by Stormfish June. 26, 2013 3343 views

one of the most influential pictures in my life is the blurry carousel on the sleeve of richard wahnfried's legendary album "tonwelle []".

i remember buying this album 1981 when i was 19 years old. i still know i went into the shop, saw it, and SOLELY bought it for the sleeve design. i had no idea who wahnfried was but i immediately fell in love with the music, too. turns out, wahnfried is a pseudonym for the electronic experimentalist klaus schulze []. he produced several albums under this name, when he was inclined to do some more popular stuff with other musicians and not, as he is known for, alone with his moog and other synthesizers.

the album stood on display at my turntable for long time, even when i didn't play it. later, i pinned it onto my wall just to have the picture as a steady background. so i dare say i really KNOW this picture by heart.

of course, that's all a while ago, but each time i see a carousel, i feel like i want to shoot this same picture for myself. well, i had a chance to do so in malaysia while visiting a tourist trap park [] full of lights. unfortunately, i neither had a tripod nor could i mount the camera onto something steady, so i had to do it handheld and a little shaky.

but when i developed the results, i was pleased how with the result. i was proud how much i had been able to produce a similar result just like the “tonwelle” cover.

oddly enough… my pictures don't look AT ALL like that cover. colors, movement, even the form of the carousel are very distinct. i shot an entirely different carousel and got an entirely different effect out of my long exposure. it's not nearly as dreamy and psychedelic as i imagined. it's a great impression of the spinning wheel and it's lights but in all their splendor, they do not produce the same impression.

for me, this is a great example of how our memories of the past can't be trusted. even with things we believe we have memorized well, things we still are convinced to know exact details about… all these are just GONE. there is nothing left of them, not even memories. the real things that happened and meant something to you have been replaced by a blurry swirl of emotionally charged fantasies, wishes, fears. all of which have more to do with you today, in your actual state of mind, than with anything in the past.

whatever you think about the past - that it was better, worse, happy, sad, sweet, sour, exciting, boring, eventful or unimportant - it's all just made up in your mind RIGHT NOW.

and that's good enough.

addition 2013-07-02: i found this short excerpt of a speech by sam harris that expresses my thoughts above from a different angle but basically with the same conclusion; adding a new meaning to “meditation” at the end that i really like: "your mind is all you have []", 2012 melbourne.

tonwelle, 2013 (photo taken in i-city, shah alam, malaysia) []

tonwelle, 1981 (Cover: kdm/Cordes, with a photo by Weisser) []

  Be the first to like this post
Join the conversation
There are 4 comments , add yours!
Jacki 6 years, 7 months ago

Oh you THINK too much! LOL Well... I really like the result of your shot!

6 years, 7 months ago Edited
Josy 6 years, 8 months ago

The memories live or relive in the light of the present. They are never reliable, sometimes they are worse, sometimes better. It is simply necessary the knowledge...
But I like your carousel in tourist trap park !

6 years, 8 months ago Edited
Marilyn Grimble 6 years, 8 months ago

I should have added the word "spinning".

6 years, 8 months ago Edited
Marilyn Grimble 6 years, 8 months ago

The Magic Top ... a childhood symbol of my mind - RIGHT NOW.

6 years, 8 months ago Edited