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Photography

#architecture#Charles Brooks#instruments#music

Architectonic Photographs by Charles Brooks Illuminate the Atmospheric Interiors of Historic Instruments

April 28, 2023

Kate Mothes

A photograph taken of the inside of a pipe organ, illuminated to highlight its architectural features.

“St. Marks Pipe Organ, Part 2.” All images © Charles Brooks, shared with permission

A pipe organ soars like a skyscraper-lined boulevard and a Steinway piano’s action mechanism transforms into a sun-speckled tunnel in atmospheric photographs by Charles Brooks (previously). His ongoing Architecture in Music series highlights the inner structures of renowned instruments, imbuing the interiors with airy light. Bringing the camera inside a variety of string, brass, keyboard, and woodwind instruments, he offers unique insight into rarely seen textures, details, and patinas. He angles the camera from a low viewpoint, mimicking the perspective of standing in a grand space and looking up at architectural details like columns or skylights.

Brooks has played cello for most of his life and for two decades, performed in orchestras around the world, fueling his curiosity about how instruments are made and who built or played them. Unless you’re a luthier, it’s unlikely you would ever see the inside of a violin, so the photographer wanted to highlight the precision and individuality of a wide variety of examples. Proffering glimpses of a range of interiors—where the real magic happens—Brooks highlights the volumes and components designed to allow sound to swell throughout meticulously assembled forms.

You can purchase prints of many of Brooks’ photographs on his website, and follow updates on Instagram.

A photograph taken of the inside of a double bass, illuminated to highlight its architectural features.

“Charles Threress Double Bass c. 1860.”

A photograph taken of the inside of a famous guitar, illuminated to highlight its architectural features.

“‘Siete Lunas’ Guitar by Roberto Hernandez”

A photograph taken of the inside of a clarinet, illuminated to highlight its architectural features.

“1995 Low C Prestige Bass Clarinet”

Two images side-by-side. The left image shows an interior of a cello, and the right image shows the interior of a Steinway piano.

Left: “Lockey Hill Cello c. 1780.” Right: “The Exquisite Architecture of Steinway, Part 8,” Steinway Spirio R piano

A photograph taken of the inside of a pianola, illuminated to highlight its architectural features.

“Pianola”

A photograph taken of the inside of an acoustic guitar, illuminated to highlight its architectural features.

“Inside an Acoustic Guitar, Part 2”

A photograph taken of the inside of a pipe organ, illuminated to highlight its architectural features.

“St. Marks Pipe Organ, Part 1”

A photograph taken of the inside of a famous violin from 1880, illuminated to highlight its architectural features.

“Hopf Violin c. 1880, Part 1”

A photograph taken of the inside of an electric mini guitar, illuminated to highlight its architectural features.

“Taylor GS Mini Guitar”

#architecture#Charles Brooks#instruments#music

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