Arjuna’s Dilemma, an original 70-minute chamber opera by Douglas Cuomo based on the Bhagavad Gita, is a dramatic blend of contemporary Western and traditional Indian styles, structures and techniques. The CD packaging needed to be elegant, lyrical, and associative, an evanescent staging ground for the musical journey. It needed to be restrained, as a way to invite a deeper engagement with the music, and the ideas it explores.
To meet this challenge, we created a visual universe to frame and inform the text. The earthy rich black and gold palette sets the stage for contemplation. We created the powerful cover graphic, a frayed rope, pulled dramatically in opposing directions, which references competing desires, letting go, the struggle to know oneself. We also shot the strand of pearls, a symbol of wisdom and transformation, re-framed as a supple fabric, unfurling, liquefying. The experience of the CD packaging, like the music it contains, is, at once, minimal, intense, kinetic, and meditative.