Denise Burt

Graphic arts and design for music

CD: David Lang – death speaks

Shara Worden, vocals; Bryce Dessner, guitar; Nico Muhly, piano; Owen Pallet, violin and vocals.

Released on Cantaloupe Music, 2013

Front cover: Found image; First spread: Photograph, Brian Arnold; Inside spread: Found image, reworked digitally.

 

David Lang went through all of Schubert’s Lieder and clipped out the texts where the figure of death speaks. He put them together into a song cycle which—despite the darkness of the subject matter—is uplifting. Shara Worden sings death’s words. With great kindness and compassion, she invites us to come and join her and be returned to dust.

I wanted to show death as a kind and beautiful person on the cover. David wanted to avoid any clichés of heaven in the imagery inside. The photographs of a snowy path at night and a desolate country house are amiguous—perhaps a journey to the afterlife, perhaps memories of a life ended.

 

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death-speaks-inside-1

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