A character's kindred: Sylvie Grace


    A Character's Kindred:
    Sylvie Grace


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A Character’s Kindred: Sylvie Grace

A Character’s Kindred

Soul is bared within all of us. Only to be discovered by those we choose to unveil it with.


I got the honor to photograph an extraordinary individual named Sylvie Grace. A Chicago Cellist originally from LA. We shot in her mother’s loft located in Chicago’s Chinatown. Beautifully located and vastly cultural inside and out. As a photographer I observed my surrounding space. Every corner was bliss and organic. From the works of art, the plants, the books, to the small cup filled with dark espresso. Truly captivating. Sylvie and I had intellectual conversation with her mother about the location, art, passion, culture, and their background. We all felt comfortable in the presence of each other, which was captured in the final product.


When photographing an individual, their individuality is what needs to be captured in still form. While shooting, Sylvie and I had great conversation about who we both were, and our contribution to this world. We became friends, and connected through our passions. I studied her angels of expression, and the love of her music. Sylvie played while I photographed her, and through the receiving end of the lens it was gorgeous. Not only was the music pleasant, but also her motion. She was gentle and soulful. One with her cello. Her exterior replicates her interior. Both being unique and beautiful. The dynamic of the shoot made things interesting too. We experimented with different styles and atmospheres inside the loft. As well as different emotions and reflection. Overall this shoot was spiritually galvanic.

When invited into a person’s kindred you learn their development. Understanding their personality and soul to a new level. I felt a deep presence of love and admiration that Sylvie and her mother shared. I not only gained knowledge from both, but I found appreciation within their hearts and mine. I not only gained inspiration from my experience with Sylvie, but a new friend as well.


-Ashley Parkinson

Where are you from?


How long have you played the cello?

12 years

Do you have a name for it?


Does music run in your family?

my great uncle was in the music business.
my great uncle managed those such as Dave Brubek and Simon & Garfunkel.... always good music in the house

Who inspires you the most?

Probably my mother

When did you start playing on Michigan ave?

When I was 15 or 16.

When did you learn to loop, who got you interested in it.

i had the idea when i realized i wanted to incorporate the cello into my performances, and couldn't do so while also singing. by looping I'm able to play & sing at the same time... It was a dear friend of mine who bought me my first looper, he truly believed in me.

What's been your favorite show?

my favorite place I've played was oddly one of my first performances. it was the haunted loft party at lacuna


Most exciting person that you've met through music.

the most successful person i've worked on music with is soundtrakk, one of Lupe fiasco's primary producers. I'm hoping Lupe likes what we worked on recently enough to do something with it.

How do you feel about the art scene here in Chicago.

its supportive within its cliques. people really show love and come out to events to support, and the vibrancy is real

Do you feel that the city and its changing political climate has an affect on how you make music.

The city absolutely has an effect on my music. Indirectly so, where whats going on affects my mood and my mood decides what i write about and the tone in which im writing. but i don't necessarily write with a message in mind. music is more emotional to me, though i have nothing but admiration and respect for artists that can write with political conviction. I wish I could write about the things that matter to me, but i haven't evolved to that point as an artist yet. my writing right now has a more aesthetic focus, concentrated on imagery and cadence and melody. It definitely a goal of mine to be able to throw intent in the mix as well.


What's your dream show?

my dream show is probably some jazz bar i've never heard of, but all the greats have performed.

New projects coming up?

im working on a project called acoustic trap. all the songs have cello incorporated into them, more so the beat is built around loops i write on the cello. i have a lot of features from my close friends; part of the idea of this project was the feature their talent, the other was the show what i can do with the cello, how i can make it sound, and what happens when you collaborate.




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WordsFlow Johnson