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Reflections on the Rite

Welcome to Reflections on the Rite!  If this is your first time visiting, please check out this post for a brief introduction.  


Spring Encounters: Proper Discord

Every Monday, Reflections will feature its Spring Encounters series, where guest composers, performers, choreographers, scholars, and students comment on their personal experiences with The Rite of Spring.  In celebrating the hundredth anniversary of the piece, Reflections will examine the Rite from every angle, and Spring Encounters gives you a glimpse into the impact the work has made on today’s culture.  This week’s post comes courtesy of the inimitable blogger Proper Discord.

Spare a thought for the people who design CD packaging. Some album covers are ill-conceived from the outset, but often they start out as good ideas, slowly ruined by an endless series of soul-crushing meetings…

1. “Do we still have those photos from the season opening, where Maestro looks bored and a bit disappointed?”

2. “Look. I’m not altogether sure what Blaxploitation is either, but this tested well with some key demographics.”

3. “I was thinking ‘Insane Clown Posse feat. Pierre Boulez’ – do you think you can do that?”

4. “Can we get some pictures that are not remotely related to the music, and put a few of them together? Don’t forget to use dropshadow. That’ll make it seem modern and ‘designy’.”

5. “I think we’ve found a winning formula.”

6. “We’ve got two landmark pieces by two famous composers, an orchestra with a strong local following, playing with their long-standing music director. Both pieces are dance-related, and one of them is a ballet. Is there any way we can get a picture of the plastic head we used to hold the microphones?”


7. “It’s getting late. Put some swirly shit on it, and we can all go home.”

8. “Well you’ll just have to go to Esa Pekka’s happy place and bring him back here. If he won’t come, take a picture of him, and bring that back instead.”

9. “Well, now that we’ve shrunk the cover and surrounded it in obvious-but-not-very-informative remastering imagery, it’s a bit hard to read, so let’s include all the information again. But don’t make it any bigger.”

10. “Never mind. I forget to design album covers all the time. Just dig out an old New Age compilation and change the title. Nobody will notice.”

11. “Make it look metal, but no umlauts this time, okay?”

12. “I’m so hungover right now. You’re lucky I spelled Stravinsky right.”

13. “Let’s see how many times we can get the word ‘Stravinsky’ on it.”

14. “Rite of Spring? Naked chicks dancing. BAM! I’m that good. What’s next?”

15. “Roman goddess. Pagan ritual. It’s all the same. Just make sure you crop her knockers out of the North American version or we’ll never hear the end of it.”

16. “If you absolutely insist on doing something ‘creative’ you can make the writing the same colour as the grass. Okay? Sheesh.”

17. “I really think this needs more logos on it.”

18. “I’ve found this cool text effect in Photoshop, but I don’t know how to turn it off and now my eyes are hurting.”

19. “I know I said I wanted it to look like a Naxos record, and I’m pleased you managed to find such an unsuitable stock photo, but I’m pretty sure even they would’ve fixed the kerning in ‘Stra Vinsky’.”

20. “I’m sick of those idiots copying our album covers. Let’s really mix it up, do something crazy.”


21. “I really just want to see some tits on it.”

22. “It says ballet. Pink and tutus. All in favour?”

23. “Is anybody else really high right now?”

24. “Leave off half the title, because, you know, erm, ‘marketing’. Right?”

25. “If we use one of my holiday photos on an album cover, I can claim the whole thing as a tax deduction. Neat, right?”

There’s a lot more of this sort of silliness at

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