A London-based singer-songwriter who broke down during coffee with her photographer friend, inspired a unique series of photographs that can be listened to.
CK Goldiing, a portrait photographer from Sheffield, UK, stated “Ivohé and I were hanging out, ready to shoot later that day. As we finished our coffees, she went to the bathroom. Three minutes later, she returned, with a helpless look in her eyes. Right there, in front of me, she broke down. I’d never seen her do this before, though I did know she battles with depression, she told me weeks earlier.
“I’ll never forget when, amid her tears and lost sadness, she said, “why can’t I just be normal?” Given my disinterest in ‘normal’, the question confused me.
“I suggested we cancel the shoot, and go eat cake. To my astonishment, given how helpless she seemed, she cleared one last tear from her eye and said, “No, fuck it, I’m doing this!”
“We paid for our coffees and left.
“Two months passed, and I still hadn’t done anything with the images – I hadn’t started editing them and I certainly hadn’t posted them anywhere online. I simply couldn’t see how dropping them on instagarm, for example, would do justice to the vulnerability and bravery my friend showed that day. In a moment of adventure, I grabbed my phone and rang Ivohé. I asked if she’d be willing to compose 5 songs about the emotions she experienced that day, and with these songs, I’d ‘fuse’ them to the photographs. She didn’t fully understand what I meant, and in truth, neither did I… all I knew was that I was bored with the singularly visual element of photography and wanted to see if images could be experienced on a deeper, more emmersive level. Plus, I’m a huge admirer of Ivohé’s artistry, so any excuse to hear that unmistakable voice, I guess.
“Within 48-hours of calling her, my inbox contained five beautifully delicate compositions, none of which can be found anywhere on her online music platforms. These short pieces were written, sung and produced specifically to exist within the photos,
“I named the series ‘Vitae’ – the Latin word for ‘living’. The word ‘living’ not only reflects my keenness to breathe new life into how we experience photographs, but also honours how lucky we are, as humans, to be alive - able to experience highs, lows, lights, shades, braveries and vulnerabilities.
Ivohé, 21, from East London, originally from Germany, says, “Before I moved to London, I knew it was going to be hard. I thought I was prepared, but depression follows you wherever you are, and it unleashes its wings at times you can't comprehend its timing.
“Though I’m a dreamer, and I’ve dreamt much of my life away, I’ve somehow still managed to accomplish things. My biggest accomplishment is moving to London for my music. I'm learning how to breathe in this sticky mist, built so narrowly, it makes you wonder how much more this city can take.
“I met CK that afternoon, and I thought I was okay, but as mentioned, depression creeps up on you when you least expect it. I had a panic attack in the loo, cried in front of him, and just let my emotions flow. I felt so much, and at the same time, nothing at all: too much, too little.
“Someone recently told me that the most important thing you can do is stick it out, keep going, even though you feel like drowning.
“After what felt like ages, I feel I can cope with things better than before. This city breaks you down, but if you let it, it can build you up again, too.
“I've met so many inspiring people, CK being one of them. Life here is intense, a dream in itself, a struggle, a melody, a cold blow of wind, a warm blanket.
“Dreams aren't necessarily bubbly and lovely, they can be so blurred that all you want is to see things clearly again, Dreams sometimes scare me. All my life people have told me to stop dreaming, asked me where I've gone to in my head, and if I could just fucking focus, please. I drift into daydreams as easily as I breathe, but instead of being ashamed or upset about it, I've recognised who I am, and embrace that person. I just need to be careful I don’t get lost.
“I think I'm on a good journey - I'm learning every day I stick this dream out. Today is great.”