Letterpress & Binding Studio

Colorful Fortune

Poems & drawings
Harold Budd (HM Editions & MoonLiner Books 2009)

Emerging in the 1960s from the American minimalist movement, Harold Budd has become one of the country’s most prolfic and influential composers and musicians. Throughout his career, poetry – or what he refers to as “something like poetry, but not the same thing” – has been an occasional companion to his music (which turned away from minimalism starting in the early 1970s).

The first half of Colorful Fortune presents the debut of an extended cycle in 18-parts titled “Poem Sketches 2007–2008.” The second half presents 11 poems which first appeared on three of his albums from the 1990s: By Dawn's Early Light, She is a Phantom and Glyph. The book also includes 14 original drawings by Harold, inspired by the music of Monteverdi and Tristano. These “arabesque” drawings are variations on a theme that could be described as a visual expression of his music: a string, or line, or thread, that travels, meandering across a page, entering at one point and departing at another. Some background on the project’s development is offered below.

The book (5.5 x 9 inches, 34 pp.) was designed by Rollin Milroy, set in Perpetua types, and printed letterpress at Black Stone Press. It was issued in two different editions:

A limited edition of 50 copies, signed and numbered by Harold, printed on Rives Lightweight. Copies 1–10 were bound by Claudia Cohen in quarter leather with paste paper sides. Bound into these copies are intaglio prints of four preliminary arabeques that Harold drew for the project, but which were not used in the final layout; and one of the 14 original drawings reproduced in the book, signed and dated by Harold.

Copies 11–50 were bound by Keith Lowe in a limp paper vellum case. The case, custom made by Reg Lissel for this project from abaca fiber, is semi-transparent: it is lined with a sheet, visible through the cover, printed with the title and one of the drawings.

A trade paperback edition, printed from the same setting on Mohawk Superfine acid-free paper. These copies were Smythe sewn and put into a stiff paper wrap printed in two colors. The paperback edition was issued exclusively by MoonLiner Books.

Colorful Fortune

Colorful Fortune