The Artwork Of ECM

As this is the first post of 2015 I’d just like to wish everyone a very happy new year and hope things are going in the right direction for you all. As most of the EP track arrangements are ready for the tracking stage I thought I would take a minute to look at some creative decisions facing me with regards the finished physical product, mainly artwork. I have long been a fan of Munich based label ECM both for their boundary-pushing artists and the unique, distinctive art style featured on many of their releases. The muted colours and abstract imagery, has somewhat of an impressionistic quality that is indicative of the often highly improvised nature of the music itself.

Label founder and director Manfred Eicher personally marries each album release with the artwork he feels best suits the music, choosing from a personal selection of collated or commissioning new artworks with the music in mind.  A couple of articles probe this subject in more depth can be found here and here. I look forward to exploring the creative intersection between music and artwork in my own project and will be posting any art drafts or inspiration along the way towards release.

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An Insight Into The Jazz Of Norway

A major inspiration on the direction of this album are a number of jazz musicians originating largely out of Norway. Far from jazz’s original birthplace in the US, these Scandanavian artists draw upon a wide range of influences from traditional modal folk melodies, rock, free improvisation and contemporary classical music. Along with a certain minimalist aesthetic apparent in their work, there are a number of compositional features of particular interest to me including the use of drones, incorporation of synthetic percussion and the use of live electronics to process instrumentation.

This documentary highlights some of the artists currently active within this unique musical community including pianist Bugge Wesseltoft, trumpet player Nils Petter Molvaer and guitarist Eivind Aarset.