HORROR VACUI (2020)
For Concert Band
Duration Approximately X:XX
(work in progress)
FULL SCORE / 2 (+Picc) 1 1 (+Contra) 3 (+Bass, Contra) Alto (2), Tenor, Bari / 3 4 3 1 1 / Timp Perc (5)
(Click here to preview score)
Horror Vacui (from the Latin "fear of empty space"), also kenophobia (from the Greek "fear of emptiness"), is an age old concept. In visual art, horror vacui is the filling of the entire surface of a space or an artwork with detail. Evidence of this fear is visible throughout history, in busy, element-saturated work of past masters of the brush and canvas. This impulse, either by compulsion or intention, can be overwhelming to behold, bombarding the senses with an almost psychedelic experience. In our modern world we see the concept made manifest in our over-scheduled lives, filled with projects and busyness. Our culture reveres this break-neck pace, even at the cost of our mental and physical health. We seem to fear the "emptiness" of a life not overflowing with activity.
Musically, there are many possible interpretations of this concept (I may begrudgingly acknowledge that I'm guilty of dense scoring...), and I also think that the phrase is intrinsically and aesthetically spooky, conjuring the sights and sounds of Halloween with all of it's bizarre, campy associations with monsters, ghouls, werewolves, and aliens.
Trick or treat...
"The Fall of Babylon" Jean Duvet, from the Apocalypse series, circa 1555.