on life, music etc beyond mainstream


In September 2012 Touch will present a series of events in Manhattan and at Issue Project Room celebrating the publisher’s 30th anniversary. Since its first release in 1982, Touch has created sonic and visual productions that combine innovation with a level of care and attention that has made it the most enduring of any independent music company of its time. The label has presented a wide range of artists from New Order to Thomas Köner, and now has a strong focus on artists such as Fennesz, Chris Watson, Philip Jeck, Jana Winderen, Hildur Gudnadottir, Oren Ambarchi and Biosphere.

Jon Wozencraft, master of Touch’s cover art, will give a lecture this week at the Punkt Festival, Kristiansand. See program for details.

Excerpt of an interview:

Can you tell me a little about the process in choosing a photo to represent an album, or perhaps, vice versa?

[JW] It’s a tricky thing to explain and it’s maybe in your question about ‘vice versa.’ I see colors and landscapes in music I find touching. When an artist sends me a new work, I (sort of) treat it as a performance; sometimes they take a few moments, some it can take months.

I’d say that for each of our artists, I’ve sort of developed a sense of smell about what is the right image-field for their signature sound. In design terms, it’s the polar opposite of how Peter Saville can operate—he claims to need no reference to the music to find an effective counterpoint. I do admit to trying to extend and intensify this aspect of “parallelism”: it not being the music but the deeper sound behind the music, and how to visually support that in quite an understated but progressive way.

I am quite happy to accept a level of quietness. It takes time …

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