** 2nd Update ** I have eliminated the additional photos and have now purchased rights to the photo shown in the brief: the man made out of metal. Please restrict all entries to something using this image. It's really compelling, and if you take a look at recent submissions and sort by star rating, you'll see some of the incredible things folks have done with it. I'm seeing some AWESOME entries. Thank you!
**UPDATED** Please see comments and the 2 stock photos that have been chosen as possible background art for this album cover. You can ignore the church interior photo, but any design should now take advantage of one of the 2 stock images I have posted on the brief. I will be licensing one of these images as part of the final product. Also, remember that this image can't have too-small text, because it will be reduced to a 1"x1" square on iTunes. So it needs to have the name & title legible. Also, for the b&w photo: don't be afraid to introduce some color in there somewhere if you get an idea that involves color. IMPORTANT: the font and name/title info are extremely important for this CD. The font shouldn't be an afterthought, it should be as deliberate as the image. It should be a graphic element in itself: something clean, strong, with identity.
I just finished a CD entitled "The Architect." It's a contemporary classical CD of music for string orchestra and piano, recorded with the Chamber Orchestra of London. Its counterparts style-wise would be Max Richter, Michael Nyman, Johann Johannsson. This is modern classical but could easily pass for the score to a film: it's accessible classical music. But while the music of these artists is a good reference for what this music sounds like, I'm afraid that their album covers are all too dark and dreary and bleak-looking, so don't take any visual cues from their album covers. Some of this album is Vivaldi-ish and linear (but fiery and passionate), and some of it is really lush and romantic.
I need an album cover (for physical CD) and for iTunes, Amazon, etc. I'm definitely looking for an idea that feels modern and clean: something that would pop if bannered across the top of the page in the iTunes Classical Store. It can't be too too edgy (this is classical stuff, not alternative!) but should avoid all the old stodgy paradigms of "old school" classical music album covers. No oil paintings of countrysides, stuff like that. Cool clean fonts, a cover design that feels architectural or that has a specific graphic identity. I'm a fan of the classical new releases on iTunes that have a striking, eye-catching, clean look. Have a look at the iTunes Classical page and you'll get a great idea of graphics and text-as-graphics. The finished design: if someone is browsing the Classical store on iTunes and they're not familiar with my name or the album, the finished design should have a graphic/modern/contemporary quality to it that would make them want to click to hear more. Kind of like with a bottle of wine: if you have a shelf full of wines in front of you, your eye is drawn to the one with the coolest label.
I don't have imagery for the album because it's not about me as the composer, and it's not about the ensemble: they're just wearing the music. Some of the music is very linear and baroque, but with some fire to it. Some of it is grandly romantic, some is on the minimalistic side. Some things that work visually: architectural elements (but not necessarily images of architecture), clean lines, strong fonts. Graphic elements a la a blueprint for a building. I was originally inspired to start writing this album and its title cue, The Architect, when I was sitting in the Palladian church San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice, Italy: the arches, the lines, the symmetry of it all -- it looked like this music sounds. I'll attach an image here for reference, but don't feel compelled to use it. My fear in using anything like this is that there will be some religious connotation to the cover art and I want to avoid that at all costs. So "The Architect" is about building something, and about anyone who wants to build something. Whether what you create is an image, a building, a piece of music, a piece of art -- you are The Architect. This music was built, piece by piece. For some of it I abandoned technology and used good old-fashioned pencil and paper, old-school style. It's possible (but not necessary) that the design might incorporate some abstraction of the idea of architecture.
I wish I had a visual concept to help kick the process off with, but I'm completely at a loss. I'm not good at graphic stuff, but when it works, I know it when I see it.
The cover text must contain:
Kerry Muzzey with
the Chamber Orchestra of London
As for design elements, I would need the cover itself and an internal page/J-Card. The cover design could then go on the CD itself. Digital buyers would only ever see the cover.
For some ideas of what the music sounds like, hit Spotify or iTunes and listen to my pieces "M" (Merisi), Snowblind, Every Story Ends, and The Vicar, The Knife & The Choice from my "Trailer Music 3" album. Style-wise, this is very similar to what this album will sound like.
Update: looking for serious and professional-looking entries only. Please don't submit something like a stock photo of a grand piano with my album title written over it.