Touch Dissolves is a free-flowing dialogue, bonding cellist Aaron Martin and photographer Yusuf Sevinçli. IKKII blends photography and music, and Touch Dissolves does the same thing, consisting of two physical imprints (photographic book and vinyl) and limited to 500 copies each. The album’s also available on vinyl, cd, and as a download, but to get the most out of the experience, it’s recommended that the book should be digested alone, the music listened to alone, and then both viewed and listened to together.
Photography often accompanies and compliments music, but the iconic image of the album cover, which in the sixties and seventies was a statement of intent, and gave clues to the music inside even before you’d set the needle down, has been in decline, losing some of its importance over the last twenty or so years. The two are on equal footing here, though. One is just as relevant, and just as valuable, as the other. This record takes the music back to that golden age, where the image was equal to the music inside the sleeve. The music sings to the ethereal and everlasting snapshot, that image caught in the grip of time, and the image directs the optic nerve of the melody, not only supporting it, but influencing it.
Like music, photography is subjective and open to interpretation, but the visual element puts something direct and concrete in front of the viewer. Music’s invisible, her lines and waves similar to reading a novel in that the mind has to use some imagination to help shape a world. The photograph clicks off a specific picture, but it still wants the listener to fil in the blanks. A book can’t read itself.
If a tree falls in a forest and no one’s around to hear it (or tweet about it), does it make a sound?
Yusuf Sevinçli’s photography wanders by the roadside, gazing at the passing people and zooming in on the forgotten aspects of life, slinking into crucial gaps that are often missed but are essential in framing the moment. These photographs stray. The stability of home base has gone. Instead, they have an eye for exploration, adventuring, and this fits in with the body language of Martin’s cello, which is as bright and animated as a splayed finger of sunlight. The cello enjoys the chance to roam around in the great outdoors, accompanying the image.
Like two friends on a weekend camping trip, a strong chain exists between the detailed texture of a photograph and the timbre of the music – in this instance, a cello rising from the loam, helping to colour in and fill the empty areas that live just out of shot and outside its developed square, surrounding the picture with a bright flash of music, and filling in the vacant geography that lies just out of sight of Sevinçli’s camera. His photographs are bathed in black-and-white moonlight, a sharp and striking collection of individual moments wrapped up in the coils of music, their vital shapes and textures leaping out of the page. The sheet music takes monochromatic snapshots of its own as its black notes slink around the climbing frame of a black stave. The notes tell a continuing story with their snaking turns and rhythmic gauntlets, and so do the photographs inside the book. They are one and the same.