The work is inspired by a scene in Shakespear's Macbeth, where Macbeth – after having murdered King Duncan – is haunted by a voice in his head and by a sound of obsessive knocking.
"Methought I heard a voice cry 'Sleep no more!
Macbeth does murder sleep', the innocent sleep,
Sleep that knits up the raveled sleeve of care"
"– Wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou couldst!"
William Shakespeare: Macbeth; act II, second scene Instrumentation
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