between, and I - fragments of Sappho (2007)

for mezzo-soprano and two harps

between, and I - fragments of Sappho (ca. 600 B.C.) consists of 4 poems.
Sappho means mistery. Her life is a mystery and so is her poetry, which is even incomplete. Her poetry comes to us on papyrus only, in which there are many holes. So we only have fragments. But it's exactly these holes that impresses our imagination. And it's these holes that makes it exciting to read and at the same time, it offers space for a personal interpretation.

The musical language I used is simple and direct. Never exuberant while the tone range is limited. A friend of mine wrote, after having listened to the songs: “You do capture a feel of something ancient, yet sophisticated and sensuous. “

Written for DUO BILITIS, Ekaterina Levental & Eva Tebbe.

Première: 12 January, 2007.

duration approx.: 7 '30"

Here is an example of one of the poems:

fragment 30


all night long
might sing of the love between you and the bride
              with violets in her lap

wake! and go call
the young men so that
no more than the bird with piercing voice
              shall we sleep


  Currently working on a work for      saxophone quartet, requested by      the Bron Saxophone Quartet.

  My latest work is "Ritual text      for the afterlife"  for women's          choir and tubular bells.
     Ancient Greek goldplates with      texts - recently  found in graves -      that were carried by the dead on      their journey to afterlife.

  In progress is a work of a much     bigger scale: Blodeuwedd,  a     dance poem for narrator,      singer/reciter, dancer and      ensemble. The poem is by the      Welsh poet Tony Conran.

  Another recent work (2016) is
     O me! O life!
(Walt Whitman) for      choir and string quintet.

  My Guitar sonata (1982) is      now being published by
     Editiones Eudora (Madrid),

  Draaf, Foekje. Draaf!

    Watch the television interview.     (You need to understand Frisian,     though).