Equipment : Leica Q, Leica Monochrome

I trained as a classical pianist, then I turned to jazz, then I went to live in India as a Buddhist monk, and then I became a writer. Throughout all my metamorphoses, I’ve always taken pictures. Ever since I first started helping my grandfather develop his films and prints in his dark room after school, I’ve been fascinated by the idea of suspending a moment in the life of the photographer and his subject in a dimension beyond the constraints of time, whereby making what would’ve been but a fleeting thought or a glimpse, into something monumental, something which could reveal one’s soul. In a sense, this same process of suspending time and magnifying a character’s thoughts goes on in writing a story or a novel.

Taking photos has been an integral part of my work as a writer. In 2009, while I was writing my autobiographical novel “Wunderkind”, I flew from the US to Sofia just so that I could sneak into the abandoned building of the music school I had once attended and take photos of the halls, the classrooms, the practice rooms, the attic and the basement. Without the photographs I had taken that day, I probably would’ve never finished the novel.
As a writer, I always try to imagine the inner lives of passers-by: their thoughts, emotions, history, background, their hopes and fears. This series of photos captures twelve strangers in the middle of their reveries: there is a street accordionist, a homeless gypsy girl, a hunched old man...