Ivana Stefanović
- The Tree of Life

The Tree of life was written in spring and premiered in June 1997 in Damascus, at the St Antoine Church. The piece was my reply to the invitation that came from the conductor and dean of the High Institute for Music in Damascus, Maestro Solhi Al-Wadi, who wanted to perform one of my works with his National Orchestra. Instead of giving him an older piece, I preferred to write a brand new one. I needed a new piece; I needed to write a piece with hope.

The composition is not inspired by the idea of the tree of life, the motive which is spread throughout the Middle East where I lived for a while, but rather by the visual representation of this idea. In the world of the floral ornaments the tree of life can be found everywhere, and especially on carpets and miniatures… The branches of this tree usually ‘grow’ seemingly endlessly, intertwined, and the human eye is easily lost in this pictorial labyrinth. It seems that these ever-green branches are constantly rejuvenating, repeating their journey, never stopping to rest and never to be caught.

Enough for hope?