article by Frank Hellenkamp
Songs and Soundscapes
I had the privilege to design the cover and booklet of alony's new album Dismantling Dreams.
The jazz band Alony is Efrat Alony (voice), Mark Reinke (piano, electronics) und Christian Thome (drums, electronics).
Originally the booklet to the CD was conceived as a small book which — parallel to the music — was meant to take the listener on a small journey to another world (Dismantling Dreams). The listener should experience the music on several levels. Each song was the basis of a different level.
Each level should be experienced as a new space which forms the framework of an individual »narrative«. The booklet was a stepping stone to an optical and haptic experience. Therefore it was important to us that the booklet was something you could touch and sense and could be perceived as a real object which you can hold in your hand or place in front of you.
There are two reasons why this is important to us:
On the one hand the music by Alony is something special. Her music is rooted in jazz. However, the music has changed over time so that it is very difficult to classify into simple catagories. (Björk, Radiohead etc. come to mind)
On the other hand the music business is awash with CDs, therfore it is necessary to offer something that enhances the value of a CD to make it worthwhile to buy. Otherwise a cheap copy or a single track bought at Amazon or iTunes would be sufficient. (It was Beck who illustrated this fact in a excellent way.)
I have to admit: I always loved the old big records with their amazing packaging. You could hold them in your hand while listening to the music and really get lost in a different world.
For financial reasons we had to abandon this endeavour.
Instead of the book we eventually decided on a standard digipack. However, we used a booklet which opens in the form of a poster. In the technical jargon this is called an 18-pager – Leporellokreuzbruchwickelfalz..;-)
We had a large number of photos taken by Carola Schmidt from the opera store in Berlin Mitte at our disposal. In addition to that we used illustrations done in a style which I used as an adolescent or young adult.
The cover is a mixture of photos and illustrations, namely reality versus dream. That means that only cut out photos and illustrations are used within the booklet.
The booklet itself consists of a front-side and the back-side. The front-side is white with eleven dots belonging to one song. The back-side is in cyan with the texts of the songs and the same dots which are positioned in the identical position as on the front.
Here you see the booklet in detail.