The Dawning: Rachel CD Release Concert

When Rachel Beausoleil start­ed work­ing on her lat­est album, she approached me about design­ing the art­work. We sat down and threw around some ideas before she even start­ed record­ing, but did­n’t come up with any­thing sol­id because I did­n’t have a sound to go on. All I knew was that it was a med­ley of songs, not like her last album where the songs fol­lowed a theme.

One day I came home to find a record­ing of the album in my mail­box, yet to be mas­tered. She named the album after the epony­mous track, The Dawning, which is a jazz arrange­ment of the famous song Aquarius, a per­son­al anthem of hers.

The Dawning artwork front

She gave me her notes soon after, so I put on the album and gave it a good lis­ten, feel­ing a cer­tain clar­i­ty from her sound. It made me think about dawn, and space, and sun­ris­es, and hot colours, so I incor­po­rat­ed those ele­ments when lay­ing out the text, as well as some bokeh to give an off-focus glim­mer.

The Dawning artwork back

When I showed her the ini­tial designs, she said it matched her vision com­plete­ly. She had just come back from a camp­ing trip, where she woke up to this image on the lake every day. The back and the front go togeth­er, so that the art­work becomes one con­tigu­ous piece when opened.

The Dawning artwork inside

As a final touch, I added sil­hou­ettes of birds through­out the piece for the idea of free­dom. And damn, I’d be lying if I said I was­n’t proud of the final prod­uct. Especially when the album comes on, and I see the art­work on my iPhone. You can head over to her web­site (which I also designed) for some sam­ples of songs from The Dawning.

Wide angle band

Thumbnail: Bryden on bass
Thumbnail: Rachel at piano
Thumbnail: Rachel singing
Thumbnail: Yves-on-piano
Thumbnail: Bass

The CD release con­cert was fan­tas­tic. Rachel is a singer who def­i­nite­ly feeds off the ener­gy of the audi­ence, and the Fourth Stage at the NAC is the per­fect venue for inti­mate per­for­mances. There was a good mix of old favourites and new mate­r­i­al too, where one was left with both sur­prised and sat­is­fied.


  1. The first word that pops up in my mind is gen­e­sis, I vague­ly remem­ber some doc­u­men­tary about the begin­ning of man show­ing big flocks of birds fly­ing over the African tun­dra.

    • Interesting, that image sounds famil­iar to me as well. Maybe I saw the same doc­u­men­tary, although I think birds in flight may have some kind of uni­ver­sal con­no­ta­tion.

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