Ethan Hayden | composer, performer, author
Ethan Hayden | composer, performer, researcher
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The Contrabulous Fabtraption of Professor Horatio Hufnagel
score (pdf)
performed by New York New Music Ensemble
April 2011
pierrot ensemble and percussion
spring 2011
ca. 5'
20 April 2011
Lippes Concert Hall
Buffalo, NY
Program Note:
A concerto for chamber ensemble, The Contrabulous Fabtraption of Professor Horatio Hufnagel was composed in the spring of 2011 for the New York New Music Ensemble, to whom it is dedicated. The piece's form is not unlike a performance by a jazz combo, in which, after cycling through the main material, each performer plays her/his own solo before a tutti recapitulation of the "head."

The work attempts to explore a listener's need for "rest." Here, various sections of loud, fast music are concatenated into aggressive chains of quickly moving gestures. Occasionally, these chains are broken by softer references to various historical or vernacular musical styles, acting as periods of rest or moments to "catch one's breath" from the relentlessness of the busier sections, but these are very brief. The piece is not meant to be antagonistic to its audience, but rather becomes a form of play: as the listener begins to recognize the vocabulary of the work, the ensemble keeps shifting and changing the succession of materials into new and unexpected combinations.