Hermit

— New perspectives on Jerome Bosch's Hermit Saints Triptych (2016)

Jurgen De bruyn – Tom Hannes – Mauro Pawlowski – Timo Van Luijk

Hieronymus Bosch’s ‘Hermit Saints Triptych’ owes its name to the three hermits that it depicts. In the centre of the painting holding a crucifix, sits Saint Jerome who appears to be in deep meditation. Behind him, on the left panel, Saint Anthony is portrayed in a dark and burning landscape, being assailed by demons. The right panel in front of him shows Saint Giles praying, flanked by a doe in an almost idyllic scene. Jerome seems to be suspended in a moment between the darkness of insanity and serene lucidity. Is this the place of humankind? Between heaven and hell? How do they resist such a tension without crumbling? How do they flourish in the desert, staring at an icon whose meaning on some occasion is unclear?

Theatre maker, performer and Zen priest Tom Hannes will attempt to formulate a philosophical and poetic answer, collaborating with artistic nomads Jurgen De bruyn and Mauro Pawlowski. Departing from their personal universe and musical background, the enigmatic content of the triptych receives a special adaptation that comes to life in the auditory landscape created by artist Timo Van Luijk.

Word art mixes in with Byzantine ritual chants, baroque lute sounds, avant-garde guitar, soundscapes and electronics, inspired by the music from the Gruuthuse Ms and composers as Johannes Ockeghem, Johannes Hieronymus Kapsberger, Nicolo Bononi, Léo Ferré and Mauro Pawlowski. Divine, mystically charming, scratching, whipping, wailing or ecstatic sounds and dazzling silences make room for new visions.

  • Tom Hannes script, performance, vocals
  • Mauro Pawlowski guitar, electronics, vocals
  • Jurgen De bruyn theorbo, vocals
  • Timo Van Luijk sound art


  • Ludo Vleugels sound engineer
  • Jean-Lou Caglar light design