In 2009 I was contacted by Doug Slawin, a musician looking for art for an album he was working on with a collective musicians under the name Pale White Moon. Two things attracted me to his project. First, the music being represented was unlike anything I’d created art for in the past. His project was a mostly instrumental endeavor, self described as chamber music, which drew upon the talents of a range of local musicians. The second lure was the concept behind album, which was to be titled Call of the Wolf Peach, with each song being named after varieties of Tomato. Doug started by presenting me with a neatly typed information outlining some stranger archaic legends about the tomato.
In the middle ages, the plant was associated with belladonna, a poisonous nightshade sometimes used to dilate a woman’s pupils in an effort to enhance her beauty and as a hallucinogen. Some folklore also credits the fruit with being an instrument of witches, used to conjure werewolves. This folklore must have influenced the tomato’s scientific name, Lycopersicum esculentum, which translates to edible wolf peach. Some legend even purports the tomato to be the forbidden fruit that led to the Adam and Eve’s eviction from Paradise. Who knew the tomato had such a checkered past?
So the goal was to illustrate belladonna, the beautiful woman, in flight luring wolves to the edge of a quiet village with her forbidden fruit. In this project I opted for a bit of a departure from my regular outlined style to something a bit more painterly, with the illustration spanning the front and back of a digi-pack cover.
I’m pleased with the CD illustration and package design and hope it’s an adequate representation of the music contained within. Of all the musicians that I’ve had the opportunity to work with, Pale White Moon is among my favorites. It is thoughtful talented music, crafted with great care. Since its inception, Pale White Moon has enjoyed some impressive successes, having their music featured on an episode of the television version of This American Life, as well as in the documentary LaPorte, Indiana.
Here’s a video clip of Pale White Moon on This American Life.