This Friday the lively events programme at the St Bride Library offers a conference on Design for music / Music and design. Another strong reason to get to St Bride’s this week: to catch the splendid ‘Designing information before designers’ exhibition before it closes.
The National Mental Coach of the Netherlands – Wim de Bie – recently visited Zutphen (‘book-city Zutphen’) to ask and answer the question ‘how do you choose a book?’.
Last Saturday morning, the two Bach Players CDs were included in a roundup of recent Bach recordings on BBC Radio 3’s ‘CD Review’ programme (one can listen back to this on the BBC website for the rest of this week). Presenter Andrew McGregor had good words to say about the discs, and he found time to play three whole tracks to represent their great diversity of material. He also summed up why these discs are different from the average classical music CD: each is shaped by an idea, and the varied component parts work together to represent that idea. So they go a different route from the familiar ones of presenting similar pieces by a single composer, or stringing together pieces to showcase a certain artist. McGregor said: ‘It’s a lovely way of providing a different kind of context for Bach’s music, especially with Hugh Wood’s thoughtfully illuminating notes. The Bach Players have gone an unusual route with these recordings, teaming up not with an established label but with a book publisher specializing in design – Hyphen Press. Bach arranging and arranged is the first volume, Every one a chaconne is the second; I hope there’ll be more.’ There will.
As from today we are reducing the price of Fred Smeijers’s Type now, from £17.50 to £10. The book was made on the occasion of the award of the Gerrit Noordzij prize to Smeijers and surveys his work up to then (November 2003). Given Fred’s remarkable productivity as a designer, one might say that this survey is out of date. But a large part of the book is addressed more generally to the conditions of making typefaces now, culminating in a manifesto for designers in the digital age. This discussion, we think, hasn’t been superseded – or discussed enough. So the book is still worth getting. We are working now on a second edition of Fred Smeijers’s Counterpunch. The changes will be significant: certainly enough to make those who have the first edition want to have the second too.
news | 2010.01.04 | Hyphen news
Books are zero-rated for Value Aded Tax in the UK, but CDs are not. From this week, the rate of VAT on CDs goes up from 15 to 17.5 per cent. This has prompted us to raise the price of the Hyphen Press Music CDs from £14 to £15. But, given the present exchange rates of the UK-pound to the euro and most other currencies, this may not mean much to buyers outside the UK: one would still pay significantly more on the European continent for CDs of this kind.
news | 2010.01.04 | Hyphen news
Thanks to everyone who sent greetings and good wishes for the new year. If we haven’t acknowledged you, it’s only because we’re buried in the processes of making and selling books and CDs. This year should see at least one major new work published (to be announced here soon), and the reappearance of some tried-and-tested books from the back catalogue.