It Was 20 Years Ago Today
Well, maybe not to the day, but it was the winter of 1998. For most of the year, Dan had been working on music for a Christmas album and he’d compiled fourteen Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque-styled songs for it: nine new originals and five ancient and standard songs.
One warm, sunny afternoon Dan mentioned how hard it was to record Christmas music in the summertime; he wasn't feeling the spirit. He ended up digging through boxes in the storage closet for Christmas lights and decorations, and hanging them in the cool, air conditioned basement studio. He had an idea for a CD cover: he wanted it to have an old Nordic feel, with a Celtic font and a stylized wreath on a leather book background. We created the package together at Dan’s 15-inch Blue and White iMac .
In 2008, when it was time to re-print and scale back the package, I was inspired to give it a fresh new (old) look to reintroduce it.
I wanted something that really depicted the first Christmas morning, not just for the title, but because so many of the songs mention the birth of Christ in the manger. And it would be great if it had a medieval/renaissance feeling as well.
Dan loved Italian art and as soon as I saw “The Adoration of the Magi” by Antonio Vivarini I knew he would approve it for the cover. I found a font called “1785 Baskerville” that has an ancient document feel and put the black text on an old parchment color and added a scrolly-viney border.
This new version doesn't have a booklet so I put Dan’s lovely intro and the credits on the inside of the package. The lyrics, which were in the booklet as well, can be found here on the website or in the songbook.
There were a few changes to make to the credits, but most everything is the same, including Dan’s shoutout to his mom, Margaret, "for the ginger snaps" she sent us every Christmas. Each cookie was individually wrapped in thin foil for freshness and protection in shipping and they were chewy gingery perfection.
I hope you like the revised package, I think it reflects the feeling Dan was going for, with an elegant, classic look that will stand the test of time for generations to come. Naturally, many of you will be sad to see the old design retired, but I hope you'll come to appreciate the new one and, of course, the music remains; a timeless testament to Dan's immense talent and love of all genres of music.
~ Jean Fogelberg
My own personal thanks to Sali Kharazi at Full Stop Management for her invaluable help and, as always, Irving Azoff, who makes all things possible.