Enabling Musicians

My latest project for the In Harmony series. See the whole series (thus far) online: In Harmony: Music in Central Virginia.

Working mostly out of Bedford, James Jones has spent over 30 years refining his craft: building acoustic musical instruments. “You have to put the time in. And I have put the time in.” His expertly crafted hammered dulcimers have been shipped and played around the world. Octave mandolins, harps, zithers and psalteries also take shape in his shop, which he always worked by himself. “You feel like an enabler. Because that’s really what instrument builders are,” said Jones. “The fact that you’re working with your hands and creating things out of materials has its own satisfactions but you also realize that what you ultimately produce is making music.”

Injured Fawn

I was photographing a story in a rural area last weekend and an unexpected scene unfolded.

A few of the people I was with had dogs who were all playing together and ran off toward some nearby woods. A few minutes later, we heard really intense barking but didn’t think much of it until it was accompanied by a loud bleeting sound, like a lamb. Ben, a young man with us, quickly ran off to see what was going on. I followed with my gear and caught up as he came out of the woods carrying a very panicked fawn, which one of his dogs had chased down and gotten in its mouth. He called off the dogs and put the fawn down in a tent to check it for injuries. The only blood was from small puncture wound on its side so after the fawn calmed down and the dogs were put inside, Ben let the fawn go and it ran off toward where it came from.

Fingers crossed and I’m hoping there isn’t a sad conclusion next time I go back.