WORLDWIDE WEB PREMIERE OF WIRE & GLASS
|We have an amazing 28 min. animation WIRE & GLASS, created by master multimedia designer Aubrey Powell. To watch the full-length version of Pete Townshend’s mini-opera, first heard on The Who’s most recent studio album, ‘Endless Wire’,|
WIRE & GLASS
1. ‘Sound Round’- 1:21
2. ‘Pick Up the Peace’ – 1:28
3. ‘Unholy Trinity’ – 2:07
4. ‘Trilby’s Piano’ – 2:04
5. ‘Endless Wire’ -1:51
6. ‘Fragments of Fragments’ (Pete Townshend, Lawrence Ball) – 2:23
7. ‘We Got a Hit’ – 1:18
8. ‘They Made My Dream Come True’ – 1:13
9. ‘Mirror Door’ – 4:14
10. ‘Tea & Theatre’ – 3:24
In an exclusive interview for thewho.com, Multimedia Designer and Director AUBREY ‘PO’ POWELL & Graphic Artist RICHARD EVANS talk to Rob Lee.
NB This interview is over 70 minutes long and concludes with a track by track director’s commentary on ‘Wire and Glass.’
Hipgnosis was a British art design group that specialized in creating cover art for the albums of rock musicians and bands, most notably Pink Floyd, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, and The Alan Parsons Project. Hipgnosis consisted primarily of Storm Thorgerson, Aubrey Powell, and later, Peter Christopherson.
In 1968 Thorgerson and Powell were asked by their friends in Pink Floyd if they were interested in designing the cover for their second album, A Saucerful of Secrets. They were, and did additional work for EMI, including photos and album covers for Free, Toe Fat and The Gods. Being film and art school students, they were able to use the darkroom at the Royal College of Art, but when they completed school, they had to set up their own facilities. They built a small darkroom in Powell’s bathroom, but shortly thereafter, in early 1970, rented space and built a studio.
When first starting out, Powell and Thorgerson adopted their name from graffiti they found on the door to their apartment. They liked the word, not only for sounding like “hypnosis,” but for combining two somewhat contradictory terms, “hip”, or new and cool, with “gnosis,” relating to ancient learning.
Hipgnosis got its big break in 1973, with the cover for Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. The final design was one of a number laid out for the band to choose from. According to drummer Nick Mason, it was the immediate and unanimous choice. The record itself was wildly successful, which put it in the hands of millions of fans, and it has since been hailed as one of the best album covers of all time (VH1 rated the cover as #4, in 2003). After that, the firm became in-demand, and did many covers for high-profile bands and artists such as Led Zeppelin, Genesis, UFO, Peter Gabriel and The Alan Parsons Project. They also designed the cover for the original UK paperback edition of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Peter Christopherson joined Hipgnosis as an assistant in 1974, and later became a full partner. The firm employed many assistants and other staff members over the years. Of particular note were freelance artists George Hardie, Colin Elgie, Richard Evans and Richard Manning.
One notable fact was that Hipgnosis did not have a set fee for designing an album cover but instead asked the artists to “pay what they thought it was worth,” a policy that only occasionally backfired according to Thorgerson in his book on album cover design.