Van Dyke Parks combines art with music

Legendary Beach Boys collaborator teams with contemporary illustrators for his new series of singles
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Van Dyke Parks

Van Dyke Parks

By Chris M. Junior

Starting in August, Van Dyke Parks will release the first of six new singles in 2011, the musician/producer’s first new music since “Orange Crate Art,” his 1995 album with Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson.

Parks commissioned contemporary American artists to illustrate each single with what he describes as “a work of art that relates to the music within.”

“Dreaming of Paris”/“Wedding in Madagascar,” scheduled to be one of the first singles in the series, was illustrated by Ed Ruscha, who created the sleeve for “Smile,” the shelved Beach Boys album for which Parks contributed lyrics.

In other news, look for “Arrangements by Van Dyke Parks,” a 15-song compilation album featuring Little Feat, Bonnie Raitt, Ry Cooder and others, on Sept. 20.