Mozart's Requiem: An Illuminated Manuscript
An Art Nouveau inspired 60-page book with 15 full-page illustrations, lyrics in Latin and English, a brief history behind Requiem
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sat, December 1 2018 4:59 AM UTC +00:00.
Latest Illustration - Lyric page for the Sequentia Section
"In this day and age of digital illustrations and Photoshop, Matt Hughes might be one of a dying breed. In the true spirit of the Art Nouveau Movement, Matt illustrates by hand the pieces that inspire him as an artist. His distinctive illuminations feature graceful lines inspired by nature expressing nothing but emotion and beauty. On the cusp of completing his most recent endeavor, the complete illustrated works of Edgar Allan Poe, Matt has now taken it upon himself to illuminate the lyrics of Mozart's Requiem, an equally emotional master piece that touches you right in the heart." ~ Olga Harmsen, Owner of Maison l'Art Nouveau and author behind Blog About Art Nouveau
"The composer who died writing his own funeral mass: the stories and mysteries surrounding Mozart in general and his Requiem in particular have long fascinated artists in every discipline. Matt Hughes’s new work is a timeless response to an enduring and life-affirming masterpiece.” ~ Erica Jeal, music critic for The Guardian, Deputy Editor of Opera magazine
Requiem. What does it mean?
It is, for all intents and purposes, a mass for the dead. It can be spiritual, or not. It can be personal, or public.
For me, it is a celebration of life. A testament to one's absence in this world. A final cry, of joy and of sorrow, for a light now extinguished.
Mozart may have initially been commissioned to write the Requiem, but, on a spiritual level, I think he knew he was writing his own mass that would ultimately be finished by another hand.
It's quite poetic that the last movement Mozart penned was Lacrimosa . Oh, that day of tears and mourning fell from his hands and on on December 5, 1791, Mozart drew his last breath and departed this world leaving his Requiem unfinished.
Mozart's Requiem is a celebration of the life of a musical genius who's light was darkened far too soon.
The introduction of photo-mechanical engraving in the 1880s was groundbreaking for book publishing. With this process, book and magazine printers were able to reproduce artwork with much greater fidelity than in the past giving way for artists to decorate pages with such beauty that the printed work became stand-alone pieces of artwork that the everyday person could own and enjoy. What followed is referred to today as The Golden Age of Illustration. Each page was available to the artist and every aspect of the book was now available to that artist's creative vision. With this new channel available to them, those artists were able to make each page an artistic statement.
Today the book industry has all but stepped away from that vision. We at Ethereal Visions Publishing, however, are determined to bring this approach back to book publishing. Mozart's Requiem: An Illuminated Manuscript will be the first ever illustrated interpretation of this classical work in the Art Nouveau style. It will also be the first of its kind to incorporate 15 full-page illustrations decorated in gold ink (or leaf if we reach our stretch goal) accompanied by decorated pages of both Latin and English lyrics from the Requiem.
Completing the book will be a Foreword by none other than Erica Jeal, music critic for The Guardian and the Deputy Editor of Opera magazine, based in London and an introduction by Olga Harmsen, Owner of Maison l'Art Nouveau and author behind Blog About Art Nouveau.
CLICK HERE to see progress shots of the work being made!
As part of this campaign we are offering a Kickstarter Exclusive Requiem Coin. This coin will be gold with enamel paint. To add this coin to your pledge simple increase the amount by $35. Below is a mock up of the proposed design.
The first level of the book will be a hard cover edition complete with 15 full page illustrations. The gold designs on these pages will be gold metallic ink. As we reach higher funding levels we will upgrade the hard cover book to include:
Throughout my life, I have always been surrounded by music in one form or another. Music has always been present in my life - listening to music with my mother, learning how to play musical instruments in my teen years, and enjoying live performances in my adult life.
There was a significant moment of choice for me in high school - should I be a musician or an illustrator? This exposure grew even more when my wife, Hope, began studying and performing music as part of an Opera study in college. It was then that I was fully exposed to classical works, but none stood out more to me than Mozart's Requiem. The raw emotion in this final work by Mozart still communicates a sense of sorrowful self-reflection and concern to me that, on some level, every person can relate to.
The work whispers (and sometimes shouts): "Have I done all that I could with my life? Am I ready to start the next journey from a beginning again? What will that journey be and am I ready?" It is a piece of work that every artist dreams of one day producing - a timeless expression from one's soul to anyone who will listen.
Where did the idea for this project come from?
On February 8th, 2018, Hope and I attended a performance of Mozart's Requiem. We had attended performances before but this one was different. At this performance English translations of the Latin lyrics from the piece were being projected on screens in real time. I had read translations before but never with a live performance. Because of this I had never experienced the emotion that Mozart wanted to portray as one interpreted the lyrics. Half-way through the performance it dawned on me, "Why has no one ever produced an illuminated collection of these lyrics from the piece?".
My mind immediately went to Alphonse Mucha's work Le Pater, in which he took lines from the Lord's Prayer and put them to art in a way that was more secular and spoke to the feminine mother figure creating a far more universal concept of the text. At that moment, I felt that little spark in my stomach that said, "Ooooooohhh, that would be a fun piece to try!" You know what I mean If you are an artist; it is that inspiration that sparks the drive to take on any project, no matter the size or complexity.
I have spent the majority of 2018 brainstorming, researching, and developing ideas that finally birthed this project and I am extremely excited to bring this work to life for you. New ideas come to me every day and that spark for this project will continue to roar as long as the Ver Sacrum still flows.
I want to share this project and its development with you, and that is why, for the first time ever, I am creating these step-by-step videos, I want you to know the amount of effort, time, and creativity that goes into each aspect of every piece that will be included in this project. Every page is intended to be its own statement. And, hopefully, at the end of this, we will have created something that will do justice to one of the most perfect yet flawed pieces of music I have ever experienced. ~ Matt Hughes, Artist for Mozart's Requiem: An Illuminated Manuscript
The heart and soul of Ethereal Visions Publishing is deeply rooted in the art nouveau movement and embodies the idea that art should spark a sense of beauty, imagination, and wonder. Ethereal Visions Publishing creates beautiful artwork and products that are timeless and collectible. We create products, original artwork, and striking visual elements for publications. To learn more about what we do please visit our website at www.etherealvisionspub.com
Risks and challenges
The printer has been selected. The artist has been acquired. The only other major obstacle facing us will be the creation of the artwork and the editing and finalizing of the book design. That being said, there are always unforeseen events that can be thrown our way. If these events do arise every effort will be made to ensure the project continues as smoothly as possible. All backers will be notified regularly of our progress.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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