Austrian art-rock designed as ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’
Design between music, performance and communication.
The Austrian band Blank Manuscript creates uncompromisingly bizarre rock music. The band has distinguished themselves with sophisticated symphonic arrangements and extensive psychedelic improvisations.
Internationally successful, Blank Manuskript released their third album, “The Waiting Soldier”, in 2016. The album is about loss of identity and the emergence of a fictional working environment.
Blank Manuskript’s album releases are collaborative productions between musicians and designers. In “The Waiting Soldier”, the lyrics of the album were to be the basis of the visual design and the stage design. The task for IDL was to design a product language that makes “The Waiting Soldier” tangible as a complete work of art in image, sound and as a stage show.
The band’s logo was reworked as part of the album’s release. The signet consists of a dichotomy between fracture and grotesque styles. The font used for the band name is FF Eureka Mono. The emblem was designed by hand for the project.
Research and Material
The starting point for the design and implementation was the research and evaluation of photographs and artistic works during and between the two World Wars. Building on the historical figure of Jacques Vaché, an early colleague of André Breton, one of the founders of Surrealism, a visual language was created in reference to Dadaism and Surrealism.
“The Waiting Soldier” was released both as a CD and as a vinyl edition. The core element on the cover of the releases is a cutout photo of the head of a World War I soldier. Around this motif there is a collage of surreal objects and materials.
The hand-written booklet appeared in the form of a folding poster, or on the inner part of the cover of the vinyl edition. The names of those involved in the release and the lyrics are included.
Presentation as rock opera
In its performances Blank Manuscript draws the audience into extravagant musical spheres and thus creates unique effects.
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