Navajoland DVD
Native American Flute Music by Travis Terry.
Photographs by Alain Briot

Produced by Alain Briot

Movie excerpt from the DVD
Navajoland DVD

The Making of the Navajoland DVD and music CD:
Navajoland is the result of the friendship between Travis Terry and myself. I lived in Chinle, Arizona, in the Heart of Navajoland for seven years, from 1995 to 2002. It was during that time that I met Travis Terry. What brought us together was a common love for the landscape of Navajoland and for the inspiration that it gives us, me with photography and Travis with music.

In 2005 I created a Portfolio of my 25 favorite photographs from Navajoland. I selected photographs which depicted the variety of locations, landscapes and subjects found in Navajoland, from the vastness of Monument Valley to the more intimate landscape of Canyon de Chelly, the mystery of Anasazi ruins, the rock art and the heritage of Navajo culture as depicted in the many Hogans --the traditional Navajo dwelling-- that are found in Navajoland. When I created my portfolio, I chose photographs which depicted the land throughout the seasons: summer, winter, spring and fall. I also chose photographs which depicted the beauty of a sunny day, the morning after a winter snowstorm, a dramatic spring thunderstorm, a cloud-filled sky, a blazing sunset, and a multitude of other natural phenomena unique to Navajoland.

In this photographic portfolio, titled Navajoland, I included Travis’ first CD -- Echoes of the Canyon Walls-- because for me Travis’ music was part of the landscape depicted in my images, part of the landscape of Navajoland.

In late 2005, I decided to create a DVD featuring a slide show of the photographs selected for the Navajoland Portfolio. I made a demo DVD which I gave to Travis. It was at this time that Travis offered to create music specifically for this DVD. (note: the DVD will be available in May 2006)

As the project evolved, and as the day we set aside for recording the music drew near, Travis asked me for the titles of the musical compositions that would be featured on the DVD. At first I wasn’t sure what those titles would be since I did not know I would be the one writing them. As I worked on titles, I realized that these titles had to be related to my photographs. I therefore wrote nine titles which were inspired by my photographs.

We recorded Travis’ music at Canyon Records in Phoenix. I was amazed at how well Travis’ music matched my vision for a musical interpretation of each photograph. It was at that time that Cara, Travis’ wife, suggested that we make not only a DVD but also a CD, so that listeners could enjoy the music in locations where a DVD cannot be viewed, such as in a car, on an mp3 player, or, why not, while photographing.

What is unique to this project is that the music on the CD and the DVD is the result of two artists working together across cultures and across artistic medium. In other words, the music was not selected to accompany the photographs. Similarly, the photographs were not selected to accompany the music. Rather, music and photographs were created and selected to work together and to complement each other. True, the photographs were created first and the music was recorded afterwards. However, and in retrospect, I feel that I was hearing the music as I captured each image on film.

Alain Briot,

The Navajoland DVD features the music of Travis Terry and the photographs of Alain Briot.

Navajoland DVD front and back covers

Music, photographs and text Copyright © Alain Briot 2008
All Rights Reserved Worldwide