Paul Tynan – Music Forged In Darkness

Paul Tynan is a high-functioning cerebral individual.  His cerebral nature comes across nearly as quickly as his open warmth.

He only had a few days to prepare for our portrait shoot.  At the last minute, I let him know that I’d be bringing a lighting assistant from the tv/film industry, and only briefly mentioned my intention to get environmental images of his forge (that he completed in December) and the tool of his trade: his trumpet.  Before my assistant and I had reached Paul’s impressively build shed from the truck I had just parked in his driveway, Aaron and I each had a glass full of Paul’s homemade mead.  I don’t have a point of reference for what mead tastes like, but this was one of the best tasting alcoholic beverages I’ve ever enjoyed.  A few steps further and I was standing in the shed that houses Paul’s forge.

I’ve always thought that one of the hallmarks of high intelligence is a tendency toward quiet and thorough observation.  Within seconds Paul noticed my Runic tattoos and not only correctly identified the type of characters but also the meaning of a few of them.  Very impressive, considering the symbols are nearly 1,000 years old.  Without a moment’s hesitation Paul had generously offered to use his forge to etch each of the 8 symbols on 8 separate pieces of metal (he later made me a plant hanger out of an anchor he had found on the beach).

Paul continued to employ the forging skills he had taught himself while swapping stories with Aaron.  I took the opportunity to set-up and trouble shoot my lights.  After a few images of sparks and smoke and fire, empty beer bottles began to appear in the background of my images as conversation flowed quickly and enthusiastically.  The late spring sun began to make its way to the horizon and we dashed out to a nearby field to get a few outdoor portraits of Paul with his trumpet (Paul was a trooper because it was quite cold and he was only wearing a t-shirt).

Once the sun was gone we made our way back to the forge for a few more portraits (and more beer).

The great thing about photographing musicians is that I get a free private concert while we both work in our respective artistic mediums.  Paul is an outstanding musician who’s reputation had proceeded him (from other great musician).  I HIGHLY recommend you checking him out if you’re lucky enough to get the opportunity!  The International Trumpet Guild has stated that downbeat award winning trumpet player and composer, Paul Tynan’s “Creative Genius Shines”.

Paul is presently a Full Professor of music at St. Francis Xavier University where he teaches jazz trumpet, jazz theory, and arranging. He co-leads the “BiCoastal Collective”, with Grammy winning saxophonist Aaron Lington. The ensemble is dedicated to performing new jazz composition across North America. Paul has released eleven recording as a leader/co-leader on the Origin/OA2, Armored, and NohJoh labels.   Paul has also served on the faculties of San Jose State University, Chabot College, Nova Scotia Honour Jazz Program, and University of North Texas Summer Trumpet Workshop and is a past co-director of the Acadia University Summer Jazz Workshop. He has performed with numerous jazz artists including: The Pacific Mambo Orchestra, Chris Potter, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Jerry Bergonzi, Clark Terry, Bob Brookmeyer, and Matt Wilson.

As a jazz recording artist Paul has appeared on over sixty five recordings, as a trumpet player, composer, arranger, and/or producer along side such musicians as Lynn Seaton, Marcus Wolfe, Stockton Helbing, David Braid, Aaron Lington, Joel Fountain, Bobby Selvaggio, Kenny Werner, Kenny Wheeler, Dan Haerle, Ben Street, and Jamey Haddad.   Paul studied at the University of North Texas where he was a teaching fellow in jazz improvisation, large jazz ensembles and a member of the internationally acclaimed, Grammy nominated One O’Clock Lab Band. He recently received Canada Council for the Arts grants and Nova Scotia Department of Culture Grants to compose new works.

Paul is an Edwards Trumpet and Flugel Horn Artist

While this is one of those times where I wish sound could be conveyed in a portrait, I hope his great character shines through in the images.













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