Music

title: The Man Who Hated Everything
instrumentation: flute, sax, trombone, piano, electric guitar, vibraphone, drum set, 2 violins, cello
duration: 12 minutes
written in: 2015
text: Alex Temple

“A total blazing hoot.”
George Wallace

In The Man Who Hated Everything, I pay tribute to Frank Zappa, particularly his early work with the Mothers of Invention. Some passages evoke his musical style explicitly, some allude to music that he loved (doo-wop, mid-century modernism), some have the performers improvise in response to verbal prompts, and some draw inspiration from other genre-bendy bands (Mr. Bungle, Henry Cow), or from musical iconography associated with Los Angeles (sleazy neo-noir jazz, 1960s filmstrips). At the end, the tribute becomes more of a critique — partially because that’s what Zappa himself would have done, and partially because I couldn’t bring myself to pay totally uncritical homage to someone who, for all his musical brilliance, could be pretty sexist and misanthropic.

The Man Who Hated Everything was commissioned by wild Up and the American Composers Forum.

 
Listen

wild Up:
  Erin McKibben, flute and voice
  Brian Walsh, tenor and baritone sax
  Matt Barbier, trombone
  Richard Valitutto, piano and voice
  Chris Kallmyer, electric guitar and voice
  Derek Tywoniuk, vibraphone
  Matt Cook, drums
  Andrew McIntosh, violin and voice
  Andrew Tholl, violin
  Derek Stein, cello and voice
  Christopher Rountree, conductor
Live at REDCAT, 9.11.15
Recorded by Nick Tipp

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