a new genre: the digital, interactive song cycle

The Book of Sand

Michel van der Aa

You are looking at a performance from our archive

With The Book of Sand composer Michel van der Aa has invented a completely new genre: the digital, interactive song cycle. Inspired by the allusions to infinity and the use of mazes and mirrors in the fantastical stories of Jorge Luis Borges, Van der Aa puts you in a space where all places in the world exist simultaneously. A young woman (played by the Australian pop singer Kate Miller-Heidke) collects up sand which is being moved between the film layers by a mysterious machine. Three parallel film layers reveal alternative points of view and introduce new elements and characters to the story, which allows you to choose a new route through the narrative at any point. It’s a wonder of interactivity which will have you returning to it time and again.

The Book of Sand can be accessed through the web (thebookofsand.net) and via an app (iTunes and Google Play).

Optimal performance of the site can be achieved by using Chrome, Safari or a mobile browser.


At the launch event in the Bimhuis (free entrance) Michel van der Aa shows his director's cut of The Book of Sand, and gives some extra explanation on his new work. To attend this event, please sign up via [email protected], stating 'launch', before Wednesday 27 May.

This performance was made possible with support by