Album Design: Fennesz + Sakamoto- Flumina
Flumina is the result of a musical collaboration between electronic producer Christian Fennesz and composer Ryuichi Sakamoto. The recently released album is getting rave reviews for its ambient, minimalistic sound, which interchanges between soothing melodies and avant-garde atonalities.
The atmospheric music features a piano and digital electronics and was made over the course of a couple months when Sakamoto played the compositions with various key changes while he was on tour.
The album cover for Flumina is a fitting visual representation of the music itself — a photograph of open waters in constant motion; a steady, serene plane intermittently fragmented by transitory crests.
The visual design of Flumina reminds me of another album from over two decades ago that is also known for its all-encompassing auditory experience: Ride’s Nowhere.
Ride was a British alternative band that formed in the late 80s and paved the way for the shoegazing scene. Shoegazing (and therefore, the sound of Ride in general) can be described as an amorphous blend of droning, subdued riffs and indistinguishable, detached vocal melodies.
Similar in both subject matter and color palette to Flumina, the cover artwork for Nowhere features a photograph of a building wave. The wave and ocean waters are both powerful and sedated, much like the full, evocative sound of Ride’s album.