Eva (2020)

Electro-acoustic composition 

Listen to it here

Performers: Toon de Zoeten, bassoon en Miranda Driessen, vocals

During the first Covid-lockdown in 2020 I was asked to take part in an international online art project. For this I was asked to respond to a painting by an anonymous artist from somewhere on this planet in just a few days. In the proces of ekphrasis to the watercolour painting I received, I decided to immediately follow each idea that came up. Clearly the painting has a direct connection to the book of Genesis. At first I thought it looked as if Eva was being crucified to the tree, as a female predecessor of Christ, sacrificed in order to bring development to the world. But then it appeared as if she is being merged with the tree, as if she gradually will become part of nature again.

First the melody played by the bassoon came to my mind, and the eyes on the branches became whispering voices, reading from Genesis in different languages.
Then I kept thinking why the desire for gaining knowledge by eating the apple would be something bad since it also evokes development and progress. This brought me to the poem of Rilke:

Eva

Einfach steht sie an der Kathedrale
großem Aufstieg, nah der Fensterrose,
mit dem Apfel in der Apfelpose,
schuldlos-schuldig ein für alle Male

an dem Wachsenden, das sie gebar,
seit sie aus dem Kreis der Ewigkeiten
liebend fortging, um sich durchzustreiten
durch die Erde, wie ein junges Jahr.

Ach, sie hätte gern in jenem Land
noch ein wenig weilen mögen, achtend
auf der Tiere Eintracht und Verstand.

Doch da sie den Mann entschlossen fand,
ging sie mit ihm, nach dem Tode trachtend;
und sie hatte Gott noch kaum gekannt.

The big eyes, crying behind the tree of course I couldn't ignore. Gaining knowledge also means loosing innocence. Paradise lost became the wailing women's voices. And then finally the magpies, stealing the eggs of other birds, I recorded in the park nearby my house.