Leonard Cohen by Jill Furmanovsky

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Photographer: Jill Furmanovsky
Location: Montcalm Hotel, London, UK
Edition: 50
Date: 1979

Photographer Jill Furmanovsky recalls, "This was a typical music press session - probably for Sounds. The journalist and ‘snapper’, me, go to a posh beige hotel where the artist, Leonard Cohen in this case, is doing a series of interviews for the music press because he is touring or promoting an album. I snap away while the journalist uses his allocated time slot of around 45 minutes to ask pertinent questions. In the first contact sheet Leonard is smoking heavily, seems nervous, intense. The lighting was poor, just a table lamp and some dull winter window light. Seems unaware of the camera.

Second contact sheet – half a roll only. I must have plucked up courage to ask Leonard Cohen to pose for me at the end of the interview because there are nine frames of him looking directly into the camera. My shoot probably lasted 30 seconds and none were published at the time. Until recently I had not looked at them for years. But seeing them now I feel quite faint. Leonard Cohen looked at me, really looked. And now that he has gone his exquisite lyrics come to mind:"

"I stand before the Lord of Song

With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah.”

Print Quality: Giclée print on archival 310gsm cotton based rag paper

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