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Book Arts Collection

A guide to discovering artists' books in the Book Arts Collection at Hill Memorial Library.

About This Gallery

In this Gallery, you will find artists' books that take inspiration from music. These books may include music accompaniment via CD, fine press style printings of operas, visualizations of song cycles, and works that play with the idea of the musicality of language. The styles and techniques featured in this gallery vary widely!

Artists' books inspired by Music

Ornamentik: op. IX for Stuart Dempster: for one or more performers no. 1

Phillips, Tom. Ornamentik: op. IX for Stuart Dempster: for one or more performers no. 1. London: Circle Press Publications, 1968.
M175.5 .P46 O76 1968 MAP, Rare

This graphical score is an example of the intersection of visual art and music, indeterminate music, and minimalist composition. "The piece may last any length of time, determined in advance. The piece consists of a held, sustained, or otherwise maintained note, chord or sound, which is decorated (ascertainable time intervals) by brief ornamental flourishes derived from the symbols opposite..." --Performance note.

Sanctae Hildegardis Circulus sapientiae = Circle of wisdom

Hildegard, Saint. Sanctae Hildegardis Circulus sapientiae = Circle of wisdom. Newark, Vt. : Janus Press, 2001.
BV469 .H534 S9513 2001 OVER, Rare
Pop-up book with handmade and pulp-painted papers to celebrate the 900th birthday of Saint Hildegard; accordion and woven, non-adhesive binding; songs performed by Anima (musical group) and recorded on accompanying CD.

Eco Songs

Bužarovski, Dimitrije. Eco Songs: a Song Cycle. Tempe: Pyracantha Press, Arizona State University, School of Art, 1998.
N7433.3 .B89 1998 c.2, Rare

A multi-format structure: a codex featuring individual poems and an accordion with the song cycle displayed typographically and accompanying CD. "This book will give the reader/listener insights into the composer's thinking by presenting the original poems as well as the lyrics..." -- Introduction


Müller, Wilhelm. Winterreise. [London] : Parvenu Press, c2005.
PT2436 .M7 W613 2005 FLAT, Rare

"WinterReise words from Schubert Song Cycle by William Müller together with words and collagraphs by Carolyn Trant" -- Colophon. Embossed handmade paper covers, collagraph, and overlapping Schubert and Trant text combine in this work.

Ode to a Grand Staircase (for four hands)

Chen, Julie and Barbara Tetenbaum. Ode to a Grand Staircase (for four hands). Berkeley, Calif.: Flying Fish Press, 2001.
N7433.4 .C436 O34 2001, Rare

Letterpress printed cut card panels attached to concertinas on both sides creating two spines. Pages are cut in layers to resemble a staircase and open from the center in the fashion of French doors. Inspired by the music of Erik Satie.

Dido and Aeneas

Purcell, Henry. Dido and Aeneas. Newark, Vt.: Janus Press, 1989.
ML50 .P99 D5 1989 FLAT, Rare

Deluxe edition of the libretto, which is based on Virgil's Aeneid. Multi-format structure using sewn pamphlets into the valleys of the larger accordion structure made from pulp painted handmade paper. A recording of the opera is included. "The opera was perform'd at Mr. Josias Priest's boarding-school at Chelsey by young gentlewomen; the words by Mr. Nahum Tate; the musick composed by Mr. Henry Purcell."

Duke Bluebeard's Castle: Libretto for the Opera in One Act

Bartók, Béla. Duke Bluebeard's Castle: Libretto for the Opera in One Act. Llandogo, Monmouthshire, UK: Old Stile Press, 2005.
ML50 .B287 K42 2005 FLAT, Rare

"The images use two different printmaking techniques. Woodcuts (printed in black or in white) are printed from the wood. The red printing was generated digitally and was printed letterpress (as was the whole book) from photopolymer line blocks ... The type is Joanna, the paper is BFK Rives ... The edition consists of 150 copies, numbered and signed by writer and artist"--Colophon.

Red folio with a pop up of a multi-colored grid separating the word

Bluebeard's Castle

King, Ron. Bluebeard's Castle. Guildford : Circle Press Publications, 1972.
N6797 .K56 A4 1972 FLAT, Rare

In this Bluebeard's Castle, Ron King also took inspiration from Bartok's opera and produced his first pop-up artist's book, which plays off of the idea of seven doors and seven secret chambers from the opera. The folios open up to reveal a sculptural pop up, sometimes referencing a stage, alongside Roy Fisher's printed poetry. Materials include screen printed color card stock papers, reflective papers, and metal pins.

Letters and jazz: for Richard Hamilton, Lester Young, Charlie "Yardbird" Parker

Brecht, George. Letters and jazz: for Richard Hamilton, Lester Young, Charlie "Yardbird" Parker. Köln : Edition Hundertmark, 1983.
N7433.3 .B74 1983, Codrescu Collection of Outsider Literature

A zine type book that plays with the idea of jazz and sketchbooks.

Duck Blind

Kelly, Bill. Duck Blind. San Diego: Brighton Press, 2013.
N7433.4 .K458 D83 2013 FLAT, McIlhenny Natural History Collection

Three years in the making, Bill Kelly's book of woodcuts and writings was inspired by the musicality of language. Studying poet Robert Pinsky's translation of Dante's Inferno, he built his own "selva oscura" (dark forest) through a series of intricate prints and word ruminations. The poetry and prose that make up the text of Duck Blind helped him carve the wood so he could hear his meanings. 'I get an image from the sound of the metaphors,' he said. For Kelly, the writings and images must be seen together..."--Brighton Press 2014 catalog

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