For my BA project I’m currently finalising the illustrations for each of 10 classical pieces of music for the a BBC “Ten Pieces” booklet. All of the pieces’ illustration will have this same look, and look a little abstract; trying to create images that people can relate to with the music but isn’t a specific image (music is conceptual after all). This one is for A Night on the Bare Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky.

This piece is supposed to make your bones rattle and give you the sense of fear and evil at work. It describes a short story in which St John sees a witches’ Sabbath on the Bald Mountain. The 23rd June, according to popular belief, is the night when evil forces are at work and witches came out, but when the church bell chimes 6am and the sun comes up, the witches vanish.

I wanted to create smoke-like shapes to symbolise the spirits and witches flying and whizzing through the air towards the mountain. I used green, purple and turquoise to further emphasise the evil forces. The mountain itself is very minor and doesn’t stand out as much; I want it to seem like the mountain was engulfed by the evil forces. I was going to do something with the 6 chimes (signifying the sunrise), but I think that would have been too much and taken away from the night-time scene. But what is your opinion? Should I have incorporated the chimes somewhere in it? Do you think it looks like evil souls swooping around a mountain? Comment your opinions below.

But what is your opinion? Should I improve it any way? Listen to A Night on the Bare Mountain below my picture or watch A Night on the Bare Mountain by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales for ‘Ten Pieces’.

UPDATE: My Ten Pieces project is now complete and can be seen in the projects section.

10 pieces Night on the Bare Mountain illustration