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Blind Romany Musician Uses Photography 'To Capture Music'

Mario Bihari is a well-known Romany musician from Slovakia who has lived and performed in Prague for many years. Although he has been blind since childhood, Bihari has begun using a new medium of expression: photography. He collaborates with photographer Bjorn Steinz to create images that share an aspect of the musician's subjective experience.

Bihari says he associates colors with music, and instructs his photographic collaborates to add color to the final images.
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Bihari says he associates colors with music, and instructs his photographic collaborates to add color to the final images.

In Bihari's musical imagination, a violin sounds red, while a flute sounds blue.
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In Bihari's musical imagination, a violin sounds red, while a flute sounds blue.

Bihari's friend Alenka. Bihari began photographing by choosing subjects that he could touch and arrange as he wanted.
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Bihari's friend Alenka. Bihari began photographing by choosing subjects that he could touch and arrange as he wanted.

Bihari's friend Nelson
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Bihari's friend Nelson

Alenka
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Alenka

"I thought that I could always capture what I hear – the way people play," Bihari says of his photography. "I press the shutter during a section of music when I believe that I feel what the musicians are experiencing."
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"I thought that I could always capture what I hear – the way people play," Bihari says of his photography. "I press the shutter during a section of music when I believe that I feel what the musicians are experiencing."

"You never know if it works," Bihari said. "I only know when I show pictures to someone and ask people what they like about it."
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"You never know if it works," Bihari said. "I only know when I show pictures to someone and ask people what they like about it."

Bihari took photographs of Romany musicians in Jarovnice, the largest Romany settlement in Slovakia.
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Bihari took photographs of Romany musicians in Jarovnice, the largest Romany settlement in Slovakia.

"Of course I enjoy photographing, but also the feeling of anticipation, to learn if an image works or not, and eventually making it into what I want," he says.
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"Of course I enjoy photographing, but also the feeling of anticipation, to learn if an image works or not, and eventually making it into what I want," he says.

Bihari poses in front of his photographs at an exhibition in Ostrava, Czech Republic.
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Bihari poses in front of his photographs at an exhibition in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Bihari takes a picture of his university friend Jarek for a project titled "Music In Images." The project was documented by fellow photographer Bjorn Steinz, who collaborates with Bihari on his photographic work.
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Bihari takes a picture of his university friend Jarek for a project titled "Music In Images." The project was documented by fellow photographer Bjorn Steinz, who collaborates with Bihari on his photographic work.

Bihari in Jarovnice, Slovakia, during his project photographing Romany musicians
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Bihari in Jarovnice, Slovakia, during his project photographing Romany musicians

Bihari plays the accordion in Jarovnice.
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Bihari plays the accordion in Jarovnice.

Bihari's guide dog, Harley
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Bihari's guide dog, Harley

A Czech Television crew films Bihari in Prague in 2009.
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A Czech Television crew films Bihari in Prague in 2009.

A performance in Prague in 2012
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A performance in Prague in 2012

At home with his family in the Zizkov neighborhood of Prague
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At home with his family in the Zizkov neighborhood of Prague

Bihari and his band, Bachtale Apsa, perform for a live recording session in Prague in March 2013.
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Bihari and his band, Bachtale Apsa, perform for a live recording session in Prague in March 2013.

Bihari and his family walk through Prague.
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Bihari and his family walk through Prague.

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