Hajo Müller, a photographer friend of mine, started a new project a while ago called “AIR musicians”. His idea is basically to let professional musicians play their instrument, but without the instrument, similar to the air guitar contests. This implies a considerable amount of humour, but also a beautiful new perspective on the musician.
When I saw the first pictures of this project, I was aesthetically reminded of the HANDS project, as the black and white approach with only a white background and the missing instrument is similar. Anyway, the perspective of the projects could not be more different. HANDS is focussing on that specific body part of the musicians which is making the tone, playing the note, or initiating the sound. It is the body part that transfers the idea of music to the instrument.
“AIR musicians” is trying to show the character of the musician through the kaleidoscope of humour. Although it is a playful approach, the images convey the artists’ deep love of music and passion for their instruments.

If one compares a picture of the same musician from both projects side by side, the similarities and differences become even more evident. Let’s have a look at pianist Adam Holzman (Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Steven Wilson).

Here is the HANDS picture – click for fullscreen version:

And this is the “AIR musician” picture, shot by Hajo – click for fullscreen version:

I think both pictures magically complement each other. Depending on which musician Hajo can win over for his project, I could imagine a joint exhibition juxtaposing the portraits.

Needless to say, I love the idea of “AIR musicians”, and I am so happy to be part of it. Thank you for including me, Hajo.

Now, please jump over to Hajo’s homepage and have a look at the AIR musicians and all the other great pictures he takes!