Fantasia per la Vita e la Morte
wind band, fanfare band
concert work, contest piece
The mystique surrounding life and death formed the starting point of this composition. I wanted to write a work without a story, mixed up in a kind of musical quest for a new world of sound, original rhythm sequences, melodies filled with suspense and distinct orchestral tones.
The indirect cause was the birth of my first child which took place during this time, followed by the death of a close family member. At such a moment you experience just how close life and death are to each other, and despite one being the antithesis of the other, they are incredibly similar. Both radical events are passages into new worlds and have great emotional impact. Moreover, the work was commissioned by “New Life”, an orchestra that lost one of its musician in a plane crash, which also led me to believe that this approach would be appropriate.
I would prefer not to comment on which passages in the composition concern life (birth) and which refer to death. It seems to me that it is more interesting to question traditional conceptions and leave it open for the listener. If you think that a passage is about birth, and this idea then shifts, it is this that raises fascinating questions, on both a musical and metaphysical level.
Music is in an indirect but incredibly persuasive way in which to express the endless striving and seeking of mankind. Music can even touch eternity, as it were, and give us the feeling that we can transcend death. This endless search (and also longing) can be heard throughout the work; as much in the sound fields and accent shifts in the first part as in the enormous tension curves and compelling themes of the second part. The semi-tone functions in this way as a guide or something to hold on to, running through the whole work and upon which much of the musical material is based. Traces of profound love resound with quiet simplicity in the slow section’s melodious solos, after which the work contemplates life and death one last time, muses upon joy and sadness, on the possibilities and limitations of people and on the why of all things.
I would like to dedicate this work to my dearest daughter Paulientje, to Meterke and to Johan de Jong of the “New Life” orchestra.