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M.U.S.I.C. (M.U.Z.Y.K.A.)

Polish title: M.U.Z.Y.K.A.
Text: Michał Libera, Michał Mendyk
Illustrations, layout and texts on the illustrations: Aleksandra and Daniel Mizielińscy
Publisher: Wydawnictwo Dwie Siostry
Warsaw 2017
Dimensions: 20 × 20 cm
Hardcover 224 p.
ISBN: 978-83-65341-36-5

M.U.Z.Y.K.A.

English title: M.U.S.I.C.
Text: Michał Libera, Michał Mendyk
Illustrations, layout and texts on the illustrations: Aleksandra and Daniel Mizielińscy
Publisher: Wydawnictwo Dwie Siostry
Warsaw 2017
Dimensions: 20 × 20 cm
Hardcover 224 p.
ISBN: 978-83-65341-36-5

This book is a part of the S.E.R.I.E.S.

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The sixth volume of the educational series initiated by “D.O.M.E.K.” (H.O.U.S.E.). “D.O.M.E.K.” was our debut and the only book in the series that we both wrote and illustrated. Other our titles in the series are: “D.E.S.I.G.N.” and “S.Z.T.U.K.A.”.

“M.U.Z.Y.K.A.” introduces selected composers, musicians and their works. In 44 lightly written chapters the readers can find John Cage, Steve Reich, Arnold Schönberg, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Paweł Szymański and Iannis Xenakis, as well as The Beatles, Brian Eno, Einstürzende Neubauten, Kraftwerk and Madonna.

The book tries to present different ways of thinking about sound, music, composing and being a musician.

The role of illustration was not to visualize music, but to tell a parallel story to complement the main text. Illustrations, dialogues and side notes frequently poked fun at composers or presented concepts. By doing so we wanted to show that contemporary music gives a lot of room for interpretation. That the sounds of our surroundings can be just as appealing as a symphony. That pop or rock music can be just as revolutionary as works of great classical composers. In contemporary music anything can happen and this is what this book is about.

The book is accompanied by a website muzykownik.pl, which allows the readers to listen to the pieces of music mentioned in the text.

The book was typeset using Macho and Mr Dodo. Letters in the chapter titles are based on a Lullabies font.

All of the illustrations were drawn on paper. First we started with typesetting, then we printed the layout and sketched on b&w prints. Then we used thin, semitransparent layout paper to make the final inked illustrations. Next step was to scan it, place it in InDesign layout and make last corrections if they were necessary. Finally we added colour in Photoshop.

Foreign editions

  1. Czech, H.U.D.B.A., Jakost, 2018, ISBN: 978-80-270-3706-3

Upcoming foreign editions

  1. German (Moritz)

  2. Korean (Pulbit)

You can find a Google Sheet with a list of all our foreign editions here.

Accompanying website

Muzykownik.pl is an easy way to search and play pieces of music written about in the book. It even has some additional illustrations and examples only mentioned in the main text. We couldn’t get permissions to host all of the sound samples, so almost all of the elements from the list are simply external links.

The site has a fluid layout (RWD), so it looks equally good on phones and other devices. It’s super easy to translate (translator just has to go through single JSON file) and launch as a new language version on our foreign publisher’s servers. No server side database or other configuration is needed. This was essential for easy and quick deployment, because publishers wanted to have the website under their own, local domains.

It’s a secret

The site has some hidden Easter eggs. When you type specific words in the search box, you can get results that can’t be found just by scrolling. Try some of those to check it out:

  • redakcja (Polish word for “editor”)

  • hipopotam

  • dwie siostry

  • księgarnia (Polish word for “bookstore”)

  • ogarnianie (semi-Polish verb for managing stuff)

  • napisali (Polish word for “they wrote”)

  • fonty (fonty is a not so Polish plural word for fonts)

Foreign versions

  1. Czech version: www.poslechovnik.cz