V.126 The Former Heaven and the Former Earth

The Former Heaven and the Former Earth (V.126)
Sketches on Hieronymus Bosch

Hieronymus Bosch was a late 15th century Dutch painter whose largely religious works feature fantastical elements not found again in art until Dalí. His works, in particular The Garden of Earthly Delights, exhibit many strikingly modern elements, like dramatic use of light a shadow, an encyclopedia of fantastic creatures, massive amounts of detail, and elements which only gain pertinence through their consistent use (like Dalí or Prokofiev). The large canvases and triptychs also unfold in a stream-of-consciousness like way; wherever one’s eye is drawn to, that place and its little story expands to rejoin the whole.

Bosch and others like him occupied a rare and ultimately isolated place in art history; while their subject and realism would filter down through the ages, the cosmically imaginative elements of these early Renaissance works were quickly neutered into the strictures of reality.


In these sketches, I hoped to recreate some of the effect of letting one’s eye explore a Bosch work. It is written with semi-strict rules, governing completely free musical material.

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