portrait photography and documentary photography, known for writings about photography and as an educator. Some photos are available as signed editions via galleries or online. For specific photography needs, contact Thorsten Overgaard via e-mail.

Feel free to e-mail to thorsten@overgaard.dk for
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