Falling, Falling, Crash —
A major milestone for any young musician is their first published work — that first collection of music that leaves their instrument, announcing their arrival to musical stage. So too is it for Nick Sieber, a talented jazz trombonist putting the final touches to his first EP, Falling, Falling, Crash. Outside of the recording process, one of the most crucial of those touches is album artwork, and Nick turned to his little big brother (me) to photograph and design the look and feel for his musical calling card.
Over the last month, we brainstormed a number of ideas around the titles of the self-penned pieces included on the 3-song collection, and went into the photoshoot with Moments Missed as our main inspiration. We shot in a number of locations amongst the industrial environs of the Perry Street Warehouse District and Genpak, seeking out spots that offered interesting lighting and mood. Once fading light chased us indoors, I suggested we check out an old freight elevator down the hall from my studio. While we had our game plan, I thought the elevator could be an awesome visual for his other original piece, the title track, Falling, Falling, Crash. While cramped, beat-up and scarred from years of use, it’s a space that oozes character… and in a lighting nightmare, is lit by a single, measly CFL bulb. We shot what we could, and hoped for the best knowing that if need be, a giant window that filled the top of the lift shaft would give us a second chance the next day.
As it turns out, the trip back wasn’t necessary. Luck, and Adobe Lightroom, were on our side and with some clever post-processing we pulled out two great shots that complimented Falling, Falling, Crash perfectly. Our cover shot is dark and moody, Nick looking blasé as his lift plummets downwards. The tone carries around to the tray card where Nick’s face and horn stand in bold contrast to the dark walls and deep blue dusk outside.
Beyond Lightroom, I added some drama by working with the view through the small elevator window, photoshopping in the blur of structure whizzing by. This small touch turns an attractive, but otherwise static shot into an image with a story to tell. The cover copy placement reinforces the storyline by turning sharply downward as one reads across, eventually plummeting in-line with the the window, until it crashes into darkness.
Music and art/design are so similar in their role as vital story-telling devices. Projects that have tied the two together (see the iTunes cover art I created for Jake Dudas) have been some of the most enjoyable I’ve worked on. We have a few other great shots in the can which I’ll post in the next day or two, so next on the list for will be a website, image library and promo material. In the meantime, ask me how I can help give a lift to your great music project.
Postscript. See some shots that didn’t make the cut here.