Green Grow the Rushes album artwork (2022)

The grand finale to Tim's four-year PhD project (which also gave rise to Imagined Engines) was a five-track folk/classical crossover EP, reimagining a collection of English and Welsh folk songs, developed and recorded in collaboration with four highly-regarded folk musicians: vocalist Fay Hield, violinist and singer Patrick Rimes, English concertina specialist Rob Harbron, and cellist Shirley Smart.

Also somewhere in the mix was a slightly odd guy with a camera - yours truly - who had been tasked with visually documenting the recording session and with producing the album's cover image.

Tim wanted a stylised, geometric design for the album cover, and it seemed obvious that I should use a drawing of some rushes, playing on the album's overall title (which is borrowed from its second track).  Despite me trying drafts with other approaches, I somehow ended up coming back - yet again - to my recurring love of circles to anchor the overall form.

Although the structure of the image was assembled in vector graphics, we'd agreed that we didn't want the finished result to have the usual clean-and-minimal look of a vector image, so I set about filling in each of the spaces with a suitable texture - and although you probably can't see it unless you look really, really closely, the textures are actually made up from blurred and colour-shifted versions of some of my behind-the-scenes photos, very subtly unifying the two aspects of my work here.

There was one more unplanned offshoot from this project: on the spur of the moment, I recorded video of the various takes for the third song, Y Sguthan ('The Wood Pigeon'), each time pointing the camera at a different part of the ensemble.  About a year later, Tim and I got round to assembling this footage, alongside the final edited version of the track, to create a music video, which I've included at the bottom of this page.

By the way, yes, I know it says '2022' at the top of this page but '2023' within the artwork itself.  This is because Tim ended up deciding to release the EP in January 2023 and wanted the artwork dated to reflect that, but all of the creative work was actually done in 2022, and I prefer to label things with the year when they actually happened.  Method in the madness, you see.


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