Posts from the Instrument Roses Sheet Music Category

I’m not going to apologise for it, but I will warn you that this post contains some unusually lurid language, paired with both religious imagery and Harmonia Mundi albums, so if you hold either of those things to be particularly sacred, you might want to give this one a miss. You’ve been warned.

Have you ever noticed how all the people in oil paintings look like assholes?

I really don’t see why you’re being so uptight about this. Your mother has needs too.


I’ve admired the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment‘s publicity materials since I was a student. Early music has known its share of ill-considered outfits and dated hairdos, but the OAE always looks fun and classy. I wanted to know how they do it, so I cornered Will Norris, the orchestra’s communications director, and asked him. Then I stole a bunch of pictures off their blog, because that’s what you really want to look at. Enjoy.

Anthony Pay (clarinet) and Roger Montgomery (horn), 2010


Classical musicians can be incredibly cheap when it comes to promotional photography.

I suggest to people that they should spend at least one gig fee each year on their pictures. They’re usually surprised that anybody should spend that much on a photographer. I wonder if the photographers think it’s a lot to pay somebody who just plays a bit of music.

Anyway, I could be dishing out bad advice. Here’s an outlier in the ratio of profit to photographic budget.

Celtic Woman is a new-agey vocal show propped up by an interminable series of PBS specials. The first of these albums was released in 2005. The last will be in stores in just over a week*. To date, they’ve sold more than 3 million units. That’s a whole warehouse full of CDs. You’ve got to hand it to them. They kept the branding consistent. They also left themselves room to fire any of the performers: the woman on the cover isn’t even in the band.


I generally try not to make fun of crossover acts, but it’s Christmas, and this is my gift to myself.

La Voce

Epic Records, 2010: “We’ve successfully poached one of Decca’s most derivative crossover artists. Why mess with perfection? Let’s use the same art direction as his debut album* and just translate the title into Italian.

* Stand on a bridge, put one hand in your pocket. Look smug and confused at the same time, like this one from ten years ago…

The Voice

Meanwhile, in another office just around the corner… (more…)

When I started writing this blog, I promised myself that I wouldn’t post anything just for the sake of having something to say. It’s a rule that I’ve broken a few times, but it has never worked out well, and I’ve learned that every time it seems like I’m never going to have an idea again, something magical comes along.

I’m between jobs and there’s nobody pitching me half-assed ideas, so I was starting feel like I had a case of bloggers block until an amazing bit of spam from Universal stepped in to save the day.

The task is simple. Use the comments to provide a caption to this image:

This is bad time of year for record releases. In the next week or two, we’ll start getting all the good stuff that they want to sneak in before the September 3oth Grammy deadline, and then it’ll be the run-up to Christmas. In the meantime, somebody needs to make fun of the records that got dumped on the market in the summer while nobody was looking. A few of these are really rather good. The others? Not so much.

David Garrett

He had made some bad decisions in life, but he understood now that this was something he had to do. (more…)

Nothing says “we perform together on a regular basis and have achieved a sublime rapport as a chamber ensemble” quite like a badly-composed collage of individual promotional photos.

Hagen Quartet

Once the whole band had contracted narcolepsy, it became impossible to get a picture of them all with their eyes open. (more…)