Yesterday, I woke up to a notice in my inbox that the My Name Is Prince photo book was on its way. I checked the tracking and found out that it had already arrived outside my door.
I noticed this book when it was first listed on Amazon. There was no cover photo yet, but I knew it was going to be good, because it was from Randee St. Nicolas. She worked with Prince on the 21 Nights photo book. I could tell, that she must have been his favourite.
Eight before all this Prince stuff happened to me, I was just deciding to focus on my photography. At the time, I wasn’t quite sure of my talent as an artist. But I could sense him, cheering me on to keep going with my work. I later learned that Prince also loved photography, he took a personal DSLR camera on tour with him. And one of my first EVPs of him, was him saying, “Nice camera”, referring to my Canon M3.
I decided to record EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) as I unboxed the book. I’m always just curious to know what the other half is up to on the other side. Generally, recordings done at home in quiet, are harder to hear. I still managed to get some good clips, though they are more quiet than my usual. I tested it on my laptop’s speakers and I can still hear them, but you will hear them better on headphones. The clips are repeated on loop.
P said, “That’s me”.
He said the name of the book, “My Name Is Prince”.
“Oooh, so great”.
“Wow, it’s a big book, wow”.
He said, “She is my favourite”. He said this in reference to Randee being his favourite photographer to work with.
He said, “Gonna hang up”. Oh, was he on the phone?
And then right after, he said, “I’ll show the book next time you visit me”.
He said after, “I called my mom”.
I really enjoyed reading the essays from the photographer. As a photographer myself, I can always appreciate the stories behind the photos and the kind of talk relating to photography. I was pleased to find out that this was a kind of book that she and Prince had already talked about doing when they were working on 21 Nights. She wasn’t sure if it was right to do this book without him. I am glad she did, and I know he is excited about it as well.
It’s a big coffee table size book. the spine being 1.5 inches thick, you know it’s a hefty book. It’s a survey of all the work she’s done with him over the 25 year working relationship. So a section of the photos are from the 21 Nights project, with some previously unpublished works. There are lots of never before seen photos.
As a photographer, I love her dramatic style, her use of color, her use of composition is beautiful. Her essays would be inspiring for creative professionals, as she describes the working style of Prince, and the way he thought.
I knew I would love it, knowing her previous book. Somehow I knew without knowing, that she would have some recent photos of him. The last section was photos from her last working session photographing Prince in 2014. For me personally, I hold more more dearly, his recent photographs. Because they tell of a man, of what he became before he left us.
I really appreciated all the stories she shared. Most noteworthy to me, is of her mentions about Duane Nelson, Prince’s half-brother, who worked as his bodyguard during some period. For me, it s personal, that I enjoyed these stories. As I have encountered Prince’s family in the afterlife, I know that Duane comes around to play b-ball with him on occasion, and sometimes still acts like a bodyguard.
Thank you Randee, for putting together such a beautiful book.
These recordings were recorded using my EVP Wrist Recorder 3 on November 19, 2019.
Image above: “Prince photo book” by Andrea Mai.
©2019 by Andrea Mai. All rights reserved.