Commissioned by Dark Inventions for their Firewheel project, part of the Sound and Music ‘Composer Curator Scheme’. Premiered by Dark Inventions at The Engine House, Manchester, 8th May 2014.
The Four Last Things takes its title from Hieronymus Bosch’s painting ‘The Seven Deadly Sins and The Four Last Things’, a work of art that depicts its religious subject matter in the visceral style associated with its artist. Bosch’s work has always fascinated me: its detail, immediacy and sometimes grotesque subject matter keep me coming back to it.
There is no direct parallel with the painting in this piece, but inspiration has been taken from the manner in which Bosch juxtaposes images whilst creating consistency and continuity between individual parts. The simultaneous discreteness and dependency of separate elements is mirrored in the treatment here of instruments as both soloists and part of the group. Each player has moments of overt dominance, but even whilst providing more of an accompanying role, they still present material that is striving to be heard above the rest.