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
in the beginning was the word
score (available soon)
speaking voice and chamber ensemble
March 2014
ca. 3'
19 April 2014
Pausa Art House
Buffalo, NY
Program Note:
In the early 1960s, Brion Gysin altered his "cut-up technique" to produce a series of poems in which a brief phrase is repeated in various permutations. These poems, of which "I Am That I Am" is perhaps the most well-known, were written in collaboration with the computer scientist Ian Sommerville, and involved shuffling the words of a sentence in such a way that new, peripheral, or contradictory meanings are produced. Gysin recorded these poems and often performed them with musical and/or electronic accompaniments.

The music for Ethan Hayden's in the beginning was the word, takes Gysin's poem of the same name and uses its permutation algorithm to generate a musical environment for the poem's recitation. The music attempts to capture both the mantric and playful qualities of the text, while also emphasizing the more objective aspects of its construction. The piece was composed in the Spring of 2014 for the contemporary music ensemble, Wooden Cities, and was premiered on April 19, 2014.