I had a beautiful moment.
And I am compelled to share it with you.
It started out with an amazing video and then I chased that white rabbit down some inspiring holes.
Here’s to Wyman Meinzer and Doug Smith – two talents of Texas . . . or what you might call “Texas Treasures”!
Day in and day out – daily responsibilities crowd our every waking moment.
Just like my ma warned me it would, “You get older, it goes faster. Don’t forget.”
Photography helps us remember. Helps us appreciate, digest, as we relive those memories that are so dear.
Music pulls us into the moment even further, heightening that visual experience to something nearly tangible. It is that one thing in that moment that we can recreate with a press of a button. We pull from the past and make it now. Turn on that song, maybe turning on that good feeling and more memories are created to be remembered for another day.
Exceptional photography paired up with a moving musical experience is an artistic experience. Here’s that impressive video I mentioned at the get-go, a product borne by a collaboration between Wyman Meinzer & Doug Smith.
Their names were familiar just in passing. I even have a couple of Meinzer’s books on my shelf and my husband is familiar with most Texas musicians/composers, but delving into their accomplishments has been truly inspiring.
Doug Smith’s career and presence is a quieter one, with no website, no Facebook page that I could find and only a few local articles written about him. He was reported as being the main subject for a PBS special entitled “There It Is” (2003), but I couldn’t find any information or video clips of. I am just personally impressed with his talent and moved by his will to recover from his accident, striving to pursue his passion in music.
I did find a chapter written about him in “Fire in the Water, Earth in the Air: Legends of West Texas Music”, a book written by Christopher J. Oglesby, on Google Plus. Below is an excerpt.
I also found this video, “Doug Smith – A West Texas Treasure” where he speaks about his musical life, passions, his life-altering experience and its aftermath. Doug Smith’s musical interests emerged at the young age of two. Music is his “life’s work and only ambition,” where “nothing else feels like that to me, that exchange of playing music for people and really the size of the audience really doesn’t matter. I get the same feeling from playing for 2-3 people, or 5-6 people or 1500-2000 people, its still the same awesome feeling of exchange.”
Doug then describes the evening of his auto accident in 2007 that resulted in tragic paralysis of his lower limbs and limited use of his fingers. According to his physician “odds were heavily against him being able to play piano again.” He does persevere and if you look closely in the video, you can observe his unique technique on the piano.
“Doug Smith – A West Texas Treasure”
Here his music is available at:
Wyman Meinzer is another story, just click on his name above for his website. In 1997, he was honored by President George W. Bush with the title of “Texas State Photographer.” His prominence in the photographer field continued to grow ever since. In 2014, he was called upon to undertake the photo shoot of the Ford Motor Co. and King Ranch in their celebrating a successful 15-year collaboration.
So, there was more media to choose from, but I was really drawn to this rather understated interview by Texas Parks and Wildlife.
In this interview, Wyman Meinzer discusses his photography in a very direct, no frills approach and he subtly opens up as the video progresses.
“I enjoy taking pictures, because number one I can’t draw. So through the photographic medium, to me, I am able to communicate to those people some very exciting moments, some beautiful moments, that is rarely experience by people anywhere in America, much less Texas. . . I have always been moved by the power of the land and the sky.
I remember being as young as twelve years old and just being totally enthralled when a thunderstorm approached. Its the defining example of unbridled power and in that power I found all this excitement and so I began to realize that in my photography I can harness that power, the only way I could do it, that man could do it.
It is in that photograph, harness that power of the storm, just to convey the power to the viewer and so this country with the changing weather patterns, with the volatility of the clouds and the storms, there is a constant source of great images up here and most of them include great sky shots, great clouds shots. . . Its not a land that comes out to meet you, jumps up to entertain you, and so you know being familiar with the land, being familiar with the places and knowing that this part of the state has incredible light, and appreciating that the panhandle plains, rolling plains region is an enormous land.”
Here’s a selected few of recently published works by Wyman Meinzer available at:
I hope you enjoyed my “Texas Treasures” – it was something I had to get out of my system! I am really good at being a “fan” – and sometimes I receive a “thank you” to my utter astonishment. I cannot help my admiration. I’m not the talent that’s been laboring and accomplishing so much. Spreading the love is the very least I can do – and its just not in me to hold back. When you love something – it fills you up so. Hard to contain.
You know what I mean?!
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