The cover design for Mossy Nolan by Damien Martin.
This is what singer and musician Mossy Nolan says about himself: ‘I am from Galway city but I have been based in Dublin for the past three years. I am a singer/musician and play mainly folk and traditional music. I arrange traditional songs and tunes and also compose my own tunes and write songs as a solo musician. I am part of a very friendly folk collective called the Lazy Band, and also play with a very talented singer from Cavan called Lisa O’Neill.’ He plays bouzouki, mandolin, tenor banjo, guitar and sings. He cites as influences Andy Irvine, Joni Mitchell, Planxty, Seán Tyrrell, Joan Baez, Anne Briggs.
Nolan has just released an album of ten tracks, mostly songs with guitar/bouzouki and upright bass accompaniment. The songs ‘Letterfrack, Your Letter Back’ and ‘Man Midland’ are originals written and composed by Nolan. Nolan also composed the instrumental pieces and tunes ‘Happy At Home’ (which he puts on the end of ‘Letterfrack’), ‘I Met Betty Kelly’ (which he puts with ‘the Swedish Jig’), ‘Two Flats One Pump’ and ‘Corkadoragha’. He sings new arrangements of ‘Spencer the Rover’, Francis McPeake’s ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’, Liam Weldon’s ‘Dark Horse on the Wind’, and Ewan MacColl’s ‘Tunnel Tigers’.
Colm McGowan plays guitar and Cian Murphy plays upright bass on a lot of the tracks.
In relation to the unusual cover format and design, Nolan explained to the Journal of Music: ‘I used to work as a graphic designer and specifically for packaging so I have a grá for folding and paper and that. I am sick of seeing artwork suffer having to be printed on cheap stock and fitted to a plastic box size and also see it as a waste of the plastic. So I came up with the folding idea from one piece of A3 uncoated paper.
‘My friend Damien Martin is a very talented illustrator and paper cut artist. I had seen pieces similar to the CD art where he themes a film, or book etc. So I gave him the background or concept on all the pieces of music and asked him to first come up with illustrations for all of them and then figure out a way he could firstly work that into the folding and the canvas size, and secondly make them work as a paper cut. So, long story short, he did it and I have the original piece framed here at the house in A1 size. It took three attempts to photograph the thing in order to make it look raised or three dimensional. It also took a few attempts to get the right paper weight for the folding and the weight of a disc.
‘The inside with the grid (which is supposed to represent a cutting matt) and the rotating text is done by myself.’
Published on 30 May 2012