Michael van der Aa’s works are musical equivalents of MC Escher’s suggestive manipulations of perspective: through acoustic distortions, a comparable puzzle is created. In the Here Trilogy
, musical suspense arises out of the evident failure of music itself, in which the musical present (live performance) collides with the past (sound track). This failure of musical development results in a feeling of numbness, alienation and confused identity. Thematically, the cycle is related to van der Aa’s chamber opera One
(2002). In One
, an unnamed female figure (soprano) sets out to seek her own identity in a dialogue with her alter ego, recorded on video tape. In the second and third parts of the Here Trilogy
, the soprano returns – in the same hopeless search for herself and a connection to her surroundings. The trilogy is one of van der Aa’s most frequently performed works.