New York Daily Photo Analytics

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Curse of the Mouth Trumpet

It was September 25, 2005, and and I had the good fortune to be told about the first annual Bluegrass Reunion in Washington Square Park.

I was astonished to see the "mouth trumpet" technique of Bob Gurland. As an added bonus, I learned that, unbeknownst to me, the woman he began to engage with in a duet was Maria Muldaur. Conveniently, my point and shoot digital camera at the time had video capability. What an opportunity to capture a bit of spontaneous music history! Or so I thought.

I noticed just before they had nearly completed their duet, that I was not recording at all. I immediately enabled the video recording but only got 15 seconds of them together. This was also the total video footage of Bob:

I did get to chat with Bob and complemented him on his unique and amazing skill. He told me he had performed and recorded with a number of music bands, including one of the earliest heavy metal groups, Blue Cheer. His name appears on the credit list for their album Oh! Pleasant Hope.

I am, however, very tenacious, and I never forgot my aborted video. So it was with great pleasure that after 5 years, I saw Bob again at the recent 6th Bluegrass Reunion. Here, I was quite confident. I had much more experience with photo equipment and had several cameras, including a Sony HD camcorder which I did not bother bringing. The video function of today's point and shoots is excellent, and I was lazy, sure that I was adequately prepared with my new Canon S90. Or so I thought.

I was very relaxed, shooting Bob in a number of segments, and even introduced myself and got him to do a short video clip alone. However, there appeared to be a peculiar tinting to all the video. No time to research this now, as I was sure it was a screen display issue. It was not. In making this Canon camera very user friendly, some functions are much too easily changed by brushing against a small function wheel. I had accidentally changed the mode from standard to color accent and color swap. In my panicky state, I tried to find the functions settings for video, to no avail. Once I was home, I learned how childishly simple the mode change is. Too late.

So, if you would like to enjoy Bob and his fellow musicians in a variety of lurid skin tones and other color abominations, here is my video montage:

Next time, I am determined to prevail over the Curse of the Mouth Trumpet :)

Photo Note: Bob Gurland is on the left with Trip Henderson on harmonica on the right. Both are New York City residents.


Vivien said...

Such a nice story ! :)

Jess Guim said...

Please try visiting also my photo and video blog of places around New York City. This is located at

Brian Dubé said...

Vivien - thanks.

Anonymous said...

John Sebastian is the guitarist in this 15 second video clip.