Terra Voce are a classical music duo and a married couple. Andrew plays cello and Elizabeth plays flute. They have an impressively eclectic range of musical interests, and they explore many styles of music across time and cultures — early music to modern, Celtic folk songs to tangos.
I wanted to make a CD package for them that would not only get that spirit across, but also help their recording stand apart from the pack with a certain visual oomph. They came to me with a set of photographs including one close-up shot of their two instruments crossed, Elizabeth’s flute against the scroll of Andrew’s cello. I liked the simple abstract quality of that shot — especially the way it captured the essence of their music — two very different voices in concert. But by itself, it felt a little static and posed to me, so I suggested that I use it for the basis of a custom illustration.
I went for a woodcut look, which helps to give the feeling of something old and hand-made, but it also gave me the freedom to use colors more dramatically. I spotted some lovely colors hiding in the reflections in Elizabeth’s flute, and from them I pulled together a palette with four strong rich colors to suggest the mix of styles, like flavors of gelato, or the diamonds in a harlequin’s suit. The intensity of the color helps to set the record apart from the more staid and conservative packages you often see for classical acts. The variety of colors also reflect the variety in their music. And, as a practical matter, the colors also allowed me to “explain” visually their slightly complicated track listings and liner notes — that is, I could indicate which tracks all belonged to the same composer or were part of a set by grouping them in the same panel of color.
Then I turned the cover image upside down because it gave the composition even more gravity-defying energy, and I liked the way the shape suggested an ornate letter T for Terra Voce.