20,000 Leagues Under The Sea by Jules Verne (Four Corners Books)

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The most recent in the Four Corners Familiars series, where artists are asked to create new artwork to illustrate a classic novel, puts a new twist on the notion of illustration, which this time takes the form of music accompanying Jules Verne’s classic tale of underwater adventure. Newly composed music is on a colour vinyl LP that slips inside a book of the complete Verne novel. For readers who haven’t kept their old turntables, the book comes with instructions on how to download an MP3 version of the atmopspheric music to listen to while you read.  

Jonny Trunk’s previous albums are The Inside Outside (2004) and Scrapbook (2009). He also runs Trunk Records, a record label specialising in library and film music, early electronic music and the downright weird. He says: ‘When Four Corners came to me with the idea of a book and record for their Familiars series, Twenty Thousand Leagues was an instant choice. I’ve been a collector of underwater sounds and soundtracks (think Jacques Cousteau) for many years and this would give me the perfect excuse to make my own subaquatic soundscapes. I hope the results conjure up visions through the Nautilus portholes and strange walking adventures along the sea bed. Thanks for listening.’

Four Corners Books is an independent publishing house, founded in 2007 by Elinor Jansz and Richard Embray. For their Familiars series, Four Corners commission artists to produce new illustrated editions of classic novels. By 'smuggling' contemporary art into the Classics sections of bookshops, Jansz and Emray hope that art can be brought to new audiences at affordable prices. Four Corners collaborate with artists working in different media and at different stages of their careers. Sometimes an artist's approach to their commissioned text is respectful, even celebratory, and sometimes it is subversive. In each case, designer John Morgan works closely with the artist to ensure that their approach to the text is reflected in the format and layout of the book.

Music by Jonny Trunk. Cover by Liam Sparkes

Publisher: Four Corner Books
Book, LP and MP3 download: 120 pages
Dimensions: 30.5 × 30.5 cm.

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