No 21 Zo stom als een steen (2003)
For soprano and piano
Commissioned by: Samuel Vriezen, with financial support from the Netherlands Fund for the Creation of Music
First Performance: Renate Arends (sop) & Moritz Eggert (pf)
Instrumentation: soprano and piano
Special Features: text by Herman Brusselmans
Zo stom als een steen (Mute as a Rock) was written at the request of Samuel Vriezen for a concert devoted to ‘Love Songs’. The piece is about as close as I’ve ever gotten to writing a pop song, be it that the sophisticated innuendos of the text and the difficulty of the piano part, with an obsessive ostinato (intended for the phenomenal Moritz Eggert), would probably surpass anything that any ordinary pop musician would be up to. As usual, when using a Dutch text - and especially in the case of Love Songs - I selected something by the particularly malicious Flemish writer Herman Brusselmans. The song thus tells the story of a physically perfect, but otherwise troubled relationship, in which one of the partners psychosomatically loses their voice - due to the lack of ‘a good conversation’.