Much has been said, much has been listened to and much has been thought in this year’s pandemic. About who we are as humanity, what we create and leave behind. About who I am as a human being, as an artist, as a person. The Great Noise (and how it was found) is my conclusion, my plea for a different imagination in the form of a symphonic radio play.


For The Great Noise I wrote a magically realistic text. It is a story about a he, the He, although he might as well have been a she, or an it. And this he lives in a gray city, with grey walls, grey stones, full of grey, grey lives. Thousands of people live behind their windows and don’t do much else than exist there. Nobody wanders outside. Nobody breaks the silence. Until, on a miraculous day, the He catches a sound. It grabs and calls him from the depths of the earth. And he cannot do much other than find it. So his journey begins.


For the soundscape and music, which tell at least as much story as the telling of it, I was inspired by the futuristic manifesto L’arte dei rumori by Luigi Russolo. Russolo states in 1913 that the music of that time is dated and cannot be an artistic representation of the sound of that time. He strives for the music of the sound, the poetry of the noise. Following that thought, I ended up in minimalism and at one of my musical examples, Philip Glass.

All the sounds and compositions in The Great Noise originated from my own voice and body, just like the sound found in the story. For the best experience, I recommend listening to this radio play with headphones in a dark, quiet room.

The Great Noise (and how it was found) can be heard on this site and on a subsite of Toneelacademie Maastricht: The story is in Dutch, however, the music tells a tale of its own. This project was made with the help of Sander Ruijters.