This was where Giles and I began with Till. I suggested that his Till was a little too old and perhaps a bit too sinister. The mustache was dropped and his eyes turned blue. And then I waited, as I always do, for the artwork to arrive. When it finally comes, usually months later, it is like Christmas. I can't wait to open it. Meanwhile, the original Till had been looking out at New York City from the 17th floor of 1745 Broadway in the Random House building.
One of the most exciting parts of creating a new CD is finding a children's book illustrator or an artist (all book illustrators are artists, but not all artists are book illustrators) whose work reflects the character of the music. In the case of Till (the music is Richard Strauss' great tone poem Till Eulenspiegel), Giles Laroche seemed to be the perfect choice. In looking at his picture books, what I had not realized was that they were not painted. They are paper cut-outs! Over a year ago when I first contacted Giles and suggested the Till project, I asked him to send me a sample of what he thought Till would look like if he were to accept this commission. The Till sample arrived in the mail several weeks later.
When the package filled with amazing cutouts finally arrived, it was time for these intricate works of art to be photographed. Two extremely well-known photographers of fine art here in New York, Malcolm Varon and Jerry Thompson, photographed the originals so that they could be printed. These are 3-dimensional works, so lighting and shadows were critical for the effect. Lou Barnicle, our wonderful graphic designer, has now finished the CD label, digipak cover, and 24-page booklet, and we are in the process of proofing it. Alan Wonneberger, our audio engineer and producer, is doing the final touches, and we wait for his timings, the last thing to be added to the artwork. Till will soon go off to the printer and replicator. We will only print a very short run of CDs with their booklets for The Merry Pranks of Master Till. If you are interested in having one, keep an eye out for when we will be taking advance orders. Bonnie Simon