This documentary follows the composition process of the piece 'Tao', on which Louis Andriessen worked between December 1995 and October 1996. Tao, a commissioned work, is the second part of the trilogy 'The Last Day', which is about death. The composition's name is derived from the fact that Andriessen used texts from the Tao-Te Ching about death and the way in which it can be overcome. Andriessen juxtaposed this esoteric text with the pianist Mukaiyama Tomoko. She plays a traditional Japanese koto instrument as well as the piano and recites a poem in Japanese.The film follows the composer's work process from the moment when he only had an idea in his head to the première. We see Andriessen in April 1996 in Princeton, New York, where he gives guest lectures at the university and really starts the composition process. Mukaiyama Tomoko has meanwhile left for Japan to fetch a koto. Andriessen wants to have her beat the instrument and, as the average koto owner would be most perplexed to see drumsticks hitting it, she thinks it is better to get one of her own. In the summer of 1996 Andriessen finally completes the composition and plays a piano version to the conductor Eötvös.In China, where he visits a Tao monastery and goes to see the largest bells in the world, he realises how inportant 'the ritual' is, not just in religion, but also for his composing.

International title
The Road
Filmmaker
Frank Scheffer
Premiere
World premiere
Country
Netherlands
Year
1998
Medium
35mm
Length
95’
Language
Producer
Allegri Film, Frank Scheffer
Sales
SND Films
Writer
Frank Scheffer
Cinematography
Joost van Gelder, Edwin Verstegen
Editor
Jan Wouter van Reijen
Production Design
Brigit Hillenius, Eugène van den Bosch
Music
Louis Andriessen