An extract from a recent article I wrote about the dramatic effect of words in Louis Andriessen’s De Materie:

‘It is the meaning we derive from words – and all kinds of human utterancs – that makes speech a dramatic medium. Yet music itself does not say anything at all; it cannot literally add meaning… Andriessen’s dialectical approach in De Materie, an opera about the paradox between Spirit and Matter, presents such contradictions in order to shed light on something new. He mixes different forms of art to find a new aesthetic and combines words and music with irony and references in a way that heightens the dramatic effect of the work. These juxtapositions remind us how different the languages of music and literature are and, consequently, why they will always be used together to create dramatic effects in art.’

From ‘A Matter of Words’ by Joel M. Baldwin