(London): Sounding Art Press, (2007). Square quarto, measuring 10.75 x 9.75 inches, full midnight blue blindstamped cloth, dark grey endpapers. Full-color plates throughout text. Original blue blindstamped cloth slipcase. Presentation note from Jane Mackay laid in, dated in the year of publication.
Signed limited first edition, presentation copy, of this unusual artist's book, featuring 33 abstract watercolors by English painter Jane Mackay, each inspired by a musical passage from Benjamin Britten's chamber opera The Turn of the Screw, which was itself a response to Henry James's 1898 ghost story of the same name. James's plot, in which a pair of children face a supernatural evil that may well exist only in the mind of their governess, haunted Britten after he heard a 1932 adaptation on the wireless: “impressive but terribly eerie and scarey." His 1954 opera, with libretto by Myfanwy Piper, would become one of his signature works. Mackay's vibrant, saturated watercolors are accompanied by passages from Britten's score “chosen for their specific synaesthetic relevance to the original paintings," and each pairing is accompanied by a commentary by musicologist Andrew Plant. Number 192 of 300 copies, signed by Mackay, Plant, and countertenor James Bowman, who contributed the preface. A fine presentation copy.