Newmarket Records of Melbourne have just released “Communication” a CD celebrating the songwriting and music of the New Zealand musician, the late and eternally great Marc Hunter.

The project is the brainchild of musician “Alex Formosa Baudo”, an old friend of Marcs who has also been staging memorial live shows in Melbourne over the last few years in honour of Marcs mateship and his contribution to the Australian recording industry.

These live events have included a rotation of well known Australian musicians, all banding together in a virtual all-star group to put on a night of heady Hunter rock and roll and heart felt ballads. The shows were/are presented at various Melbourne venues, including the iconic Espy Hotel in Saint Kilda.

I connected with Alex through a mutual love of Marc Hunters music and that of his band over the years “Dragon”.

Albeit borders apart (he in Victoria, me in South Oz), it has been a labour of love helping to promote the live events through the creation of various posters, video and promo images.. some of which even ended up being used in projections at one of the live shows.

One particular image from the series of posters graces the front cover of the album “Communication”.

The illustration started out as a mixed media combination of photographs, traditional media, hand drawn plus painted elements, digital collage and some big city chalk.

I used a process of multiple scans, manipulation, rescanning, ink/paint embellishment (notably the background city scape) and then returned the whole thing into PhotoShop for additional digital effects with a few final tone adjustments. I was very happy with the result and thankfully so were many fans of Marc and those close to him.

As things turned out, I ended up designing the whole layout for the CD.. front, back, inside sleeve and the imagery on the CD. Alex OK’d my concept for the inner sleeve, which referenced the red ribbon or tape used in the original music video for the song “Communication” and which Marc featured in. I also edited the photographs used on the album, made some specific font choices and colour corrected for print on completion.

I’ve mentioned before how I love mixing art and music. This combined with my love and respect of Marcs music, became a project I was more than happy to have contributed to. It’s also a little surreal seeing my name on the same acknowledgement page as several great Australian musicians.

Sitting on a couch in my lounge room typing this post and listening to the Communication album, I am reminded of the very reason I ended up putting brush, stylus and pen to paper not so long ago.

I’m looking at a black and white picture hanging on a wall at the end of the room. It’s a large oil on canvas portrait of Marc Hunter which I painted long before all of this interstate communication with Alex began. It’s a comforting reminder to me of how music can inspire art. How words and instrumentation can fuel another form of creativity or means of expression.. in essence the love and joy music brings to ones life. I’m fortunate to have been a part of that.

So a toast to one of the good guys. No Fiji Bitter on hand but some fine wine will suffice.

It’s Celebration time..