Continuing our tenth-anniversary celebration of www.ALANILAGAN.com, we are putting the StoneLight project into the spotlight. It was shot in 2007, in the hushed stillness and quiet of various cemeteries. Out of respect, whenever I drove past the gates into a cemetery, I’d shut off the radio or the CD that was playing, and allow the silence to be an offering of honor to the dead. Silly, perhaps, but something I felt was necessary. When compiling the photos and putting the project together, however, I turned the music back on. Whenever I complete a Project, or am in the process of creating one, I usually think of an inspiration song or two that sets the mood for the piece. Music, perhaps more than anything else, can always set a scene. For the StoneLight work, I listened to Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto.
It has a slow, contemplative cadence that is a perfect reflection of time marching on, and viewing StoneLight while listening to this music can become an almost-spiritual affair, which is precisely the feel of that Project. The slowly-shifting shadows moving over stone, the textures of carved rock mottled by lichens, and the varying gradations of gray perfectly complement the somber pace of the concerto. The architecture of the human form is revealed in sculpture, each rib counted on the depressed keys of a piano. There is a stately nobility to the proceedings (in spite of all the nudity) and only the proper piece of music can convey that.