Tim Bray - Tim RayFriday, February 23, 2007
I know two men with similar names who are similar in other ways. Both Tim Bray and Tim Ray are soft spoken. Both of them have no compunctions about looking you in the eye. Both are ellusive or at the least mysterious about what they do.
I first met Tim Ray in the late 70s (seen here with friend Brooke). I was taking a series of photographs of musicians in Vancouver who were experimenting with a novel concept. This concept was called live music. Many nightclubs at the time were into disco. Tim Ray's concept was beyond even that. He was one of the leaders of the Vancouver alternative scene who experimented with conceptual music. I knew nothing of this. I took some pleasant photographs and was charmed by Ray's gentle hospitality. A few years later I finally went to the Smiling Buddha to hear him. The poster in front of the joint on West Hastings read, 50% Off! I paid for my entrance and demanded some money back as they were charging me full rate. It was then that I discovered that photographer Lincoln Clarkes had a short lived band by that name and I am one of the few that ever heard Clarkes play the guitar.
Some weeks back a tall and not so young man said hi to me at the DOA concert at Richards on Richards. I told Tim Ray, "I know someone who almost has your name."
I first met Tim Bray in his basement studio in November 1999. The Globe & Mail dispatched me to photograph him. Bray explained to me something that had to do with a computer language called XML. I did not understand but I took a pleasant picture of him with his wife Lauren.
In March 2002 The National Post assigned me to photograph Bray. I photographed him with his trademark hat. The folks at the National Post hated the idea of a portrait of someone into cutting edge computer language looking like an officer of the Confederate States of America and told me they were not going to use the photograph. They didn't.
Some things don't change. I still don't understand or know what these two men do. I believe that Bray may be a member of a new order of 21st century Masons who speak a language alien to most of us. There is no doubt in my mind that if he and his order pulled the plug we would fall into chaos.