This April

Blood Lily, 6 April 2018. Copyright 2018 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.
I took this photograph of a blood lily (Haemanthus coccineus), whose blossom emerges directly from the bulb without leaves. The South African autumn is full of surprises!

I completed “The Robin-chat”.

Following the discovery of my Cape robin-chat Cape batis confusion, I have at last finished “The Robin-chat” (previously, “The Batis III”). The image below shows how the composition developed: “The Batis III” version is nearly complete just before the image of the bird (evidenced by the neatness of the verses); then, a new wave of exploration, prompted by the discovery of my error, as the poem becomes “The Robin-chat”. I am delighted to report that I have since also completed “The Leaves” (previously, “Poplars”) and have tentatively started revising a sketch titled “The Pines”.

The evolution of “The Robin-chat”.

I spoke to David Armes about the artwork for the first Lonely Swallow label release.

Last month, I mentioned that I had briefly spoken to letterpress artist David Armes about the cover art for the Origins album by Affan. This month, we had a detailed conversation about the nature of the visuals, how they are to create the aesthetic of the label, and how this will apply to visuals for artists and their releases. Our objective is to present in the artwork the concept of the music and the minimalist philosophy of the label. This will be the challenge in the coming month.

I spoke to Garreth Broke about transcribing Origins.

For his first album, Affan has composed a collection of six contemporary classical impromptus that effortlessly move from theme to theme with elegance and ease. Not only do I think of these pieces as beautiful and engaging to the ear, but also to the eye and hand; and so I have asked one of my favourite pianists in the genre, Garreth Broke, to transcribe them.

Mentioned in this post:

Haemanthus coccineus, blood lily (Wikipedia)
Red Plate Press (Official Website)
Garreth Broke (Official Website)
Affan (Soundcloud)
Lonely Swallow (Official Website)

Airship, the official album cover

The official cover art for the Airship album by Forgotten Fields
The official cover art for the Airship album

And there it is

The official cover of Airship shows an airship moving through the clouds, majestic and graceful. We only have a momentary glimpse as it briefly comes into view. That is my favourite part! The black and white hearkens back to the golden age of lighter-than-air flight. I hope you like it as much as I do!

Airship will be available for pre-order as of tomorrow (25 September 2016).


Creating cover art for Airship, Part III

 Rough cover art mock-ups for the upcoming Airship album
Rough cover art mock-ups for the upcoming Airship album


I thought I’d share some of the rough sketches I’ve done for the Airship album cover. They were made in the past couple of months to help me visualise the layout. I’ve written previously about the concept, but briefly, it illustrates the inspiration for the album: the maiden flight of an airship.


I pictured the crew preparing for the test, the crowd looking on in anticipation—an atmosphere of excitement and wonder! Over time, this idea evolved and took on an abstract feel. I thought of the flight itself and the ship moving through the clouds. But, I kept coming back to the idea of the airship looming overhead, imposing and terrible, a giant in the sky! I pictured myself standing on the ground as it passes over—a speck in its shadow, agape with awe! Just look at the size of a Hindenburg in relation to the Empire State!

A graphic size comparison between the Hindenburg airship and the Empire State building
The Hindenburg vs the Empire State


I hope I headed in the right direction, in the end. I will reveal the final artwork with the launch of the Forgotten Fields Bandcamp page, in the not too distant future. I’m excited and nervous—mostly nervous—but, I tell myself that’s a good thing.