Wednesday, 25 November 2009

An English Arcanum



A WHILE AGO I told you of three mysterious hares who shared between them just three ears and yet had two ears each. All over Dartmoor these hares can be seen, in the roof bosses of churches, on shop signs and plaques on buildings. And now they can be seen leaping around the second album from Oxford folk band Telling the Bees. You may remember my artwork for their debut Untie the Wind. And just one year later these four talented musicians have put together another exquisite collection of music. An English Arcanum is a mossy basketful of eleven sonic tales made with bagpipes and concertina and voices and mandolin and cello and a good deal of acorns, and it is just wonderful. I was delighted to be asked again by this lovely foursome to make the artwork for their music and this time I am even happier with the result. And so, I am pleased to say, are they. It is all rendered in fine fine pencil. An old one-toothed man, a wayfaring musician, walks out of the woods carrying a barrel organ / cabinet of curiosities which bears a compartment for each song. (The lone tooth was inspired by the one swinging gnasher of a rural farmer called Ivan who we met on a windy hilltop in Wales!) From under his hat poke oak leaves and he wears a pilgrim hat badge of a bee. If you look closely you'll find all sorts of little puzzling details which will make sense when you hear the songs.

(please click to enlarge)

Inside the three strange hares circle the CD deftly as the music plays...



Oak twigs entwine with lyrics...



Old riddles are unravelled by the four winds...




And the four musicians look on proudly...






The new album is already receiving deservedly glowing reviews and the official album launch is this Friday 27th November at the Queen of Clubs cabaret, Holywell Music Rooms, Oxford, if you should be in the vicinity. Otherwise you can have a listen and order a copy of the album for £12 from the band themselves here, or find news and buzzings on their blog.

For me there is something intrinsically right about combining music with imagery, if you listen to this beautifully crafted music whilst looking at the drawings I hope you can almost imagine the pencil strings thrumming.
An English Arcanum is exactly that - a beautiful evocation of an old and strange yet wildly familiar England.

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

Corrr! That's a bit special!!! Love to you both as always. Hope the wind's whistling round rather than through the van!

Anna x

Jessie said...

Hi Rima, It's great to seee your new artwork for the band! I bought their last cd which we enjoy and your artwork is so well suited to their music. I hope one day to get to one of the gigs.xx

Lynn said...

Really beautiful, so many neat little details!

~Lynn

Big Fat Mama said...

Hi Rima--I am a Canadian and follow your blog from afar. You fascinate me--your art, your lyrical writing, your lifestyle. The blog allows me a little peep into a life so different from my own.
Thanks.

pRiyA said...

this is pretty mind blowing stuff. very inspiring and beautiful!

Karen said...

Beautiful work Rima x

Kitty said...

Oh it's been worth the wait! Your artwork is exquisite as always - and on listening to some of Telling the Bees music, it fits perfectly.

I hope the rain isn't dampening your spirits.

Tonia said...

I love Telling the Bees and the illustrations are perfect for it: perfect reading and listening for a wintery, blustery day!
Love the idea of saddling up the hares and riding away too: but which one would get two full ears?
Perfect blog: thank you.

Shaista said...

I find your blog pages so incredibly fascinating - who wouldn't?! What great skill and talent to be able to touch your pen to paper and produce stories, entire fables with a few strokes and lines. I love your imagination and this wonderful world you have illustrated for us to enjoy. Have a beautiful day!

Anonymous said...

Lovely work Rima (as per usual ;)).
Heard some of the band's tracks and your artwork being praised on Sideways Through Sound. Loved it :)
As others have said, hope the weather is not causing you too many problems. It is really wild up here in bonny Scotland today, but fingers crossed it is drier and warmer where you are.

Corena X

Kari Lønning said...

Absolutely beautiful drawings and graphics Rima. Congratulations to you and all those whose art and music went into this.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I am off to have a listen.
Your artwork for them is perfect!
Happy Thanksgiving. I realize it's an American holiday, but everyone can participate methinks!

Ellen said...

Are any of the CD's available in the good ole USA? I have enjoyed your site so much! Your art work is wonderful to the eyes and heart!

tui said...

I once watched a lovely girl with some paper and a pencil spend days and days and days sketching with tiny headphones being a permanent fixture right there next to her ears. I watched from the start to the finish, I was just over there. Happy days. Well done to that girl and all of those bees !

Carol Anne Strange said...

Hello Rima, This is the first time I've posted but I've been reading your blog for a while. What an inspiration you are! I love your work and your outlook on life. Wishing you lots of magic. xx

CRY said...

i will check them out
love tha artwork

Martin H. said...

This is a wonderfully crafted blog. So much quality and so many fine items.

Your artwork is superb and the band's music no less.

Carol Stocker said...

Rima, I would buy their CD to just see your artwork up close...it's STUNNING! What a great collection of art you have created for their album...it's magical. Hugs, Carol

Ciara said...

Oh Rima!

More stunning wonders from you. This is beautiful!

As ever...

Cx

Melanie said...

What a perfect positioning for the 3 hares where they can run round and round on the CD,

Lovely art word Rima. Yes I know the Holywell Music Room. Lovely venue. I hope your cover helps the album to sell.

Meg said...

Too bad I'm in the States.

Regina Rozenbaum said...

Rima
What an inspiration you are!!! Lovely work (as per usual)...It's magical...It's so bad, I'm here in Brazil snif,snif,
Hugs
Regina
www.toforatodentro.blogspot.com

Heather said...

Your artwork for this new CD is out of this world Rima. I love that emblem of the three hares and the exquisite touches of the oak leaves on the pages displaying the lyrics. Genius.

mama p said...

I cannot wait to hear it! The artwork is perfect...I was so glad to learn of them through your first work with them (illustrating their debut). Gorgeous, I can tell you enjoyed the process!!

Anna said...

I had never heard of this band before, until I saw your art and checked them out. They're really great. I feel your art really embodies their music.

joana soares said...

I have listen "Telling the Bees" a while ago, thanks to you, and loved their sound. I will buy the CD if I find it in Portugal. Would be wonderful to listen such beautiful songs looking at such wonderful drawings. Yes... I think I will imagine the pencil strings thrumming...

Rebecca L. Hurst said...

Beautiful, delicate, evocative work, Rima. Can't wait to hear the music that has inspired such gorgeous art!

Mel said...

Lovely. I discovered your blog a week or so ago and have been lost in your world reading back-posts for a few days. There are no words for how beautiful your work is. I always wanted to be an artist, but sadly I only encountered thoughtless and unkind teachers involved in those endeavors and I eventually gave up. Now a few years older (and I hope wiser) I realize it was the teachers who failed... not me. So I am trying to be brave enough to try again.

What I'm saying in all this rambling is that your work inspires and I'm grateful that you share it with all of us.

Thank you.

A mermaid in the attic said...

HOORAY! Rima is back! I've tried SOOO hard to be patient, but 3 weeks is a long time to wait for one of your glorious posts. The CD artwork is beautiful...makes me want to abandon colour completely and rediscover my graphite pencil box! Stunning images, stunning words...as usual! Thank you for being here to inspire us all. :)

kanmuri said...

Beautiful work!!

Lunaea said...

Rima, your art and your words move me as always. And the music is just what speaks to my soul. Can we get it in the US?

Christine Gram said...

Your beautiful artwork makes me feel like I'm falling in love. I come here just to gaze at it and feel the world cradle me in it's arms. Breathtaking.

Rima said...

Thank you folks for all your kind kind words as ever. Apologies for floating off for a bit, sometimes life takes over, doesn't it.

For those who have asked about CD shipping to the US and elsewhere I am sure that would be possible. You can write to the band here info@tellingthebees.co.uk
So pleased you love the drawings :)
Wishing you all a cosy end-of-November..

Astral Cat said...

Just beautiful, a very happy marriage indeed. I'll keep an ear out for this CD when I head back to England, and eyes peeled for the three-eared hares! Blessings, AC xx

Gwen Buchanan said...

Hi Rima, Your drawings are amazing and the music joyful ..Gorgeous, they are!! a most wonderful compliment to one another.. I am having a listen while I hammer and twist wire in my jewelry studio.. ... Love it all!!!

Understanding Alice said...

these are all so lovely, thank you for sharing them :)

jeff said...

Je suis sur le cul... comme d'habitude !... Oups ! Sorry...;-)
Really beautiful ! ! !

Amitiés !

Jeff

Rebecca S. said...

I am imagining the pencil strings thrumming...wonderful!

I'll check out the band.

Cheers!

Griffin said...

Er, an awful lot of acorns?!! Looks fabulous as I expected. I am impressed that you managed to saddle those hares tho', usually they are off and away before you get a chance.

Love the idea of Letcher, Fletcher, Griffiths and Webber too... sounds like Trumpton! Wot I wanna know tho'... is wot are they telling the bees?!

TheFeltElf said...

Beautiful work Rima ;)

Telling the Bees said...

Hiya, just to add that our CDs are available direct from us in the UK, and from CDBaby. Click on the music page at www.tellingthebees.co.uk

And yes, our fabulous website is designed by Rima too. We're very lucky to have found such an amazing artist to work with.

Andy and Telling the Bees

Evangelina Prieto said...

So beautiful,nostalgic and poetic.
Congratulations
Flying hugs from the other side of the ocean...

theundergroundrestaurant said...

Genius! If you are ever around Kilburn, drop by for tea or a bath or whatever...

susan said...

It's always a delight and a marvel to stop by to see what you've been doing and the wonderful photographs of where.

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

Exquisite perfect and gorgeous Rima! I can't wait to get a copy of their CD, I loved their first one.

I trust all this rain isn't hampering your progress too much?

Zlatica said...

I love all your work - it´s incredible. And your stories as well. I´m curious to read every new posts from you.
I want to let you know that I pass the One Lovely Blog Award on to
you, because I think your blog is lovely.

Here is the link for you:
http://pupaart.blogspot.com/

wintergreen.3 said...

Beautiful work as usual Rima. I do live near Oxford, unfortunately it's Oxford Wisconsin. I'll visit their blog and see if I can order the new CD.

Dixie Sargent Redmond said...

Beautiful! :-)

Yoli said...

I would buy the CD just to own the artwork. EXQUISITE!

Tejasplants said...

Absolutely exquisite! YOU are a gift to me, Rima. I must find a way to buy this CD for me and for gifts!

Tejasplants said...

Rima, I just wanted to let you know that I ordered from CD Baby on Sunday 12/6 and received my order on Thursday 12/10. I'm totally impressed with the music and totally happy to have found a source in the US!!! I bought 2 copies, one for me and one for my best friend. Thanks again for your incredible work!!!

a pink dreamer said...

a fantastic blog!ãnd full of inspiration!!!!!!!