Ethan Hayden | composer, performer, author
Ethan Hayden | composer, performer, researcher
Hayden Sketch 01
Hayden Sketch 02
Hayden Sketch 03
Hayden Sketch 04
Hayden Sketch 05
Die Aufgabe des Übersetzers
score (pdf)
N. 1 performed by Matthew Chamberlain & Translations (May 2016).
Ns. 7-8 performed by Nicholas Isherwood & Vox Nova Italia (December 2015).
six voices (S Ms A T Br Bs)
Spring 2016
ca. 22'
6 December 2015 (selections, full premiere TBA)
Lippes Concert Hall
Buffalo, NY
Program Note:
Die Aufgabe des Übersetzers is a setting of the Walter Benjamin essay of the same title. Rather than setting the text directly, a variety of techniques have been utilized to set Benjamin's words while also realizing the philosopher's approach to translation theory.

One aspect of this is realized in the piece's "nonsense" settings: One paragraph of Benjamin's essay has undergone a homophonic translation by the composer, and it is this translation (which renders the sounds of Benjamin's German into a near-homophonic English equivalent) that has been set rather than the original German or a semantic translation thereof.

Another aspect is realized in the "Wö̈rtlich" movements, in which the literal syntactic structure of specific sentences from the original text are translated into musical structures whose complexity mirrors that of the original text's syntax.

Special thanks to Zach Wellstood and Tianyi Xie for their assistance in the transcription and translation of Benjamin's syntax.