Architecture in Music

Contact: Charles Brooks
Phone: +64 27 203 2269

Lockey Hill Cello circa 1780, by Charles Brooks 2022

Architecture in Music

Striking photos reveal the hidden details inside musical instruments. Photographer Charles Brooks unveils the beauty and complexity of these unseen spaces using specialist probe lenses and complex imaging techniques.  Each photo is a blend of hundreds of frames. The unprecedented sharpness and detail renders these spaces as vast rooms, exposing the tool marks of the makers, repairs carried out through the centuries, and the hidden architecture within.

Charles chooses rare instruments with fascinating histories: A cello once hit by a train, a didgeridoo hollowed out by termites, an exquisite Fazioli grand piano hand-made from 11’000 individual parts. Each instrument is photographed hundreds of times with ever increasing focal lengths. These frames are then painstakingly blended together to form a single image. The clarity and carefully chosen perspectives trick the mind into believing the space is much larger than reality. A 240 year old cello looks like the inside of an ancient ship, a century old saxophone becomes a gaping tunnel of green and gold, the keys of a piano become a monolithic temple.

About the Artist

Charles was a cellist since childhood and had a career with some of the world's great orchestras before turning to photography full time in 2016. He was principal cellist with the Shenzhen & Guiyang Symphonies (China), the Orquestra de Camara de Valdivia (Chile), and spent three years with the Sao Paulo Symphony in Brazil. A Lumix ambassador, he is now based in Auckland, New Zealand, where he spends his time as a freelance photographer and indulges his other passion, astrophotography.

Media Attention

Architecture in Music has been one of the most celebrated photographic series of 2022. It has appeared in print in dozens of the world’s largest newspapers and magazines, has been featured by many of the most influential art and photography blogs in the world. Images are in use by clients as diverse as the Paris Conservatorie and the CERN Hadron Collider.

Selected Articles

Full Series Image Gallery:

Gallery – charlesbrooksphotography (

High resolution images for editorial use are available on request: