A watercolour 14" x 16". Completed in 2005.
I’m delighted that this nocturnal landscape has become my most publicised nocturnal artwork. All due thanks go to my dear late friend Keith Emerson for commissioning the painting for what turned out to be his last album Three Fates.
This painting spanned over 40 years of our work together. Keith summed it up by exclaiming, "We have mellowed".
As a result, Moonlit dunes, became an integral visual aid for the albums promotion. The limited edition version includes a fine video of the entire musical production while the album was being recorded. The watercolour's presence within the film lends a poetic sense of continuity to this fine documentary.
The painting also became a huge tranquil blue backdrop through out Keith's performance of “Three Fates” at the Barbican Theatre London with the BBC Concert Orchestra 2014.
The painting continues to have musical connections by partial inclusion on my vinyl album, ‘One More Time’, a sojourn of music and paintings.
Perhaps the finest example of the paintings contribution, is an ever changing detailed collage. This classic foundational approach evokes a powerfully constructed trailer for the initial Three Fates promotional video.
However, a short observation only touches the things seen about this painting. The things ‘unseen’ make this artwork a true stand alone memory. At its origination at no time was it ever considered to be an album cover. All I recall while working was the ease of how watercolours evoke a nocturnal theme with such richness and authority. It was a rare, delightful experience. When Keith approached me with his idea for it’s use as an album cover, we had an instant problem. The only remaining image of this work was a small photo file, useless as regards larger reproduction. The original had been sold in 2005, it was now 2011, a lot can happen in over 6 years. Had it been resold, lost, stolen or strayed ?.... even tracing the collector was a complex procedure, he lived in America! Imagine the joy when we finally found our man ! What’s more, he turned out to be a huge ELP fan, who willingly undertook all the new photographic requirements for us. Importantly it’s only right to mention that Marc Bonilla and Terje Mikkelsen both felt this painting was perfect for the album, in fact ‘poetic’ as to choice, subject and timing. I hope this brief insight into the artwork and presentation of Moonlit dunes, reveals the integrity and endeavour by everyone involved with this project. It’s been a delight to recall this story spanning over 40 years of working with such truly talented musicians.
"Wills art gave Emerson Lake and Palmer it’s substance, a visual substance that allowed those that listened to become more involved in listening....and listen.
His new work goes beyond the boldness of his original art with us by being delicate, thoughtful and bold. There is something magical about that. They all have a unique translucent luminous quality, which William defines so well and has made his own."
Keith Emerson. Musician / Arranger / Composer 1944-2014