Trackage Scheme: An honest account from a photographer’s point of view

Some day back in November 2014: Edward Lansink (the lighting guy behind most of my shots) and I are packing all the photography gear we have, and I am feeling slightly nervous. I have to photograph about twenty musicians, I am told, in as little time as possible as these are busy people. I don’t know what to expect but I’m told they come from different backgrounds and each one plays a different genre. We pack our things and we drive off to our destination – Ben Vincenti’s apartment, where the photoshoot will take place. The pressure builds up as I know there’s no room for mistakes. This shoot is only a few weeks before the great event and they need the shots for the promo video.

Why did I sign up for this?

Let’s see… Trackage Scheme is a music hub that identifies, supports and promotes alternative local talent. Their main goal is to showcase local talent in an international spotlight. This is their second major event, called Metamorphosis.  Trackage Scheme founder, Ben Vincenti, and one of his two partners, Graziella Delceppo, approached me to capture headshots of the musicians playing at the event and, being a human who thrives on creativity and passion, I simply couldn’t refuse such an opportunity!

Graziella is parking right in front of us. She’s with Rachel Fenech, the third and final member of Trackage Scheme. They walk us to Ben’s apartment. Both of them are cheery and cool, and really stylish – just as you’d expect people to who work in the music industry to look; I, on the other hand, feel ridiculously boring in my jeans and T-shirt, loaded with my camera bag and lighting strobes. As we walk up the stairs I wonder what these awesome musicians will think of me. We get to the door, Ben opens and welcomes us in.

There are maybe ten young musicians in the room chatting and drinking beer. Ben apologises for the mess (I see no mess, but then again I’m a messy person). Music is playing in the background. Ben helps us set up. Rachel is preparing the video camera. And we’re ready to roll…

I look at the musicians, ready for my first volunteer, and this is the point where I realise they’re as nervous as I am. This helps me gain confidence. I encourage them to come to have their portrait taken, promising them I don’t bite. They all push a first ‘victim’. The minute my camera is pointed at him he stiffs up. I tell him to relax and shake it off; I ask him to picture the audience he’d want at his gig and to communicate with the camera what he’d want that audience to see. After a few takes we have our first great portrait!

For the coming hour I shoot thirteen musicians and it’s an amazing experience! They’re all so down to earth. Some are funny, others are a little bit shy, others are confident… despite their differences, they all get along and are united on this mission to share their love for music. By the end, besides the portraits you see below, we’re enjoying ourselves so much we take a group shot which I think captures the beautiful energy Trackage Scheme is all about.

Trackage Scheme Christina Goggi

The musicians - Photographed by Christina Goggi

Trackage Scheme Christina Goggi

The group shot - Photographed by Christina Goggi

Fast-forward a few weeks and Metamorphosis is another huge success!

Fast-forward a few months and we’re in the present day. Tomorrow (July 4th, 2015) Trackage Scheme have another major event, Gestalt. As a great supporter of this group’s initiative, I feel that I need to contribute once more by sharing with you, my followers, all you need to know about these three amazing people.  

Trackage Scheme – The story

Trackage Scheme started off as a social-networking, music-sharing community for local alternative music enthusiasts. The community was born by means of a Facebook group where its members freely introduced other music lovers. This group is still very active with people posting tracks of any genre, style, year and label on a daily basis. This also gives other members the opportunity to listen to new music. Members ‘Like’ and comment on posts, suggesting additional tracks from the same artist or similar artists. This helps members continuously grow their music repertoire. Members (artists and followers) also feel a sense of belonging when they see that their taste in music is shared by others, something that may have not been so obvious to them in the past.

The Trackage Scheme group also serves as a platform for local artists to present their talent. Local musicians post their productions in the group and receive significant critical acclaim. This has given artists that extra push needed to get exposure in the local music scene, en route to success, as stated below:

Thanks to Trackage Scheme, a lot of people know that I’m around playing music and just that is great! I appreciate the fact that people from different backgrounds and genres are sharing music as that gives me insight of what is going on in the world.” – Frankie Calleja

The official Facebook page was also launched alongside the group and it is used to share interviews with local artists, pod-casts, events, photos, videos, competitions and related news. Moreover, the team is busy developing a fully-fledged web platform which will showcase Maltese artists across several genres and will include their biographies, photos as well as links to their social media platforms and other online resources. This web platform will also host news and articles about local artists and the Maltese music scene. The page is meant to be launched on 13th July 2015.

Trackage Scheme – The team

Trackage Scheme is led by three friends and partners: Ben Vincenti, Graziella Delceppo and Rachel Fenech who are passionate about Malta, good music, design, film and quality.

“We’ve put our minds, bodies and souls into this venture and will continue to do so because we strongly believe in the potential of Trackage Scheme” asserts Vincenti.

Their roles are divided as follows:

  • Ben Vincenti founded Trackage Scheme and plans, organises and coordinates the overall strategy.
  • Graziella Delceppo and Rachel Fenech manage branding, graphic design and filming, production and post-production.
Trackage Scheme team Christina Goggi

The Trackage Scheme team. From left to right: Rachel, Ben and Graziella - Photographed by Christina Goggi

Trackage Scheme – Let’s get personal

I decided to interview the three members and ask them some personal questions (obviously keeping it related to music). Here’s what I got:

What’s your favourite type of music?

Ben: My musical influences are pretty random as I’ve been through many phases however I would say that my biggest influences are David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Depeche Mode, Radiohead, Bloc Party, Apparat, Aphex Twin and Plastikman. Musical genres may be too high level to name however my favourite styles would be Alternative/Indie/Experimental/Psychedelic Rock, IDM, Techno, Dark Jazz and Ambient.

Graziella: As a teenage mutant, I was more into deep and happy house, however, through the years, I have opened my mind to most genres and sounds ranging from ambient jazzy hats to acidic synths and experimental dub techno beats and anything in between. In light of this acceptance, I can say that I find myself within Trackage Scheme since the group, along with its followers, have an extensive and open-minded vision of ‘good’ quality music.

Rachel: I cannot really mention a specific type of music as being my favourite, but all I can say is that I appreciate every kind of sound that triggers some kind of emotion in me. I love music, and I think that the world would be a completely different place without it. I pretty much choose the music I want to listen to according to my mood and state of mind at the time. Having said that, if I had to mention a few, these are the types of genres that are usually on my playlists: indie rock, stoner rock, psychedelic rock, trip-hop, indie pop, folk rock, ambient, experimental and techno.

Who’s your musical idol and why?

Ben: David Bowie. To me, Bowie is a legend like no other. He’s a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and actor – he has it all basically. He had a big impact on me since I was very young, mainly thanks to my father being obsessed with him, and has shaped my musical influences ever since.

Graziella: I’m deeply moved by Bonobo’s music. A brilliant, talented and energetic artist who manages to put me in a good mood every time. I have recently attended to one of his fantastic concerts, or should I rather say operas? I was just gobsmacked about the way he performed along with his 12-piece live band and singers – simply ecstatic!

Rachel: I grew up listening mainly to Pink Floyd, The Alan Parsons Project and David Bowie.  At a young age I discovered Radiohead and that was it, I had found these amazingly talented musicians that would accompany me through the walks of life with their beautiful music, and until this day, they have never ceased to amaze me. What I love about them is that they have experimented a lot with their music and one cannot really specify their style, but you can always identify their signature in their tunes.

Trackage Scheme – The future

The plan is to develop Trackage Scheme into a more consolidated hub, continuously attracting more artists and followers to join the community. The vision is to become Malta’s leading platform to showcase local talent in an international spotlight, hopefully expanding the Trackage Scheme brand overseas. The mission is to support Maltese musical talent in pursuing their dreams and aspirations

Trackage Scheme events to add to your calendar:

Trackage Scheme Rooftop Wednesdays

Trackage Scheme presents Rooftop Live Sessions every Wednesday

Trackage Scheme is currently hosting a series of live music events in a beautiful outdoor location, the Rooftop at Gianpula Complex in Rabat, every Wednesday. These events are free and people are encouraged to attend to discover new music, support local talent and have a great time!

Trackage Scheme Gestalt

Trackage Scheme presents Gestalt | 4th July | The Rooftop

The next event will be held at Gianpula Rooftop on Saturday, July 4th, and will host another amazing pool party with a completely revamped line up consisting of Malta’s top musicians. On the same lines as the previous two events, this event will showcase a wide spectrum of Maltese music including live bands and DJs. Once again, people are encouraged to attend to discover new music, support local talent and have a great time!

I’ll be there on Saturday to support this great even and the talent behind it – I hope to see you there!

2 Comments

    • by Christina on July 4, 2015  5:35 am Reply

      It's been an absolute pleasure Ben =) See you at the gig!

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