Mass of Life

2011 - 2015

Frederick Delius was a composer whose music I enjoyed when I first discovered it in the mid 1970's. I collected all of his recorded works over the following years but I eventually tired of it. When I finished writing my novel in 2003, I had incorporated, in one of the final chapters, a scene where the reader is taken on a journey through the artist's studio. On his work desk were the sketches of his current series of paintings that contained references to A Mass of Life and to Nietzsche (Delius created a gigantic choral work called A Mass of Life using text from Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra. The journey also contained descriptions of the huge paintings against the studio walls.

When I completed Nocturnes, my previous series, I kept recalling the above chapter from my novel and decided to play A Mass of Life after not hearing it for about twenty years. The revisit rekindled my early enthusiasm for Delius's music and I decided to do eleven paintings to correspond to the eleven parts of the choral work.