Commissioned by and dedicated to the Gelders Orkest and written during a composer-in-residence season in Arnhem of 2005-2006.


POSTNUCLEAR WINTERSCENARIO No.9 for string orchestra

A transcription of the 2nd string quartet.


On January 23 1991, shortly after the Gulf War broke out, I felt speechless and unable to compose. In the media, meteorologists predicted apocalyptical consequences for the climate and the environment, similar to the effects of a nuclear war. They called it a ‘postnuclear winterscenario’. I decided to express my speechlessness in music. In only a few hours time Postnuclear Winterscenario No.1, for solo piano,was written. It is probably the most simple music I ever wrote. All musical material was reduced to a minimum. The 'melody' consists of one single note, an E, that is repeated endlessly. The harmonic accompaniment consists of only four different notes: B, A, G, F#.

There are no real rhythmical, melodical or harmonical developments in Postnuclear Winterscenario. The main way of expression is in the repetition and the delivery.

No.1 was performed numerous times worldwide by Kees Wieringa , even in Iraq, on the ruins of Babylon. Soon musicians asked me to arrange other ’scenarios’, based on the first one, and so I wrote variations for string quartet, for choir, for percussion, for one and two electric guitars, for saxophone quartet and finally in 2005  for symphony orchestra. Each scenario is different, but they all have the same mood in common: speechlessness about war and devastation.


Publishers: DONEMUS and PEER Clasical for North America.