top of page


film with music

The mind is like a forest
There is no hierarchy, no control centre
Numberless paths branch in all directions
It’s dark beneath the leaves
You can get lost.

Urwald is a thriller about consciousness.

composer, director Arnoud Noordegraaf
writer Adrian Hornsby
premiere 10 Oct 2013, Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam

‘an infinitely large and branched rampant world’
— De Volksrant

‘exciting, rhythmic, the chaos was near’
— NRC Handelsblad

‘What an adventure … I was sold’
— Muziek van Nu

If cognitive science were to state just one idea, it would probably be: neuroplasticity. Brains, it turns out, are remarkably malleable, and keep changing. As they do, so too does the mind, and the self. We are not fixed entities, but live through a succession of different selves, and what we hold onto instead is the narrative thread that holds these selves together. We are the story we tell our selves.

But stories can have a peculiar power of their own. Sometimes a story wants to be told in a certain way — perhaps in spite of our selves. As though the story were telling its self, in its own voice, and we merely playing along.

In a forest, every tree is a life form, branching and changing according to its own private logic. But greater movements move through the forest, and it thinks in a sense as one.

As we struggle to tell the realities in which we live, we are searching for the threads and unifying movements. We are, on a daily basis, transforming the chaotic experience of being into the coherent story of an I. But what if the threads unwind, or the movement gets lost, or cut off? What if the story is taking you to somewhere in the forest you don’t want to be, and where you no longer recognise the path?

You go deeper into the story, the voice, the forest.

Urwald is a feature length film-with-music by composer and director Arnoud Noordegraaf and writer Adrian Hornsby.

film with live ensemble
  • 10 Oct 2013, Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Amsterdam, NL (premier)
  • 18 Oct 2013, Korzo Theater, Den Haag, NL
  • 8 Nov 2013, Verkadefabriekm, Hertogenbosch, NL
  • 8 Apr 2014, Grand Theatre, Groningen, NL
  • 9 Apr 2014, Vredenburg, Utrecht, NL
film installation version
Voice: Porgy Franssen
Aaron: Hylke van Sprundel
Hélène: Sietske van der Ster
Sylvan: Marijn Klaver
Martha: Arnica Eisendoorn
ensemble: Nieuw Amsterdams Peil (Pauline Austria, oboe; Lars Wouters van den Oudenweijer, clarinet; Dorian Cooke, bassoon; Frank Braafhart, trumpet; Koen Kaptijn, trombone; David Marks, viola; Mick Stirling, cello; Jelte van Andel, double bass; Niels Meliefste, percussion; Gerard Bouwhuis, piano; Heleen Hulst, violin)
film producer: Joggem Simons
director of photography: Gábor Deák; focus puller: Luuk Schmitz; steadicam: Joost van Poppel; gopro: Rossa; gaffer: Wietze Vos; light assistance: Floris Verweij, Auke Verhoeff; production design: Barbara Westra; assistant art department: Zina Kisch; setdresser / trainee: Veerle Koldijk; builder / runner: Bartek Puschhaus; makeup: Bianca van der Steen, Elske van ree; sound: Sander den Broeder, Raoul Popma, Stephan Kos; fight coordinator: Jeroen Lopes Cardozo; editing assistance: Bas Voorwinde; color correction: AVP, George Balatoni; sound design: Frank van der Weij Studio, Fokke of Saane
composed and directed by Arnoud Noordegraaf
written by Adrian Hornsby
produced by Roland Spekle for Barooni
funded by: Nederlands Fonds voor de Film, VSB fonds, Amsterdams Fonds voor de kunst, Fonds Podium Kunsten, SNS Reaal Fonds
bottom of page