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Behind The Artworks: BURNTFIELD - IMPERMANENCE (2021)


Jesse Harrison, a versatile visual artist and photographer from Finland with an incredible sensitivity for atmosphere, designed the entire artwork of Impermanence. I’ve admired his work for years ever since stumbling upon the truly remarkable album covers and music videos he created for the ambient record label el culto. Having previously worked together on the Hereafter album art in 2018, but back then using a set of existing photos he had already taken before, this time I wanted to give him the ultimate freedom to start from scratch and develop the imagery from there. We also made a clear distinction in that we wanted to shift the focus to more close-up images, as opposed to the wide landscapes of Hereafter. Consequently Jesse would shoot in the nature, send me ideas and drafts for comments, and we soon found a common idea of what to look for in the artwork. The final set of photos selected for the album art was all black and white, which somehow also felt completely natural and clear from early on. Communication with Jesse was, as always, extremely professional and smooth, and having patiently and constructively taken all my input into account, he delivered a brilliant result. I find that the cover image, along with the rest of the photos, beautifully visualizes the concept of Impermanence and the fragility of existence that the album deals with.

Another anecdote about the album art worth mentioning is the presence of photos - the CD booklet has two different portrait photos of me in the front and back cover. These were taken in 2018 and 2021, respectively, by Bambos Demetriou of Unmask Photography - an extraordinary photographer in Amsterdam and Nikosia, Cyprus. With the first one dating back to the dark period that also inspired the beginning of the album, the photos capture the real and authentic feelings at each time in my life with aching honesty, whilst representing some kind of growth as a human being, thus aligning with the type of journey the album makes as well, both in terms of the songwriting process behind it and the final sounding result and the listening experience.

Next to designing the album art, Jesse Harrison also realized the music video for Empty Dream, so the collaboration with him has been very many-sided. I feel that the video, shot in monochrome, and using mostly a fully manual objective Jesse inherited from his grandfather, captured the atmosphere in a way that can really speak to the viewer/listener. Jesse’s wife Olga is the special guest star on the video, which depicts the sadness and the longing in two parallel storylines: her in the Finnish nature and me in turn in a city environment. Together we felt the creative process and the output became natural and direct, and in that way in line with the flow of the music.

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