Music for the End of Time

(For trombone, video, and quadraphonic surround sound.)  



Table of Contents


1. General Description

2. PDF Score

3. Downloadable practice CD

4. Complete Video

5. A Short YouTube Trailer

6. Slide Show

7. Six video clips showing the score

8. A complete video of the work showing the score

9. Order Materials

10. Program Notes



1. General Description


“Music for the End of Time” is a 52-minute work for trombone, video and quadraphonic electronics based on the Book of Revelation. Premiere: Montreal, McGill University, March 1998. The version with optional video was premiered in our Taos studio in September, 2007. Abbie Conant, trombone; Norbert Bach, digital stills; William Osborne, music and video. The work is in in six movements:


I. A Door Was Opened In Heaven

II. The Sea of Glass

III. The Four Horsemen

IV. As It Were of a Trumpet Talking

V. The White Beast

VI. A Woman Clothed With the Sun



2.  PDF Score


To download the PDF score click here.  (The score is pixelated on screen, but prints beautifully.)


3. Dowloadable Practice CD of the accompaniment


To download a stereo wave file for practicing Music for the End of Time right click on the link below and click "SAVE TARGET AS..." or "Save link as."




(Please note that the work should be performed with quadraphonic surround sound.  The stereo CD is just for practice. Contact us for the necessary files at .)



4. The Complete Video


The complete version of Music for the End of Time with the optional video is only available in the Windows Media format (.wmv). The codec used by YouTube and Flash make it so dark that much of the imagery is lost. We plan re-edit the video so that it will work with YouTube and Flash. To download the wmv file click here. (Windows Media. 326 megs.)   



5.  A short YouTube trailer for Music for the End of Time.




6. Slide Show of images from the optional video version.




7.  A video of six short clips with the score 




8. A Video of the complete work with the score


For full sharpness, HD at 720p is necessary.




9. Order Materials.  


A Dolby 5.1 Surround-Sound DVD of Music for the End of Time is available.  The video and sound quality of the DVD are far superior to the download file.  Contact William Osborne. (william [at]



10. Program Notes 

Music for the End of Time was part of Abbie Conant’s project, entitled "The Wired Goddess and her Trombone.” Her goal was to work with composers to create compositions for computer and trombone based on the theme of the Goddess.  She premiered 14 work during this project.   

The score for Music for the End of Time was completed in 1998 and premiered at McGill University the same year.  The optional video version was completed in 2007 and premiered in Taos, NM.  This is one of several large scale, music theater or multi-media works William has completed for Abbie.  Our goal has been to explore new dimensions of performance art and create substantial, meaningful works for the trombone.

Apocalyptic visions have long helped humans appreciate the extreme limitation of our existential condition in relation to the boundless majesty of the universe. We also explore the cycles of ecstasy, revolution, destruction and lament that characterize transcendentalism . These polarities inform the arrangement of the movements in “Music for the End of Time,” and shape their cycles of light/darkness, drama/reflection, ecstasy/remorse.

Ultimately, the most meaningful understandings of the apocalyptic have little to do with destruction, but with vanquishing our own human limitations. Through the apocalyptic, we transcend not so much the universe, as our own self. We learn that in the infinite expanse of this world, our human passions are often the sheerest folly, and that the truest path to justice is through forgiveness, compassion and love. Perhaps that understanding is what St. John hoped to symbolize in his vision of "The Woman Clothed with the Sun." The ultimate value of transcendental experience might be that it shows us, in the sense of the Goddess, that nothing is more precious or transcendent that the simple beauty of life itself. 


These are the movements and the verses they are based upon:

I. A Door Was Opened in Heaven, 
After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. (Rev. 4:1.)


II. The Sea of Glass 
And before the throne was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. (Rev. 4.6)


III. The Four Horsemen 
And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. (Rev. 9:17)


IV. As It Were A Trumpet Talking 
After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. (Rev. 4:1.)


V. The White Beast 
And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. (Rev. 6:8)


VI. A Woman Clothed With the Sun 
And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. (Rev. 12:1)