Typographic Reflections 7

Peperback: 40 pages
Publisher: helmut schmid design
Language: English, Japanese
Product Dimensions: 25.0 x 25.5 cm
Release Date: 2010

composed on the hand press and

in the days of hot metal type, a typesetter was also called a compositor and the work-room was also called a composingroom. though the names are not so
far apart, a composer of music and a type compositor expresses two contrasting aspects of the creative process. the composer is free in his creation, a compositor had to live with restrictions, given by
the precise measurements of his typographic material, by the rectangular way
of composing. the composer is an artist, the compositor is a craftsman.

but there were always attempts to break the rules of typography. the compositor had to challenge his material and suppress his pride. he was given sketches to typeset by people from outside his trade. artists like the russian el lissitzky,the german kurt schwitters, or the clutch piet zwart did not care about the sanctity
of the printing trade, or the functionality of their sketches.

the nirvana symphony by mayuzumi impressed me with its delicate tone structures and bold sound clusters.
after having met the composer, i decided to translate the work into typography.

after trying different directions i applied the sutra suramgamah,which is integral to the symphony. the composition of
the chanted sutra in the varying voice pitch style of buddhist priests, and the composition of the temple bell effects, inspired me to interpret the symphony with the newly typeset sutra. to me, the multistroke chinese ideographs (kanii), and the tiny japanese reading guide (katakana), express the dark and light tone structures of the sonorous nirvana symphony.

what mayuzumi achieved by creating tone clusters with a full orchestra and male chorus, i tried to form typographically by spontaneous inking, by sprinkling ink cleaner on the printing block of the sutra, by different proofing speeds of the letterpress. all improvised in the composing
room of yarakasukan inc in osaka in 1970.

in search of a different expression,r i also experimented in the darkroom,r using
two negatives of the sutra exposed directly on the silver gelatine paper (photogram).

helmut schmid

活版印刷機で作曲する そして








series of booklets
printed in single black
concept and design: helmut schmid

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