De Levensboom (The Tree of Life)

The Tree of Life is written for the concert The Pale Blue Dot. The piece is about the foundation of life. The tree of life is referred to as a spiritual symbol for growth, wisdom, fertility and immortality within multiple religions and myths. It is the source of all things, often referred to as ‘God’ or ‘I Am’.

As a basic ingredient of the piece I have used the Fibonacci sequence, which is a mathematical pattern that can be found throughout nature and is often referred to as the fingerprint of God.
The piece consists of three parts:

1. Discovery
I imagine part 1 as being a journey from outer space towards our little planet. A signal is picked up and as we try tracing it, we get closer and closer to this ‘dot’ up to the point where we discover human beings.

2. Human
Part 2 can be listened to as though you are watching a human grow from a baby towards maturity. After a short recitative phrase, the music starts with open chord structures, that are lively played by the strings. These structures become more and more complex, as life becomes more complex when a human grows older. After a while woodwinds and brass enter and the chord structures become more grim. Then, everything is interrupted. 7 longer growing phrases of loud brass signals are heard. Time is frozen. To me these signals refer to the 7 trumpet soundings in the book of Revelations (the bible), which announce the end of time.

3. Tree of life
In the final contemplative part, we are brought back to the foundation of our existence, the Tree of Life. This part has the physical form of a tree: trunk, branches and leaves. It is not meant to be pretentious or romantic. It just ‘is’.


Composer – Arjan de Wit
Production – Room Service Music
Conductor – Ulrich Pöhl
Flute – Beatriz Pomés Jiménez
Oboe – Barbora Zichová
(Bass) Clarinet – Jason Alder
Bassoon – Joeri Deckers
Horn – Emile Kaper
Trumpet – Sef Hermans
Trombone – Roberto Lorenzo Elekes
Piano – Jelena Popovic
Violin – Hieke Dam
Violin – Erika Bordon
Viola – Geerten Feller
Violoncello – Gerda Marijs
Contrabass – Laurens Knoop

Director & screenplay – Lilian Sijbesma (
D.O.P. – Rory van den Berg
First A.D. – Philip Besamusca
Production assistent – Yim Brakel
Gaffer – Jorne Tielemans
Art director – Femke Hoebe
Cast – Jonas Veening
Cast – Nancy Stelder
Cast – Sasja den Hartogh
Cast – Merel Bakker
Cast – Youri Post
Editor – Jan van Gorkum