The process of creating the album cover for Viken Arman’s Willow took longer than designing a cover normally takes, as we had set ourselves the tough goal of visualizing music by dividing it into molecules or atoms and then putting them back together into an image. And the only person with whom I would be able to travel this long and difficult road was Davit Yukhanyan. Just one request - hit the play button to listen to EP while you explore what we have achieved.
In the beginning was the Word, but it was the Eye in our case. The only thing we knew right from the beginning was that we wanted to create everything around the eye. Why, you may ask. Because the eyes are the mirror of the soul, as they say, but they reflect music in our case. We have spent long days and nights trying to figure out why we want to focus on the eye; the right one or the left one; which part of it we want to depict or maybe the entire eye is better. One thing we realized after all was that music is the soul, and the cover is the body that contains the soul.
The next thing we decided in the process was to conditionally divide the cover into six parts, with each of them set to serve as a stand-alone cover for one of the six songs on the album. That is, one cover was going to comprise six covers at once. Then we began to discuss the more complex issues, such as which character suits the best to a particular song, how to fit an entire song into a small image or vice versa.
When the picture was finally ready, none of us could believe it as we had been working on it regularly, every day, for six months. And then we realized that we can’t divide the cover into six parts even conditionally and started to look for characters instead, each of which would become the face of one song.
This is how the cover eventually ended up looking like, with two things changing towards the end of the process: first, the color of the eye - hence the color of the vinyl itself - and second, we decided to unveil the six covers one by one, so that people get to put all the details of Willow together.
As the process of creating the cover and all the discussions were mainly happening at Rambalkoshe, it became one of the first places where Willow was presented, though Viken learnt about it later. We invited some people, projected the cover onto the wall, played the vinyl - which was yet to be released - and started joining the two together. More official presentations followed at Berlin’s Zeiss Major Planetarium and the famous New Morning nightclub in Paris.
This is where our journey ended and started Willow’s path. And we are confident that whoever buys the vinyl, even without knowing its story, will see the soul through the eye, the soul we candidly put into the project, realizing well and fully that this is perhaps the only honest way.