Robert Baarda is an actor, theater director, teacher and a friend of mine. He's also a singer-songwriter who wanted to fulfill a long-cherished dream: making his own record. From early 2014 till June 2017 he worked hard to reach that goal. It’s been a long and tough journey to create this musical document, a result of a personal odyssey (conquering inner demons), perseverance and crowdfunding.
The song lyric ‘Populism on the go, we’re living in a freak show’ on the cover sets the tone immediately. The album essentially focuses on the madness of our time, whether it is political or not. It's a crazy world out there; a modern freak show.
For the design of the artwork Robert wanted a vintage ‘look & feel’ (hinting the time of the old freak shows) executed with a modern character. So I created contemporary pictograms as ornaments for the cover. They show the troubles of our time (9/11, money, oil, war, global warming) in three of the corners. The fourth one (below right) represents hope, faith, love, peace and revolution. Robert is pictured in the middle dropping tarot cards, which are often used for divination. A few tarot card illustrations have been created for the booklet to accompany some of the song lyrics. ‘The sign of the times’ is a recurring theme throughout the album. In one of the photos (taken by Berno van der Wal) Robert is holding a classic pendant which inspired me to use such a clock for the cd label.
Together Robert and I screen printed the album sleeves on black corrugated cardboard in two colors: white and bronze. All in all it resulted in 294 beautiful, original and numbered copies which we’re very proud of. Besides the cool packaging it’s also a great and timeless record!