Motet for SATB and Organ. Written for the 2013 edition of the Hinsz Composition Concours, finalist entry.

The texts deals with the confusion of languages. miBavel is Hebrew for “Out of Babylon”. Babel was the place where the confusion of languages happened, and later it was the place where the people of Israel were exiled to. By juxtaposing texts from different theological traditions, this work expresses a modern day confusion and becomes a prayer that people who are currently exiled in miscommunication, may return.

Version 2016

For the International Composition Competition “Maurice Ravel” I orchestrated the organ part for 4 Clarinets (Eb, 2Bb and Bass), 4 Horns, Vibraphone and Strings.

Score availble on request.

Text and Translation

And all the earth was of one language, and of one speech, and one counsel: for they spake the holy language by which the world was created at the beginning: while their hearts erred afterwards from the Word of Him who spake, and the world was, at the beginning; and they found a plain in the land of Pontos and dwelt there.
And they said: Come now, and we will build us a city and a tower, and the head of it shall reach to the summit of the heavens, and we will make us in it a house of worship at the top.
And the Lord said: Behold, the people is one, and the language of all of them one.
And the Lord said: Come now, we will descend and will there commingle their language, that a man shall not understand the speech of his neighbour. And the Word of the Lord was revealed against the city. And one knew not what his neighbour would say: but one slew the other; and they ceased from building the city. Therefore He called the name of it Babel.
- From the Jerusalem Targum on Genesis 11
J. W. Etheridge, The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan Ben Uzziel on the Pentateuch With The Fragments of the Jerusalem Targum From the Chaldee.
First Published 1862.

Verbum caro, panem verum
Verbo carnem efficit:
fitque sanguis Christi merum,
et si sensus deficit,
ad firmandum cor sincerum
sola fides sufficit. Amen

Tantum ergo sacramentum veneremur cernui
(...)- Gregorian Hymn: Pange Lingua, verse 4 and begining of vs 5
Wir sind wie durch eine babylonische Gefangenschaft aus unserm Vaterland vertrieben worden. So ist es mit der Messe gegangen: durch die Lehre gottloser Menschen ist sie in ein »gutes Werk« verwandelt worden.
- Marten Luther, Von der Babylonischen Gefangenschaft der Kirche. Fragment from chapter 2.
In: Aland, Die Werke Martin Luthers, Band 2: Martin Luther. Der Reformator, Verlag Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht: 1981.
With kind permission of the publisher.

Estans assis aux rives aquatiques
de Babylon, plorions melancoliques,
nous souvenans du pais de Sion:
et au milieu de l’habitation,
où de regret tant de pleurs espandismes,
aux saules verds noz harpes nous pendismes.
- French tranlation of Psalm 137, by C. Marot, Genevan Psalter 1543
καὶ ἐὰν βασιλεία
ἐφ’ ἑ-αυτὴν μερισθῇ,
οὐ δύναται σταθῆναι
ἡ βασιλεία ἐκείνη.
if a kingdom
is divided against itself
that kingdom cannot stand

- Mark 3:24
אַֽל־תִּזְכְּר֖וּ רִֽאשֹׁנ֑וֹת
וְקַדְמֹנִיּ֖וֹת אַל־תִּתְבֹּנָֽנוּ׃
הִנְנִ֨י עֹשֶׂ֤ה חֲדָשָׁה֙
עַתָּ֣ה תִצְמָ֔ח
הֲל֖וֹא תֵֽדָע֑וּהָ
Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth,
do you not perceive it?
- Isaiah 43:18 and 19a

Premiere recording

Frank Hameleers: Nederlands Kamerkoor
Harmen Trimp, organ
June 8th 2013 - Bovenkerk, Kampen