for percussion and electronics

Sacred Places I (Angel) for percussion and electronics was commissioned by the Concertgebouw Bruges in 2017.
This work is inspired by the mural ‘Angel’ of Belgian artist Luc Tuymans, which he painted on
a concrete wall in the ‘Angel Room’ of the Concertgebouw Bruges.
It will be performed in that venue in November 2017 by percussionist Dominique Vleeshouwers.

Wim Henderickx was inspired by three elements of the mural; the black shadowed head, the wings of the angel
and the harp.

For the musical material, the first part of the Gregorian 'Missa de Angelis', the Kyrie, served as an inspiration.
The work has three parts: Kyrie, Christe and Kyrie and they flow into one another without interruption.
In the first Kyrie he uses metal instruments, such as crotales, triangles, Tibetan cymbals, etc.
They create a mysterious and also theatrical atmosphere.
In Christe, heavy rhythms are performed in different speeds on a set-up of different skin instruments.
In the final part, the second Kyrie, the basic melody is recognizable in the crotales.

The percussionist also uses his voice as a supplement and support of the percussion part; whispering, shouting, singing,... The electronics produce a constant metallic sound, which is very static. This is to depict the background of the painting,
a concrete wall.

According to Luc Tuymans, this painting is both attractive and somewhat offensive. Wim Henderickx uses this double sidedness in the musical evocation; crude passages are alternated with graceful melodic fragments. The entire atmosphere of the work has something of a shamanic ritual. The title Sacred Places refers to a form of spirituality.

'Angel' of Luc Tuymans



Norsk Musikforlag (publisher)


Sacred Places I (Angel) (2017)
for percussion and electronics
commissioned by the Concertgebouw Bruges
World premiere: 17 November 2017
Concertgebouw Bruges
Dominique Vleeshouwers, percussion