Solar (Icarus burning) takes inspiration from the late 16th Century painting by Pieter Brueghel Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, that hangs in the Musée des Beaux Arts in Brussels, as well as W.H. Auden’s response to seeing the painting during his visit to Brussels in 1938:
‘In Brueghel’s Icarus for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster’
In March 2023, composer Howard Moody will follows in Auden’s footsteps and takes another look at Brueghel’s picture. When moving the picture to a contemporary stage, Daedalus and his team of scientists and innovators have to focus their work on sustainable innovation. Icarus is expected to have full awareness of the natural world yet still have courage to test its boundaries. The crowd must face the potential disaster rather than turn away, questioning its own part in the action. The ancient proverb “en de boer hij ploegde voort” (and the farmer continued ploughing) is no longer an adequate defence.