Madonna delle Dolomiti

Robert Smit: Here is what I wrote about it in the catalog Madonna delle Dolomiti, Galerie Louise Smit, 2006:

“Madonna delle Dolomiti

In August 1980 I heard her sing.

A cappella.

We were on our way to Amsterdam, coming from Venice.

I was driving, somewhere along route 242, between S.Cristina and S.Pietro.

It was night and the sound was coming from the car radio.

An Italian yodel of the most exquisite kind.

The quality of her voice was beyond all comparison.

Even if I had been able to understand the language, the lyrics would not have mattered at all, their significance being absolutely secondary to her voice.

The meaning of the song for me consisted in the sounds.

These sounds and intonations produced an unprecedented sense of enchantment.

When the song was over, I believed myself to be in heaven.

This moment of beauty and enlightenment has never left me since.

In my current work, I search for the equivalent of a similar kind of purity and excitement.

My fellow passengers, Wim, Karel, and Kees, were asleep when she was singing, so that the sound of her voice was mine alone.

When I, all excited, told them about this experience of sheer bliss afterwards, they looked at me incredulously.”