London: MACK, 2014. Square 4to (28.5 x 27.3 cm). 144 pages. 75 tritone plates. Original green cloth. A fine copy. Item #406371
FIRST EDITION, first printing, signed by the photographer on the title-page. Soth's third book, Songbook, explored a new direction from his previous work in Sleeping by the Mississippi and the conceptual Broken Manual. Adopting the role of a community newspaper photographer (a job Soth had as a young man), Soth traveled across the U.S., working on his self-published The LBM Dispatch, and working on editorial assignments from the New York Times and other publications. From upstate New York to Silicon Valley, Soth attended hundreds of meetings, dances, festivals and communal gatherings to contrast human interaction with the rise of virtual social networks. He also turned towards black-and-white and exaggerated off camera flash to enhance and reflect the reportage style. Stripped of any textual accompaniment, the effect is one of eerie human longing for connection. In a recently broadcast tour of his personal library, Soth shared that the soft, puffy cover of Songbook references the book Nein, Onkel (Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007), which he considers one of the best books of vernacular photography, and a haunting and chilling record of life in the Nazi Third Reich.