We have had lots of lovely comments about our spectacular European Howl starling and hurdy-gurdy art work. The cover was created by fine artist Anna Kirk-Smith. Anna, a graduate of the Royal College of Art, and a previous Head of BA(Hons) Fine Art at Hull School of Art & Design told us about how she developed the idea for the cover.
“Whilst standing at my studio window watching the shrieking pitch battle of starlings tussling for a beakful of mealwormed suet, the thought came to me that what this species and hurdy-gurdys have in common is that once they get going, they are both impossible to ignore. They audibly and visually own the space they inhabit. It was at this point I decided that the album cover I had been asked to design was going to be a simple face-off between the two personalities.
Both have a sense of understated exoticism about them in form and decoration through the rich, sinuous marqueteries of the gurdy and the white-peppered iridescences of the bird. Both also behaviourally tend to flock in great numbers: starlings in autumnal, inexpressibly beautiful murmurations, and gurdy players in summery drone festivals like Le Son Continu, where I noticed they tend to adopt polite, concentric, circle-formations before the wheeling fortissimo begins.
As for the last aspect of the cover design, I have reliably been informed who, or what, Agent Starling is, and thought the mask was required so they could continue hiding in plain sight.”
Visit Anna Kirk-Smith’s webite here https://www.annakirksmith.com/
Get European Howl: https://loudhaileruk.bandcamp.com/album/european-howl
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The story behind the remarkable European Howl artwork by fine artist Anna Kirk-Smith