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Re: [microsound] NEW from and/OAR: Francisco Lopez

Well a good graphic designer gives his client what HE OR SHE WANTS. The client is and should be part of the creative process. If you want a CD design and want it to be an absolute minimal design, the graphic designer is expected to meet those needs. Sometime labels control all aesthetics of an artist's release as well.

Many people go with Design that "Pops", to help said product stand out on the shelf space(whatever that may be, CD Rack,store shelf)

In the end its the artist that has the say over the aesthetics of his CD's packaging design.

I will say that i have never bought a CD because of the Design. My purchases or more merit based. If what i have heard/read about/ discussed intrigues me, then i buy it. If i want to look at design i will buy a design book, or troll some designers portfolios, go to a design symposium, visit the local art school. You get my drift.

I think your email can produce some great conversation on a number of different but related topics. Maybe closer to the end of the day when i have some of my work whittled down.


On Sep 25, 2007, at 7:58 PM, Bill Jarboe wrote:



I have no problems with Francisco Lopez, in fact I've never listened to his recordings. Looking at the presentation of this release provoked some thoughts and I think it merits discussion.

I thought the mp3-0mb. was especially cute. I'm just observing that in many of these micro-sound, lowercase, field recording , what have you type of releases the text photos and graphic design seem more important to the consumer than the audio. I have no objection to good design ,I'm noticing that many people like to be told 'what it is' before listening. What happens when no-one states 'what it is'? Do you refuse to listen or just mentally tune it out?

What happens if someone is terribly good at making musical recordings yet has no interest in graphic design or the framing of sensory experience (or non-sensory experience)? Perhaps a major goal in this case might be to woo a graphic designer, preferably the most natty one . How to accomplish this? Looking natty one's self is running the risk of appearing as competition or slightly emphasizing the wrong details or something already passé and therefore abhorrent to the intended quarry. Merely ordinary and utilitarian would probably get ignored. Speaking is overused and sometimes harsh to the ear: the reason for music production in polite society. The solution then seems to be to look rather chaotic and messy, giving the designer incentive to work, to straighten define; similar to the response a housecleaner might have to a trashed living room. In the summer months it might be a good idea to wear little clothing, be strong and healthy in a non- threatening way. This might make the designer more friendly and open, resulting in good design and good music yet probably not specifically related.

Of course, most of us could imagine a huge , lavish glossy magazine with many photos and dense text with an evatone flexidisc near the back cover which has a few brief phrases of music for the reader's enjoyment. Unfortunately I don't think anyone makes flexidiscs in this individualistic secular era. It might be possible in the foreseeable future for magazine publishers to have a static , non-mechanical audio player inserted ; rather like a disposable ipod. I know of magazines with c.d.s included; the main problem seems to be that they have really gummy adhesive which have a tendency to stick to disc and cause it to skip , often in really uncool places.

I once heard an objection to a c.d. by John Hudak. They didn't know what they were listening to... I didn't offer any hints. Later the same person liked it and even played it for someone else who was very impressed.

Of course, there are live shows. it's probably difficult to get booked unless the promoters , hosts are reasonably convinced that that they know what you are, how long you're going to be that way, that you won't leap through a wall , scream continuously for an hour or just fall asleep or forget.

I have no objections to a nature recording packaged with impressive photos, extensive text notes , essays . It doesn't bother me if someone set up a microphone in the wind , captured something which they found inspiring then presented that to the public in a lavish cover. What comes to mind is the antithesis to that approach: a record by a group of musicians who are almost entirely consumed by the effort of making music in a carefully controlled environment and then having the resulting disc left out in the elements. Both approaches contain a certain irony. What doesn't seem ironic is a recording of natural elements left in its natural element; to be eroded, marred and buffeted by sand, wind, surf and decaying organic matter, or a carefully performed record to be presented in a carefully and deliberately artificial looking package.

From what I have read of the work of Mr. Lopez, I get the idea that he is concerned with sound in its self having an effect on the audience, sometimes presenting concerts in darkened rooms , avoiding explanations or showmanship (though that could be an effective explanation and form of showmanship).I'm thinking that the idea of the packaging on this new release is to prepare the listener for the immersion in a different sound world. The music is the reason for the design, not the other way around.

There are ways out of the dilemma of sound before visuals or visuals before sound. Some of them may actually work , so I'd rather not mention them.



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