I photographed Portico Quartet during the recording and mixing of their self titled third album at The Fish Factory and at Real World Studios. A selection of the photographs are finding their way into the world as part of the ‘digital booklet’ provided to iTunes customers, so at the same time as being widely distributed they remain slightly obscure, but if digital buyers have perused their downloads they’ll have seen some of these images of the group at work.
So much of the work that goes into ‘music product’ remains hidden - where book sellers both physical and digital are getting better at letting you ‘see inside’, we don’t seem to have quite caught on to the value of showing people what they get along with he music if they buy the product. The iTunes booklet and iTunes LP are prime examples of this - where you can often preview the music, the visual side is only revealed once your purchased. I’m not suggesting the almost oxymoronic ‘digital booklet’ will swing anyones decision to buy, but if they are worth making, they must be worth displaying. This seemed particularly true of the New Blood ‘Deluxe’ book we made last year, I know I’d want to see inside, so I made a quick film flipping through it’s pages. That film’s been quite popular, with 100,00 views on YouTube, but there is always the view expressed by one of the top comments on that page -
Well that’s saves me buying the book to read thanks.
I guess the question of how much content you put outside of paywalls is one of the biggest around - if people can see or hear it all on-line, will they still buy?
Regardless of how they’ve heard it, there has been a great reaction to the Portico Quartet album since it’s release a couple of weeks ago, and it’s been good to watch the YouTube views on Ruins climb into six figures. Some of the album reviews have been amazing…
...an epic journey, a fabulously sequenced aural experience…
...Initial reactions of open-mouthed astonishment soon give way to another kind of awe: Never mind the shock of the new, it’s the shock of the excellence which keeps you coming back for more. emusic.com
I’ve still got some Portico Quartet projects on my drives, so there is more to come, but also more to gather as their live show is going from strength to strength and I’m going to point my lens at them next week at the fabulously named York Hall in London.
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