Artist: Albert Ayler
Title: Holy Ghost
Designer: Art direction: Noel Waggener, production design, layout, direction: Susan Archie, World of anArchie, Chapter Header Silkscreen Design, Execution: Noel Waggener, Satch Grimley, original carved wooden “spirit box”: Reagan Johns
Type of music: Ecstatic
Notes: Ghost Box is really something else. I’ve been aware of this since its original release, but couldn’t quite justify the expense, but recently Revenant have been selling it at a much reduced price (see the news item of the other day). So I finally gave in. There is some music that’s brought tears to my eyes over the years, but this is the first time a piece of packaging has done so. Feel free to dismiss me as a sentimental idiot, but give me a chance to explain. The presence of so much intimate paraphernalia – fliers, notes, the photograph of Ayler as a child, his handwriting and the dogflower all serve to powerfully communicate – even in reproduction – a sense of the man and his absence. This is truly an example of loving design in the service of doing justice to an artistic legacy. It’s a shame that Revenant seem to have gone to sleep now, but this and the other examples featured on Hard Format are things to be grateful for.