Dag en Nacht – Merlijn Snitker

Except for the daily news, I do not watch regular television anymore. Most of the media I consume is in the movie theater or by watching one of the many different streaming platforms. Luckily shows made for the Dutch public TV channels are also accessible on their streaming platform NPO Start for free, which allowed me to explore Merlijn Snitker’s most recent score for the Dutch series Dag en Nacht (Day and Night) with ease. The show is a drama about a skilled physician who works in a hospital’s labor and delivery ward. In this show, she tries to balance her taxing work, which has good and bad moments, and her personal life. 

To accompany the events on screen, Snitker opted for a minimalistic musical approach, focussing mainly on the piano, which plays elegant melodies. On most tracks, a string ensemble joins in to support the piano without drawing too much attention away from it. I especially love the idea of the high strings emphasizing the piano chords and the double bass in the background plucking all the low notes, adding some lightness to the music, as can be heard in the main titles track, “Dag & Nacht.”

What makes music for many dramas interesting is that sometimes there is so little of it. In Dag en Nacht, for example, there is no music to be heard in most scenes, allowing the audience to focus on the actors and the dialogue on screen. When the music does start to play in the background, it is there to support the scenes in which dialogue is not the main focus or when the emotions of the scene, positive or negative, need to be elevated. Merlijn Snitker made that work perfectly in this elegant and excellent score.

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The highlights are in bold.

  1. Dag & Nacht (00:58)
  2. Daar komt ze daar is ze (02:09)
  3. Naïma (03:42)
  4. Is het een meisje? (01:54)
  5. Willen jullie het hartje horen? (01:56)
  6. Ik heb nu iemand van verloskunde nodig! (01:12)
  7. Bel maar als het kindje komt (02:56)
  8. Ik ben niet alleen (01:58)
  9. Die pop blijft hier (00:50)
  10. Ik hou van je, nou ja wat zeg ik nou… (01:46)
  11. Je hebt het hartstikke goed gedaan! (02:34)
  12. Ella en Jerry (01:18)
  13. Code Rood (02:50)
  14. Oud en Nieuw (01:21)
  15. Ben je hier als kinderarts of als vader? (01:41)
  16. De plek waar je dingen niet zeker weet (02:41)
  17. Jacob (01:56)
  18. Hoe lang is een olifant eigenlijk zwanger? (01:14)
  19. Ik ben niet je moeder (01:00)
  20. Ik voel niks meer het is leeg (02:22)
  21. Drukke boel (00:53)
  22. Ondertussen maalt het hoofd maar door (04:56)
  23. Waarom gebeurt dit? (02:22)
  24. We hebben een probleem! (02:09)
  25. Ik kan niet meer opstaan (01:42)
  26. Dat kind lacht om niet te hoeven huilen (02:04)
  27. Ik kom je aflossen (01:09)

Total length: 53 minutes
Riva Media Records (2023)

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