Shimura Curves

Thursday, November 24, 2005


OK, it's the kind of once-in-a-lifetime thing that now I've done it, I can boast to my friends, I can tell my kids about it, and then I NEVER have to do it again.

Turn up to a quite scary looking alleyway in Dalston, and have to ring around to find someone to let us in, but eventually we get in to the warehouse, and it's a beautiful studio loft space. Everyone's milling around, a bit shy, until all the girls get changed. (As Anna said, it's hard to be shy with someone once you've seen their tits.) And then we're comparing shoes and prom dresses and Bishi is trying to get people to stick the feathers on her amazing outfit.

Photographer bloke (we'll just call him Dieter due to his Germanic accent, after the dude off "Sprockets") comes over and introduces himself. As it turns out, we all think that we're gathered there for an illustration photo for some 250 word puffpiece about Brainlove Records. But no! This is a full on fashion spread which may run up to six pages! Blimey! This requires fortification, so we send manager extraodinaire Emsk off to get some pink wine and cigarettes.

Dieter arranges us all in this tableau, with the ladies sitting on the floor in the ballgowns and the rest of us perching on tables and chairs (clearly trying to break up the careful schooldance gender segregation we seem to have got ourselves into). He takes a polaroid, and does a few warm-up shots to try to "relax" us but honestly, how can you relax when you have Dieter shouting "EVERYONE!!! LOOK AT THE CAMERA!!! Smile! Giff me some ATTITUDE!!! Lean to the left! Lean to the right! DON'T LEAN AGAINST THE POST!!! PUT DOWN THE WINEGLASS!!!"

I'll be honest. I hate having my picture taken - it's up there with going to the dentist, as far as I'm concerned. Now, I *love* the idea of being in i-D Magazine. Me - fat, ugly, middle aged - in an Edgy Style Magazine. Oh, the hilarity. But the reality of it all is that it's both boring and nerve-wracking. Now I understand why Kate Moss takes to many drugs. Holding the same position for 20 minutes at a time. Smiling on demand even when you feel patently uncomfortable. You freeze in the studio but boil under the lights. But yes, it is, also, unbearably glamourous and bohemiam. Oh, yes, I hang out in studio lofts hobnobbing with artists and musicians all the time.

After the group shot (which looked disconsertingly like a school photo - albeit an Art School Photo) we all hung around, waiting to be called over for our individual sessions. (No band photos, which was a real shame.) The lovely Bishi and gorgeous Piney Gir were real pros, and looked amazing, and had loads of photos done of them. I just felt awkward and uncomfortable - Deiter warned me "I'm going to go right up close" but I wasn't expecting him to be THAT close. I haven't had a man that up in my face since, well, the last time I was *intimate* with someone, so I just glared at him. How's that for attitude? (Emsk said I looked terrified. I was. How could I not be, with this big black THING in your face?)

We also had to fill out these silly questionnaire forms - I guess to get quotes to go with our pictures. None of the Shimuras wanted to give our real ages ("A *lady* never tells") but we had fun with the "ideal man" question. I took "What couldn't you live without?" far too literally, apparently, and put "Mathematics, physics". Where are you from? What do you do? How are you supposed to answer things like that? I mean, I'm at this photo shoot because I compose electronic symphonies for Shimura Curves, but what I *do* is complicated mathematical stuff for banks. Where am I *from*? I lived on 3 continents by the time I was 10, what should I reply? St.Reatham's Parish, clearly. These things just confuse me. I'm not an easy person to boil down to soundbites.

Lots of hugging and endless goodbyes and "let us know when you're playing again" (I've become an instant fan of Bishi, in case you can't tell) which really was the best bit of the whole thing - meeting the other bands. And then it was off to rehearsal, with loads of yummy pizza and 39p custard donuts and brownies and several bottles of mulled wine. Yum.


At 5:31 PM GMT, Blogger Miss Daiquiri said...

I gave my age...

At 5:39 PM GMT, Blogger Masonic Boom said...

Yeah, but you're still *young*!

At 5:06 PM GMT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what I *do* is complicated mathematical stuff for banks"

What's that then?


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