It was too quiet, being locked in my house, waiting for the terrible disease to strike. It was too quiet. And I wasn’t alone. Thousands of isolated people were living side by side, scared to make a sound. And so I reached out, and some of them answered and we made a film about the quiet. Because we wanted to know what happens to our thoughts when we have nothing left to hear –


When it became known that due to the pandemic all educational institutions in the Netherlands had to close their doors, I sent an open letter to the students of Maastricht with an idea for a film about thoughts during isolation nights. And so I met seven young students with different backgrounds, who all somehow ended up living near, without any of us knowing. Together we started writing down our nights and discussed the rapidly distorting world over the phone. We then worked with actors who recorded those words and I began building worlds of clay, to illustrate them.

Nightingales, or Nachtegalen became an eighteen minute documentary, in which twelve music-led chapters take you through the nights of locked down lives. There are diary fragments and poems, worries and questions. The music, which, like the story, originates from various human songbirds, was composed, sung and recorded by me (without a mask).

Nightingales was created in April 2020 in collaboration with Quirine Racké and Helena Muskens, voiced by Claire Vrijenhoek, Anne van der Vegt, Marthe Thys, Andrea Vass, Marieke Ornelis and myself, after the diaries of Daphne van Woenzel, Jóia Boode, Maya Jagger, Paula Seidensticker, Ena Lalic, Elda Zavalani and myself.