Visual design for Sointi Jazz Orchestra's third studio album Saarnaaja
Saarnaaja (The Preacher) – the third studio album of Sointi Jazz Orchestra, starring the legendary Juhani "Junnu" Aaltonen as the solist. The whole album is composed to take full advantage of the powerful combo of Junnu and SJO, featuring godly improvisation full of gravitas backed with the massive sound of one of Finland's top tier big bands.
I’ve been working with Sointi Jazz Orchestra for many years now. They’re one of my oldest clients, so we have a pretty solid workflow when it comes to creating visuals for a new studio album. We sit down with Rasmus Soini, the founder and conductor of the band, and chat about everything that currently is on our mind. I take notes, doodle sketches and ask questions. We let it all be for a few months and meet again to share new thoughts and see if our previous ideas still hold up.
I get a lot of artistic freedom and usually like to try out something I have not done before. In Saarnaaja’s case I wanted to try to illustrate a 3D-like look using 2D planes warped into different shapes. The basic idea for the cover illustration comes from one of the songs in the album “Soita niin ettei lammen pinta rikkoudu” which basically means that you can play as loud and hard as you like as long as you keep it all together. Hence the turbulent waves trapped inside the flat surfaces. I also feel this describes Junnu’s play-style really well, his sound can be extremely rough but still beautiful and calm at the same time.