Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Every picture tells a story


Overgrown Path readers agree that every picture tells a story. In last week's poll a clear majority of 58% said cover art affected their decision to purchase a recording, compared with 34% who said it didn't. 6% were non-believers who only buy MP3s. I'm not sure what happened to the remaining 2%; either they were lost in rounding by the Blogger software, or they buy 78s in plain brown paper sleeves.

My two illustrations feature the CD Close Voices from Far-away released by Sony, for some inexplicable reason, only in the Czech Republic. The recording, which was made in the former Augustian monastery in České Lípě in 2006, is a collabaration between the Buddhist monks of Gyosan-ryu Tendai Shomyo from Japan and the Schola Gregoriana Pragensis from Prague. I have a feeling that a few readers will be seeking the CD out after seeing it here. But would they have done so if I had only run those fifty-five words of descriptive copy without the cover art?

In the age of the file download graphics are still important. Apple themselves acknowledge the importance of the visual with the clever cover flow feature in their iPod Nano seen above. Cover art lives on, watch this space.


* If you want to buy Close Voices from Far-away you will need to order if from the Czech Republic. I bought my copy online from cdMusic.cz who provided a very fast and problem free service. Here is a link to the CD on their site. More on the CD here.

The cover art for Close Voices is the work of Johan Vlach of MiniMaxstudio, and the calligraphy is by Saikawa Bunto. The artwork shows a Missale (13th century) from the Moravské zemské muzeum in Brno, and Shomyo Reisen-bon (Ohara Gyosan, manuscript 1380, print 1686?). Header photo is (c) On An Overgrown Path 2009. Report errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk

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