People say that CDs are going the way of the dinosaur, but a new CD can still engage me in a way that downloaded music does not. Beyond the sheer joy of listening to good music performed well, I’ve always been a big fan of thoughtful, beautiful packaging. A CD isn’t just a means of presenting music; it can also be an opportunity to showcase great artwork, excellent design, and liner notes that can both enlighten and entertain the listener.
Nearly six years ago Tiresias Duo (my flute-piano duo with Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa) released Delicate Fires: Canadian Music for Flute and Piano, thanks to a grant from the Canadian Music Centre BC Region. This CD was a “first” in a number of ways: for both Rachel and me, it was our first commercially available CD recording; the disc also featured three beautiful, newly commissioned pieces by BC composers Jennifer Butler, Jocelyn Morlock, and Rodney Sharman — all of which have enjoyed multiple performances over the years; finally, Delicate Fires was the first CD to be released on the Redshift Records label (the catalogue is is now up to six CDs, with another three on the way). I still remember sitting at the kitchen table with (my then) Co-Artistic Director Jordan Nobles, both of us giggling like a couple of pathetic nerds when we decided to give Delicate Fires the catalogue number “TK421” (hardcore Star Wars fans will appreciate the reference).
Some time last year we realized that we would soon deplete our stock of Delicate Fires CDs, but thanks to generous funding from the City of Vancouver, we were able to afford a second run that not only would keep this CD available for years to come, but would also allow for a sleek new graphic makeover by Simon Butler at ThinkSavvy Designs and bilingual programme notes by Caroline Gauthier. The reissue also features some shots from a photo session Rachel and I did a few years back with the incredibly talented S.D. Holman. And the CD still features cover art by my good friend, the gifted Vancouver-based painter Nancy Blanchard.
And the most exciting part? The CDs arrived on my doorstep today. I’ve included some highlights from the booklet below.