VII Acla, Switzerland 2011

From the very beginning I have imagined that the rape scene will be difficult to write.

            Later I find I was wrong – the rape and other scenes where physical force was used were easy compared to the scenes where Estonians betray one another.


But I am hesitant; I breathe deeply before arriving at the rape.

            This composer’s cottage is half way up the mountain, among Romansh homesteads. On the other side of the mountain is Davos. From the windows I’ve got my own Magic Mountain, Piz Tarantschun, it’s magnificent, he is my daily clandestine confidante in this journey across act one. Cows and churches ring their bells twice a day. A flag of Switzerland waves slowly in the courtyard.


It’s a twenty-minute ride to Chur. In the 4-km tunnel towards Chur one of the tires has a blow out, which means limping to an emergency area. The noise in the tunnel is extremely loud and disturbing; the dog wags his tail joyously when the car is lifted up on the jack.

            Suddenly I realise in Chur Cathedral – the rape scene needs to dwell on silent chords.


It has to rely on the commiseration. The task of the music here is not to stress the violence of the rape, but to show it from another angle, as was the figure of Pietà with her hands covering the scene – actually covering all the oppressed folk.

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