Sunday, December 29, 2019

"the stained glass maker for the Cathedral of Sound"

RIP Vaughan Oliver, creator of exquisite and exquisitely apt artwork for recording artists, some on the 4AD label and others not.

I was delighted when he agreed to do the cover for my first book Blissed Out: The Raptures of Rock, which does actually have the lambent look of stained glass.

Like Peter Saville with Joy Division, for most of us, Oliver will always be paired with the original Cathedral of Sound crew.

"Spangle Maker" could be a job description for Oliver.

"The blurred cover image, by turn-of-the-20th-Century American photographer Gertrude Käsebier, shows a woman peering into a cloudy glass orb. The sphere resembles a fortune teller’s crystal ball, in which we might glimpse some inaccessible part of ourselves. The woman on the record’s cover seems to symbolize its listener. Her pose toward the murky globe is like ours toward the Cocteaus’ atmospheric music. She regards an object whose ambiguity makes it rife with potential. Just as the crystal ball yields different visions to each viewer, each listener distinguishes her own message in the sonic mist" - Elizabeth Lindau on The Spangle Maker EP.