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
Tohu va Vohu
score (pdf)
performed by student ensemble (UNT)
April 2008
open ensemble
spring 2008
ca. 12'
11 April 2008
Keely Hayden (flute), Michael Garman (clarinet/theremin), Brian Stark (tenor sax), Sarah Anderson (horn),
A.J. Trochesset (trumpet), Christina Rusnak (soprano); Bora Im (piano), Ben Charles (percussion),
Taylor Ducharme-Jones (percussion), Tim Mabrey (percussion), Ryan Manchester (elec. guitar), Brady Morrison (elec. guitar),
Andrew Lefebvre (elec. bass), Andrew Broz ('cello), Ethan Hayden (conductor)
University of North Texas
Denton, TX
Program Note:
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, 'Let there be light'; and there was light." - Genesis 1:1-3

The first chapter of the book of Genesis states that God created the universe out of chaos. The Hebrew phrase for this state is tohu va vohu, which is often translated as "formless and void" or "wild and waste." Each thing God creates is part of a progression away from disorder and chaos toward order and harmony. Many Christian and Jewish scholars claim that God left the universe unfinished, making people to continue the work of creating the world, moving it away from chaos and formlessness toward order and good, and that therefore every human action either moves the world away from the tohu va vohu, or contributes to the chaos.

This piece musically explores the continuum between chaos and order. There are moments in the piece when the entire ensemble is playing together, completely unified, and there are moments in which the ensemble is totally at odds with itself, in utter disorder and chaos. The majority of the work, however, occupies the space between these two extremes, moving from one to the other, or in many different directions at once. The instrumentation is left up to the ensemble itself, and a variety of techniques, from improvisation to phase shifting, are used to create a sense of motion from one extreme to the next.