Another Great Review for Their Love of Music – and a great New Years Gift

Their Love of Music by Stephen Azzato

We just received this review from Steve Benoche at the Ludington Daily News. Nice article! So did you get what you wanted for Christmas? Then order this book now! Makes a great New Years Gift!

Their Love of Music
Photographs by Stephen Azzato
Forward by Lester Holt
Size 11” X13”
252 pages, 118 photographs
Quiet Light Publishing
ISBN: 9780975395431

By Steve Begnoche
Managing editor, Ludington Daily News

Music, in its purest sense, is an aural experience. Add some emotion and one shouldn’t have to see a thing to enjoy it. Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles prove that.

But photographer Stephen Azzato explores what others have discovered: Music, in the form of musicians, make a strong subject for visual arts, too.

Azzato, a network television videographer residing in Chicago, takes an interesting and insightful approach to musicians in “Their Love of Music,” a 252-page coffee table book of portraits of musicians.

These photographs were made often before concerts with a brown cloth background that forces all attention on the musician and the instrument they sometimes brought with them.

The format is simple: one page is the photograph and on the facing page is a a quote from the musician revolving around why the musician does what he or she does and how did they get to where they are in their career?

Simple questions, a simple format, a simple background and a simply stunning book.

Musicians of all pedigree, some famous like blues great Buddy Guy and rockers Steve Miller and George Thorogood, some relatively unknown or a backup player in a “name” musician’s band are featured.

Among those profiled are some top-notch singer-songwriters who might not be household names, Jennifer Peterson, Kristina Milk and, for West Shore Community College Performing Arts Series patrons, 2009-2010 performer Alice Peacock.

Some of the musicians look intense, even in this setting. Eddie “The Chief” Clearwater has the looks of a former NFL linebacker. But his comment shows a look doesn’t say everything. “When I play the blues it’s a good feeling. You could describe it as a spiritual being takes over, way out of the ordinary and puts you in a whole new dimension from yourself.”

Country musician Clint Black has a very happy expression on his face. “The history of country music is on the lyric … you don’t have to be a professor of sociology to get the point,” he observes.

Rosanne Cash, who in late summer performed at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, has a bit of a questioning look, as if she’s trying to see through the camera to the photographer.

Steve Miller looks like a businessman, in his sports coat, open-collared white shirt, and dark glasses. “I don’t think of myself as a rock star,” he said.

And so it goes. The photos and the quotes play off one another, sometimes one informs the sense of the other. Sometimes they sit side-by-side seeming a bit incongruous.

I had one quibble, and one complaint.

The quibble has to do with making the reader go to the artist notes in the back of the book to find out who some musicians are and what they’re known for. The explanation is put in tiny type next to a 35mm contact print size thumbnail photo. I don’t think it would have harmed the elegance of this book — and it is elegant — to have included the artist information on the same page as the artist quote. That would have been helpful to the reader and might have even made one slow down to consider even more deeply the photographic image of the featured musician.

The complaint?

Too many typos. Such a fine product deserved more scrutiny of the written word. The little errors take away from an otherwise splendid book.

And it is a splendid book.
Date published: 12-30-2010

Chicago Suntimes Article on Quiet Light Publishing and Richard Mack

Dave Hoekstra from the Chicago Suntimes has written a great article about me and how Quiet Light Publishing came to be. He writes about how I did my first book on the Lewis & Clark Trail and my second book on Great Smoky Mountains National Park before expanding to publishing Steve Azzato’s book Their Love of Music. Here is what Dave wrote – it appears online with this link or in tomorrow’s Sunday Chicago Suntimes – December 19, 2010. First the link to the article online and now his article here…

Evanston photographer feels call of nature in new book

BY Dave Hoekstra  Dec 17, 2010 09:45PM

Richard Mack’s ember photograph of the Missouri River at twilight gently moves off the page into your soul. I’ve never been absorbed by a photograph in a coffee table travel book as much as this spiritual picture in The Lewis & Clark Trail: American Landscapes. Taken from the crest of the Double Ditch Indian Site, about 30 miles north of Bismarck, N.D., it was the last shot of the Evanston resident’s first book project. “I knew at the moment it could be the cover,” he said during a conversation at a Ukraninan Village coffee shop. “It was the end of a two-and-a-half year project. I was standing on a cliff. It was where the Mandan Indians had camped. As Lewis and Clark came by it was fall [Oct. 21, 1804]. You have to frame and wait for the right light, but in the landscape world, most of it is given to you by what’s going on in front of you. That was during the days of film, so if it came out I knew it would be stunning.” The Lewis & Clark Trail is a 2007 companion piece to Mack’s 2009 Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Thirty Years of American Landscapes. In October, USA Book News named the Smoky Mountains effort as “Best Book, Nature Photography 2010.”  

Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Thirty Years of American Landscapes

The landscape books launched Mack’s Quiet Light publishing company to a space where he could do a third coffee table photography book. Released last month, Their Love of Music features 117 color photographs from Libertyille-based NBC cameraman Steve Azzato. It is the first non-Mack book for the Evanston-based imprint. (All books are $65,“Book publishing is harder than you think,” said Mack, 55. “You have to become a publisher and everything that entails. But this is the only way you make money — even though it’s not a lot. It’s like the musicians [Dave Alvin, Aaron Neville, Dave Specter and others] in the book. They do it for the love of the music, you do it for the love of the book.”Great Smoky Mountains National Park is Mack’s best seller and the No. 1 selling large format book at the park.Steve Kemp is Interpretive Products and Services Director with the Great Smoky Mountains Association. He contributed the foreword and chapter introductions.“Richard has a sensitivity for light that’s pretty rare,” Kemp said from his office in Gatlinburg, Tenn. “He can coax a richness out of landscapes and low light conditions that you don’t see other photographers experiment with. His photographs have an emotional depth that is superior to a lot of other work. It’s the best large format photography book we’ve ever been able to offer our visitors.”Mack explained, “I’ve been going to the Smokies almost every year since I was 18. It was the closest national park to Chicago. You could get there in a day. I spent two years (2006-08) going there every season just to shoot for the book.”Between 2002-2004 he ventured out from Evanston for trips that ranged from a week to 10 days for the Lewis & Clark book. He did one three-week trip to Idaho. For the first year he drove a silver Jetta and pitched a tent in campsites in places like Montana, where motels are scarce. He also wanted to replicate the solitary nature of Meriweather Lewis and William Clark. They camped in what became downtown Kansas City, Mo. In the second year, Mack ramped up to a pickup truck with a camper on the back. The trail stretches from St. Louis, Mo., across the Columbia rivers to the Pacific Ocean.

“My goal was to be in the same place Lewis and Clark were at the same time,” he said. Mack studied the explorers’ journal and relentlessly plotted out his trip. “About half of the trip was by myself, the other half with my brother-in-law,” Mack said. “He started coming along when we had the camper. It made all the difference in the world. You weren’t setting up at 10 o’clock at night and trying to clean cameras in a dusty old tent. Plus, I was tired of sleeping on the ground. If there was a morning and I was in the rain and didn’t feel right, I’d just drive.

“And if I drove 200 miles before sunset, that was fine as long as I got to a place where there was a good shot.”Now, that’s an artist on the road.Mack’s parents John and Betty gave him a Minolta camera when he was attending Evanston Township High School.“I liked it but I didn’t think about doing it as a profession until I took a course at the Evanston Art Center,” he said. “[Ebony photographer] Vandel Cobb and [fashion photographer] Paul McCall were the teachers. I went from there to study at Columbia College.”Since 1980, Mack worked on ad campaigns and architectural reports for many of the top Fortune 500 companies across the country, including photography for Hyatt resorts and argicultural equipment for Caterpilllar. But he always had wide open spaces in the back of his mind.“I’d like to do my next book on all five of the Great Lakes,” he said. “Its 20 percent of the world’s fresh water and a hot topic, as it should be. I’d like to hook in with a group like the Sierra Club or the Great Lakes Foundation, possibly, for funding. These books cost a lot to make.“People buy our books,” he said. “Our problem is getting them into stores. Barnes and Noble won’t put Lewis and Clark anywhere except along the trail. I’ve shown them my biggest sales direct are from the Northeast and Florida for some reason. Because I’ve been a photographer forever, the production side was pretty simple. I had a designer (Rich Nickel) that wanted to work on the book. He and I had worked together for years on various projects. He knew the design side I didn’t know. Marketing was the hardest part to learn and I’m still not sure I know it well.”Thanks Dave for writing such a great article!

Happy Holidays!



A Holiday Special – 15% Off at Quiet Light Publishing

Have you procrastinated long enough on getting your last Holiday gifts? Well don’t feel bad because now you can reward yourself by getting 15% off of everything at Quiet Light Publishing! Just enter the code DEC2010 during check out and you’ll receive your 15% discount! And you thought there wasn’t a good reason to put it off… Happy Holidays!

Their Love of Music Limited Edition Fine Art Prints

Pinetop Perkins Limited Edition Print

Quiet Light Publishing is pleased to announce the first set of Limited Edition Fine Art Prints from the collection Their Love of Music by photographer Stephen Azzato. These prints are from his book of the same name, have the artist’s portrait and quote from the book. Each is signed by both the musician and Stephen. The editions are limited to 50 prints of each one. They are 17×22′ on Epson archival fine art matte paper and printed using archival inks. Each print will last well over 100 years. The starting price is $450.00 and will rise as the edition sells out. 

Quiet Light Publishing brings you fine art prints made to the exacting standards of our photographer’s. It is their vision and eye which is the final say in our process. Each of these prints are released unmated and are ready to frame. Each comes with a Limited Edition Stamp and certificate, signed and numbered accordingly.  

Loudon Wainwright III - Limited Edition Print 

These are for the true collectors of the arts, whether those that love music or photography. We hope you enjoy them! We will be adding more artists as their schedules permit so check back often. These can still be shipped in time for the holidays! And remember, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of these prints goes to the Susan G. Komen Cancer Research Foundation and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

For more on these prints please visit the Quiet Light Publishing Gallery.  

Richard Mack

Quiet Light Publishing

Their Love of Music prints bring in $1800 for charity

Dave Brubeck Limited Edition Print

This past weekend the Chicago Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation held their annual dinner gala, Steve Azzato, and Quiet Light Publishing donated two of his Limited Edition prints along with two of his books to their silent auction. We are delighted to tell you they brought in $1,800.00 for the foundation! One of Steve’s reason’s for doing this book was to donate to the JDRF and to the Susan G Komen Cancer Research Foundation. We are happy to say we have directly helped and we want to thank those who bid on these items! Steve called me on Sunday and told me the great news! My congratulations go out to him for producing such stunning work and for having the foresight to know that part of the projects goal was to donate to causes he believes in. This is also why many of the artists in the book donated their time to sit with Steve for the conversation and portrait. We thank them all as well!

Over the years Quiet Light Publishing has donated both our books and prints to several charities and schools in which we have a deep belief. For us, it is a matter of using our art to further someone else’s goals the best way we can. It is satisfying for us to know that in this small way we can help a cause we believe in do more for those they help. It is in the true spirit of this season we are proud to tell you about the accomplishments over the weekend for Steve’s work.

Pinetop Perkins Limited Edition Print

The Limited Edition Prints from the book, signed by both the musician and photographer will be online soon, so watch our blogs for their release date. They will all be limited to a maximum edition of 50 prints on archival fine art papers. Some will be available later this week. Stay tuned.

Peace & Congratulations again to Steve!

Richard Mack,
Quiet Light Publishing