Story: 12/29

Open music player

Bent Sørensen

La Notte

Dacapo Records, 2013

Liquid night

Sometimes I don’t do what I preach. In this case, I didn’t approach the composer before making the design.

I had run across Bent Sørensen in 2011 at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival where he was the festival’s featured composer. Being so out of my depth in the intense company of the international contemporary music world, I’d felt like a bit of an idiot. The feeling of inadequacy had stayed with me – connected, rather unfairly, to Bent.

I relied on the interpretation of the music in the essay accompanying the work. It described the themes of La Notte (The Night) – the conscious and unconscious, entropy in the universe and human longing. Listening to the title piece, it struck me as dark, moody and dreamlike.

I got an idea while contemplating the title of the work to try to show the night as a tangible thing. I imagined pitch-black clouds expanding out of the night-time sky to fill the day-lit world.

Once I had settled on the idea, the artwork came together quickly as a collage of two elements: a sunset image taken on-board the Space Shuttle Endeavour while it orbited the earth, and an image of a cloud of black ink spreading through water.

I met Bent Sørensen properly at a party at Edition Wilhelm Hansen months after the CD had been released. To my relief, he told me he liked the cover very much. He was a very nice, clever and funny man. He still intimidated me a little though.

This music player streams through Spotify. To hear the full work, install the Spotify application and choose it as your default music player in your browser preferences.