Early Heaven

Brown, Joshua

About the work

Early Heaven was composed January-February 2020. First performance 7th March 2020 by the Devon Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter. This event was organised for CoMA’s Festival of Contemporary Music for All.

This composition for flexible mixed ensemble was inspired by a Chinese garment in the Finders Keepers Gallery of the Royal Albert Memorial Museum. It relates to the idea of simple threads being woven together, and ancient Chinese philosophies in the I Ching combined with the programming language pioneered by Alan Turing. The influence of weaving can be heard via a mix of free and strict melodic lines, with different musicians’ timings and material acting as the warp and weft of the musical fabric. This helps to highlight binaries found in the trigrams of the I Ching and the asymmetry of the ancient “Early Heaven” configuration. By using these binaries as analogues for Alan Turing’s coding language, the music can “programme” the musicians while allowing for the unforeseen creative input of individuals to act as “ghosts in the machine”.

This work was made possible due to the support of the John Rylands Research Institute.


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score & parts


Sample score



0m 00s




Voices and Instruments
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