Isn’t she a beauty? What a Sweet Child, I’m wild about her! The cover is by Fabien Loris, an underestimated (and often unknown) French illustrator. One of these days we want to tell you about his venturesome life and work. But today we dwell on his skilfulness to apply geometrical patterns, lines and planes in order to achieve powerful designs. The work of Loris is strong because not only does he elegantly stylise his subject (in a wild art-deco or cubistic fashion), he also continues his abstraction in the decor, the lettering and the creative layout of the sheet music cover. His images stand out from the sometimes dreary crowd of printed music.
The cover ‘For My Sweetheart’ is another example in which Loris boldly uses stark shapes, straight lines and coloured planes to attract attention. It is as if Loris wants to use the few seconds that someone pays attention, to conjure up an atmospheric image about the song, and fling at that persons eye the mood and the intensity of the music.
For other sheet music designs, Loris fearlessly went further into abstraction, letting go almost all figurative representation. We can only thank whoever was in charge at the Francis-Day publishing house, to have let the young Fabien Loris have his artistic audacity…
The abstract covers of Loris are vibrant and dynamic. They are of course physically static images. A decade later in 1938, the German scissor-and-paper magician Oskar Fischinger brings the playful relation between animated abstract form and music to the summum bonum. Take delight in what he created for Franz Liszt’s 2nd Hungarian Rhapsody !