Contributions by Haruki Murakami, Robert Wyatt, Yulia Mahr & Jay Rubin.
Conception Max Richter and Nic Shonfeld. Photography Nic Shonfeld. Design by DLT.
Re-issue by Deutsche Grammophon, 2016. Original issue by FatCat Records, 2006

Sent: 27 June 2006 00:19
To: Nic Shonfeld
Cc: Dave Thomas; Alex Knight
Subject: Re: first images for 'Songs From Before'

Hi Nic
Thanks for this - really useful... OK more info on the record for you - most importantly the texts - all from Murakami - read by Robert Wyatt, who i always think of as part of the Soft Machine - their visuals in turn by Mark Boyle (at UFO in 1967), of the Boyle family - black and white psychedelia.

The record is a collection of images - all relating to bits of other songs - some "classical" some "rock etc"...its not that they are covers, they just have other music buried inside them. a puzzle box.

Do you know those boxes by Joseph Cornell?  the record is like a box full of found objects - arranged to make some sort of sense - to me at least.

The music is alternated with very quiet fuzzy dubs - surrounded by them maybe. Mostly these are made of shortwave sounds - the shortwave universe is going silent - replaced by the internet - ionosphere is the bit of the atmosphere that the radio bounces off...

I really like the dirty grainy distressed surfaces in Robert Franks work - Also the movement - I don't think this should be in an y way sharp. I think this connects with the analogue and tape aesthetics of the music... We can add more stuff to them too - the texts maybe. bits of music written out maybe? i'll scan some in and send it over 300 dpi?

I think this is 'second unit' music - like the landscapes, tracking shots, etc the second unit shoot on a film - the negative space around the subjects - except that the subjects are absent.

As another strand what about flowers as in track 2? i mean very dark flowers!

The Rue Vilin is where the french writer Georges Perec lived as a child.

Hope this makes a bit of sense!