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Seeing New Music

Denise Burt

Seeing New Music

Contemporary classical music through the eyes of a graphic designer

Over the last 10 years, Copenhagen-based graphic designer Denise Burt has been on a unique discovery of contemporary classical music through her work designing covers for hundreds of art music releases.
In Seeing New Music she tells, from a personal viewpoint, the stories behind the creation of 24 of her CD designs. She also explains how – starting out as a music novice – she learnt to enquire and engage with the ideas behind the often complex music, in order to create more meaningful designs.

She takes us on a visual journey through a diverse range of new music projects and gives us an easily understandable entry-point into a genre of music that is generally considered difficult or elite.

‘I’ve been repeatedly told over the years that the CD is dead… I don’t worry any more about them becoming obsolete. What interests me is not the format itself but the challenge of finding a way to represent and communicate conceptual music to new audiences. It’s the ultimate design task to try to make someone understand something about a piece of music before they have heard it.’

Composers and artists represented in Seeing New Music include:

Per Nørgård (DK), Paul Hillier (UK), Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen (DK), Jexper Holmen (DK), Anders Koppel (DK), Julia Wolfe (USA), Vagn Holmboe (DK), David Lang (USA), Michael Gordon (USA), Helene Gjerris (DK), Ejnar Kanding (DK), Frank Bretschneider (DE), Bent Sørensen (DK), Morten Olsen (DK), Rune Glerup (DK) and Peter V. Swendsen (USA).

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"Burt’s journey shows familiarity breeds not contempt but informed enjoyment, which she recycles to spread the message further afield in the best way she can, through her art. Seeing New Music is beautifully produced and I have found it a delight to read – and to return to."
Guy Rickards, Gramophone
Release date: 
March 2015
Cat. No.: 
Track count: 


First editon, 2015

Vesterbrogade 26, 1620 Copenhagen V

(c) Denise Burt, 2014

Design: Denise Burt
Typefaces: Utopia and Dagny

Photographs: Anders Sune Berg

Printed and bounded by Naryana Press
Kalvsømadevej 75, Gylling, 8300 Odder

ISBN 978-87-977969-0-8

Supported by the Danish Arts Foundation