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June 28th, 2011

Adolph Wölfli: The Heavenly Ladder / Analysis of the Musical Cryptograms

Posted by michael lavorgna in Art, Music


Adolph Wölfli
The Heavenly Ladder / Analysis of the Musical Cryptograms
by Baudoin De Jaer

Belgian composer Baudoin De Jaer has unraveled and deciphered the twisted musical markings of Adolph Wölfli (1864-1930) and he performs 32-songs-worth on violin (Wölfli used to perform them on paper trumpet). I wonder how De Jaer did it – have you ever seen one of the thousands of pages Wölfli created while interned at Waldau hospital in Switzerland?

A challenge to say the least. Comes with a 52 page book which I look forward to reading when I order my very own copy since the story behind this music helps fill out the notes.

You can hear snippets of every song here and read about another interpretation of Wölfli’s musical work on LP here.

I was fortunate to have seen a show of Wölfli’s work at the American Folk Art Museum in 2003 and the multiple floors of wall covering artwork left me completely exhausted.

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