Album Sleeve Production Line!

DSC_0110Did you know – the album sleeves for Monkey Puzzle Tree’s album Praeda Maris are each hand cut and housed lovingly in a hand-crafted one-of-a-kind sleeve? The sleeves are created from repurposed pianola scroll, so each one is unique. You can imagine that this takes quite a lot of time, so ahead of our performances at Adelaide Fringe and Port Fairy Folk Festival, we got together late one Saturday afternoon to get a production line happening.

pianolaDSC_0095 DSC_0122The pianola scroll is first cut to size. Then it is folded and glued. Each of the cut out holes represents a note on the piano! A lovely detail is the lyrics and names of the pieces printed along the right hand side of each scroll.

DSC_0129 DSC_0098 DSC_0143After the glue has dried it is time to insert the album art. The album art is comprised of a folded booklet containing track names and band photo, and a series of artworks printed on clear, plastic sheets. The plastic sheets come printed on a roll and are cut by hand.

DSC_0112 DSC_0115I like knowing that each album is a little unique, a little bit different from each of its brothers and sisters. It means that each person who has a copy of Praeda Maris will experience the album art in a slightly unique way, just as they would experience the music it contains in their own unique way.

xx Michelle

**This was cross-posted over at Michelle’s blog.**

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Album Design Behind the Scenes

Hello internet community! I’ve got a special post for you courtesy of MPT drummer extraordinaire, Matt Gorgula! In addition to his prodigious skills on the drums, Matt is the main man responsible for all our graphic design and artwork, including our recent second release, Praeda Maris.

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A feature of the artwork design is the ability for the cover to be customised, thanks to the inclusion of several transparent sheets. In the picture above shows six of the seven clear sheets sitting on top of the white album booklet. Of course you can layer the sheets on top of each other any way you choose, there’s options for a myriad of effects. Here’s what my copy looks like today…. 🙂

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Matt agreed to share with us a little about the inspirations behind his work. Over to him!

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I was lucky to spend a decent amount of time travelling through the Australian desert and across the Arafura Sea.  I found myself here strangely enough living on a yatch for a few weeks recording audio for a documentary and then working on a train waking up strangers for their morning cup of tea. Watching the contrasting landscapes change over a number of days at a time gave me a wonderful perspective and fresh out outlook.

The representation of these two environments definitely had a major influence toward the visual concept of Praeda Maris.

In the album’s early conception there were two significant objects that I discovered; a magical piece of paper and a book about Australian deep sea divers. To explain: I had an image that I put aside in that ‘I’m no longer going to need pile’ and weeks later found it,  with bright coloured ink everywhere from being drenched in water. The book I discovered in an overflowing second hand bookstore at Murray Bridge; in one of those moments where you have a few hours to kill and you end up wandering aimlessly. Every now and then you find a gem that changes or sparks a new direction.

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I photographed a series of sea waste collections from some of our Adelaide beaches in the process of sorting and inspecting. I stored some pieces in jars and dried various pieces on white material in the sun. I really liked exploring objects that in a general sense we can often disregard and miss how something so simple can be beautiful.

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The last cover for Villanelles was of flowers donated from the neighborhood gardens of Bowden and photographed under a kitchen stove light – one photograph with no digital layering. I was always aiming to take a similar approach and maintain this principle for the new album, but the idea evolved and clear film allowed me to explore something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Being able to see what is usually one flattened image and go beneath it allows you to almost get inside the image. In this case you’re looking into a jar of seaweed and toward the shore of an island in the Tanimbar region of Indonesia.

Shuffle the layers, peer into them and rearrange them – misplace them, write notes on them or stick them to your windows in the sun. Continue to explore and maybe even find yourself eventually on that mysterious island you’re dreaming of.

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“Praeda Maris” available now  AUS/NZ   UK/EUR   DOWNLOAD  or  write to us.

Praeda Maris Available for Purchase

MPT Cover

Praeda Maris now available from Cd Baby – http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/monkeypuzzletree2

Hello internet!

Just a quick post to let you know that our brand new album, Praeda Maris, is now available for purchase. You can download a digital copy HERE for $15. You can also listen to, and purchase individual tracks if you wish.

However, for those amongst you who might be seeking a more distinctive and tactile experience of the album, may I suggest purchasing a physical copy? The album artwork was designed by our very own drummer/designer Matthew Gorgula and it features transparent sheets incorporated into the design, so you can customise the appearance of the cover. We think it’s really quite special and we all couldn’t wait to get our hands on our own copy.

Talk soon!

xx Michelle

Post Launch recovery period!

We had a great time at our album launch on Friday! Our album will soon be available for purchase online. We’ll be sure to keep you posted. If you came along – thank you letting us share the evening with you. We had a great time and hope that you did too. Did you enjoy the projections and associate artists? We were lucky to have such talented artists on board. 

We are in recovery mode, but not for too long. We will be playing at Casablabla on Leigh St on Thursday night (tomorrow). And now that the launch is done we have time to focus on new projects and shows for 2013. 

See you soon!

xx Michelle

Album Launch is Fast Approaching!

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It’s hard to believe that our album launch is THIS Friday! We’ve lined up three practices this week – quite a feat if you consider how difficult it is to align our four very different schedules! The photos above were taken during our rehearsal on Sunday. Tonight, we jam once again and I’m thinking that snacks may be in order to keep the stamina and creative energy up. What are your favourite snack foods to have while working? We tend to eat a lot of cheese and crackers!

Are you coming to the launch? Perhaps I’ll take this opportunity to remind you that you can book tickets here: http://www.trybooking.com/caum Entry is available at the door too, but capacity is limited.

Hope to see you there!

xx Michelle

“Praeda Maris” Album Launch!

After months of work, we are super excited to be launching our new album, Praeda Maris on November 30. “Praeda Maris” is Latin for “spoils of the sea” and the album brings together elements similar to the ocean’s constantly fluctuating states; the driving power of crashing water, the natural beauty of the sea and its inhabitants, the delicacy of a wave lapping your toes, the constant but changeable rhythm.

We will also be premiering the film clip to “Spoilia Oceani”, which is a piece from the new album written by Dave. The film clip was conceived and directed by Adelaide’s own Stephen Banham.

The launch will take place in the beautiful and familiar surrounds of The Promethean on Grote Street, and as I mentioned last time, we are lucky to have the support of some wonderful local artists. I’m looking forward to telling you more about them soon.

We would love to see you at our launch! You can book tickets here, entry is $15. We are also doing ticket and CD deals, so you can purchase the new album and entry for only $25, or both our albums and entry for $30.

We have worked hard on this new release and can’t wait to share it with you. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

xx Michelle

Introducing our Associate Artists!

Hi all! We are all abuzz here at MPT headquarters, for the release of our second album “Praeda Maris” is drawing closer and closer. The album has been mastered, and the album art is being finalised as we speak!

We are gearing up for the album launch on November 30, in the lovely surrounds of The Promethean. More details to come shortly!

However, in the meantime let me introduce our supporting guest artists….

Amongst Myselves and Oisima will be doing us the honour of playing supporting sets. Nick Graalman will be providing visuals for the night and Big Dos will be steering the VJ desk.

We’re super honoured to be supported by these talented artists!

Looking forward to the launch.

xx Michelle