Tearing Paper for Teardrops

(Sometimes Mondays are Tuesdays...)

Spent the weekend counting, tearing & recounting paper for Harold Budd's Aurora Teardrops. Without this being the plan, it turns out that both papers for the project (deluxe & regular versions) came from the studio of painter Takao Tanabe, purchased by him in the late 1950s during his brief tenure as a job printer. These papers were too nice for commercial work, so they sat in his studio for four decades and then migrated to HM, thanks to Tak's generosity.

The deluxe copies will be printed on sheets of T.H. Saunders mouldmade laid (alas, no watermark). The regular copies will be printed on Golden Hind, the paper detailed in this post from last year. Both sheets will be dampened for printing (because after all, what's the point of printing with a handpress if you don't dampen your paper?).

The book (7.5 x 10 inches, approximately 60 pages) will be printed in folios. Details from Jane's paintings - also folios - will be reproduced on semi-transparent drafting vellum, nested in the text sections. (Smaller test proofs are shown in the pamphlet above.) The book will also include eight new arabesque drawings by Harold, interspersed through the text. The deluxe copies will be bound by Claudia (details TBD), the regular ones cased at HM.

I'll be setting up a project page on the HM site to chronicle progress over the next few months, and provide more details as they as finalized.


The first copies of Barbara Hodgson's Mrs Delany Meets Herr Haeckel are being sent out from Claudia's bindery. Below is a surreptitious shot of the binding, which includes onlays and extensive tooling. More detailed images will follow. The edition is fully subscribed: if interested please contact the booksellers listed on this page to inquire about availability.


They Tend to Rust

One of the many reasons Hell On Wheels is kool (from S4:E2):

"The platen on these Washingtons get stuck from time to time. You might want to replace the coiled springs. They tend to rust."

Also, it's filmed in a beautiful part of the world (pretty much the same area where Clint filmed Unforgiven, also excellent). Perhaps an upcoming post of handpress cameos in contemporary cinema? Meanwhile I'm worrying about where to find replacement coiled springs, should they ever be needed...


Oops It Happened Again

Two of my favorite colophons, printed by the same hands (but more to the point, proofread by the same eyes?). Baskin got away with it, not sure HM could.

The Poe book is an oddity. It was printed in in 1972, bound the following year, and not issued until 1975. Maybe the typo wasn't discovered until things were being collated for binding. This copy is inscribed by LB to the binder - "your bindings inspire me to make great books" - but the binding is actually a pretty dull affair, simple cloth over boards, with the title stamped oddly high and to the left on the front board. And the slipcase it too tight. And LB's anastatic print tipped on to the title page is not a showpiece for the relief-etching technique. But still, kool colophon. It inspired the colophon for HM's book Metal Types.


A New Harold Budd Page

Longtime HM bookseller Books Tell You Why, Inc. has just launched a page on their Web site dedicated to our publications with composer/musician Harold Budd. This is the first time all of his poetry collections are available in one place, along with some biographical details, videos, and links to longer articles about him.

There've been a few other Budd-related developments recently for the upcoming Aurora Teardrops. Both are also David Sylvian-related. First, we confirmed that David will be signing the 26 deluxe copies, which is kool. And second, we're going to include a copy of the manuscript score for Harold's composition "It's Steeper Near the Roses" (Dedicated to David Sylvian) from the Avalon Sutra album. I've been wanting to print a score of Harold's for ages, and the why & how have finally come together. The piece is just over a minute, so the score fits neatly on a single sheet.


My interest in printing a score goes back to the Carnival project, for which Harold created six copper plate engravings, each one named for a Renaissance composer. One of them - Baude Cordier - sometimes wrote shaped scores (like shaped typography) that are beautiful, and sparked the idea of printing scores in Harold's delicate hand (his scores aren't shaped, but they include interesting, non-traditional elements). Then I found this (below) in a Berkeley paper ephemera shop: a 19th century score for the first horn (trumpet?) from Barber of Seville.

Printed from engraved plates (look at the lettering!), both sides, on a beautiful, thick & textured handmade sheet. Eight pages total, sewn in a practical (& lovely) stiff holland paper wrap.

Anyway, along with the 59 poems and Jane Maru's art that you'll find in Aurora Teardrops, there also will be a facsimile Harold Budd score. Score! Till then, go shopping at the Books Tell You Why page.