Sta op en Schitter (Arise and Shine) was originally composed for the Dutch students’ chamber orchestra Ricciotti Ensemble, for their 2019 tour in Georgia, and subsequently arranged for full symphony orchestra and for symphonic wind orchestra. Sta op en Schitter is a famous quote from Isaiah 60: 1, and I chose this title for several reasons:
- It was inspired by several Georgian legends about heroes, like Mindia, The Knight in the Panther’s Skin, St. George and Amirani.
- Georgia was one of the first countries in the world to become a Christian nation, as long ago as in the 4th
- I spent the summer holidays of 2013 in Georgia, together with my family, and we camped for one week in the wild in the Caucasus. To Arise and Shine is precisely what the gorgeous Georgian nature inspires one to do.
- Sta op en Schitter was the motto of my mother-in-law, who was able to fight cancer during 14½ years, before she finally succumbed to it, one month after my family’s holiday in Georgia.
All in all, Sta op en Schitter is first of all an ode to the beautiful country of Georgia and its wonderful people. While it doesn’t actually quote any Georgian traditional melody, it does make extensive use of the characteristics of Georgian harmony and polyphony and Caucasian rhythms. However, there is a broader context as well, in the sense of my mother-in-law’s motto: to rise up and shine is always a heroic thing to do, regardless of one’s circumstances.