Johns Hopkins Magazine
J U N E 1 9 9 7 I S S U E
No, the young gentleman at left is not a Hopkins grad student
doing research on marine biology--he is Mark Lee, a Baltimore
photographer on location for the magazine.
Assigned to shoot this issue's feature on Peabody composer Matthew Burtner, Lee first read a draft of the story and "was immediately struck by how important nature, and the environment, and the elements were to Matthew and his music." Says Lee, "He seemed like a very cerebral person and I wanted an outdoor setting that would be elegant and beautiful." So he set out to scout a location at the Loch Raven Reservoir in Baltimore County, an area he knows well from weekends spent mountain biking.
He soon found the ideal spot, not 40 feet from the roadway. "There were heavy rock faces with lichen and moss, similar to an Alaskan landscape, and there were lots of pine trees," he says. The focal point to the scene was a lone rock, jutting up out of the water. But how would he get Burtner out to the rock without getting wet?
On the gray and blustery afternoon of the shoot, Lee arrived several hours early and set to work constructing a long platform, from shore to rock, out of 2-by-4s. When Burtner arrived, Lee slipped on his hip-waders and helped him out to the rock. Then he moved the whole contraption away and set to work shooting. Fortunately, Burtner managed to keep his balance--and his good humor--throughout the three-hour ordeal.
The only time he was less than obliging was when art director
Shaul Tsemach asked him to trail his long sheet of music in the
water, for effect. Burtner blanched and informed the duo that his
"prop" was in fact an original composition--and his only
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