For those who might not know, I have a volunteer photography project called “Photohoku” where I gift photographs to people in need. It would take a while to share all about it, but I just encourage you to check it out. But one of technical the aspects of it, not completely unlike Tokyo Record Style, is approaching (read: accosting) strangers, trying to diffuse their immediate apprehension with some welcoming, unthreatening charm and an honest smile (which, in a world filled with nefariously-intended people requires a certain finesse), and in a very, very short amount of time, seconds really, sell them on a genuinely creative idea that basically involves their participation, and assure them that the result, and the connection forged from the shared faith and goodwill, will actually be an authentic human experience, and very well worth it.
Absolutely, one of the most interesting aspects of this approach is witnessing the very moment, the second in time, expressed in the face and eyes, when impressions change from suspicion to trust. It’s simultaneously a subtle and yet beautifully dramatic transition – a revelation of sorts. For them, it might feel like relief that the ticking time bomb’s red wire was cut, but for me, it’s quite the opposite, like that single first firework launched, rising higher and higher in the air, too high maybe, then the silence and suspense of wondering if it’s a dud, or if it will indeed actually explode, hanging in the sky, them BOOM!!! The heavens light up, queue circus pipe-organ music, the show is about to begin! Ladies and gentlemen, boy and girls of all ages of all ages…
Sorry, got carried away there, but now imagine for a moment being Aurélien pictured here, French expat living in Bali, running a restaurant called “O La La”, then coming to Tokyo, on holiday, for the first time, walking alone in the dimly-lit back streets of a foreign county, perhaps with a wallet filled of record-collecting cash for extremely rare and expensive collector Serge Gainsbourg pressings, and encountering a fast-talking, obnoxiously dressed, over-enthusiastic national of yet a DIFFERENT country, speaking half-English, half Japanese to you, trying to chat you about records. You’d be suspicious too. Hell, I’D be suspicious too! Well, lucky for both of us, Aurélien let his guard down, offered a warm smile, and both our hearts melted a little. Not only were we made instant pals by music, but thankfully and reassuringly our mutual faith in humanity was restored, …and the occasion was marked with these photographs.
Thanks, for sharing Aurélien. Congrats on the huge score. So happy we met! I listened to chanson all day yesterday and I’m better for it! Enjoy the rest of your Tokyo time! And more Tokyo Record style coming up!
Serge Gainsbourg – L’étonnant Serge Gainsbourg (N°3)
Label: Philips – B 76.516 R, Philips – B 76 516 R
Series: Bon Pour La Danse
Format: Vinyl, LP, 10″, Album, Mono
Released: Apr 5, 1961
Genre: Rock, Latin, Pop
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