The dead hand of Plato (2012)
for large orchestra

Written for the Nederlands Student Orkest
First performed on February 12 2012, NSO, Lucas Vis

Program notes:
A rabbit is a rabbit/ At least, we assume it is. According to Plato a rabbit is but a shadow of the perfect idea of a rabbit. This essentialism clashes though with our ideas on evolution concerning rabbits (and other species). Long ago rabbits were less rabbity than the current generations of rabbits and at some point in the future, they will become less rabbity again (if we give them a chance to evolve further). So when is a rabbit a rabbit? How far must we go back in time or further into the future to give them an identy crisis?
In his book 'The greatest show on earth' Richard Dawkins calls this The dead hand of Plato. When I read this I knew I had the title of my piece ánd an idea what is was going to be about. Something that has interested me for a while is the question what a composition is: the idea, the score or the sounding result? Is the beauty in the instruction for the musicians or in the mind of the listener? In my piece I confront the defined with the undefined, music as patterns of discrete sounds againts music as a continuous sound. Idea versus reality. And some rabbits as well.


c. 12 minutes

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