NPR logo Turning The Camera On The Crowd At SXSW

Turning The Camera On The Crowd At SXSW

A crowd awaits Mother Falcon's first official show at The Parish, a local venue, on Tuesday, March 12. Tamir Kalifa hide caption

toggle caption Tamir Kalifa

A crowd awaits Mother Falcon's first official show at The Parish, a local venue, on Tuesday, March 12.

Tamir Kalifa

Another South by Southwest festival has come and gone. And, as usual, there's been no shortage of media coverage for the events. But here's a slightly different perspective from Tamir Kalifa. By day, he's a photojournalist based in Austin, Texas. But he's also a member of the band Mother Falcon, a "17-piece rock orchestra of sorts," NPR's Stephen Thomspon says.

They played eight shows in six days — and even met NPR's Bob Boilen. And to capture it all, Kalifa carried around three film cameras, processing several rolls of film each night.

Mother Falcon performs its seventh show of the festival at The Lodge, a bar in the heart of downtown Austin that could barely fit half of the band on stage. We were elated to see NPR's Bob Boilen at the show. Tamir Kalifa hide caption

toggle caption Tamir Kalifa

Kalifa's experimental style of Sprocket Rocket panoramas and multiple exposures captures the "overwhelming energy of the festival and thrill of experiencing it," as he puts it. We're all used to the perspective from the foot of the stage — rock stars bathed in stage-light hues. It's nice to see the view from the other side.

Mother Falcon is a mini orchestra that plays a hybrid of contemporary classical music and indie rock. Our roster fluctuates between 12 members most of the year and up to 20 during SXSW. No matter the size, we always fit into a living room for rehearsal. Tamir Kalifa hide caption

toggle caption Tamir Kalifa

Band members greet guitarist Claire Puckett as she arrives at rehearsal. After four years of playing together, we've become a family, and SXSW is our holiday retreat. Tamir Kalifa hide caption

toggle caption Tamir Kalifa

Mother Falcon enjoys the benefits of its acoustic instrumentation at a secret concert underneath a bridge in downtown Austin. SXSW is known for surprise shows in unexpected spaces. Tamir Kalifa hide caption

toggle caption Tamir Kalifa

Seryn, a Denton, Texas-based folk band, perform at Home Slice Pizza's charity fundraiser, Pizza by the Slice. Tamir Kalifa hide caption

toggle caption Tamir Kalifa

South Congress Avenue during SXSW Tamir Kalifa hide caption

toggle caption Tamir Kalifa

John Riedie, Mother Falcon's manager, gives a pep talk shortly before the band takes the stage at The Parish. Tamir Kalifa hide caption

toggle caption Tamir Kalifa

A 14-passenger van is filled to capacity with band members and instruments. Tamir Kalifa hide caption

toggle caption Tamir Kalifa

Folk artist Shakey Graves performs at the Austin music showcase at The Parish. Tamir Kalifa hide caption

toggle caption Tamir Kalifa

The band rehearses in Matt Puckett's living room on Friday, March 15. Tamir Kalifa hide caption

toggle caption Tamir Kalifa

Mother Falcon's first show of the week was at The Blanton Museum of Art on the University of Texas at Austin campus.The event featured classical and jazz musicians playing to audiences throughout the reverberating halls of the museum. Tamir Kalifa hide caption

toggle caption Tamir Kalifa

There is so much live music in Austin that it often seems like everyone is in a band. Many find themselves in more than one. Some members of Mother Falcon play in a band called Sip Sip and performed at an unofficial SXSW party on Wednesday, March 13. Tamir Kalifa hide caption

toggle caption Tamir Kalifa

Backstage at The Lodge Tamir Kalifa hide caption

toggle caption Tamir Kalifa

Isaac Winburne, who is considered the most expressive member of the band, plays drums during a five-song set at The Lodge. The stage could only fit half of the band, so the horns and violins stood outside the venue with microphones leading into the sound system. Tamir Kalifa hide caption

toggle caption Tamir Kalifa

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.