Hayes, Morgan: Futurist Manifesto. Rental
Full score and instrumental material
Duration: 10 minutes
string orchestra (minimum 184.108.40.206.1. players)
Commissioned by the Munich Chamber Orchestra
1st perf: Munich Chamber Orchestra, Christoph Altstaedt (cond), Muffathalle, Munich, 12 June 2007
The manifestos (Carrá, Boccioni, Marinetti etc.) remain a most inspiring artefact from the futurist movement. They have an excitable, breathless tone of voice: a celebration of the machine age, aeroplanes, war and a plea to dispense with all traces of the past. The manifestos provided a springboard for some of the material in my own piece and in a more general sense I wondered what a manifesto might mean in terms of composing for string orchestra (a relatively new medium for me). Types of string writing (glissandos, pizzicato, extravagant divisi, unision etc.) are blockaded off in much the same way that a manifesto might divide into clear subject headings.
Has the futurist movement had an impact on my own work? While a short lived art movement I believe it may have manifested itself in unexpected/far-reaching ways: not least the politically very different social realist works from the former Soviet Union (essentially political propaganda) and the dense, strident music of the Dutch composer Matthijs Vermeulen (1888-1967) which I recently encountered. Both of these I have a very strong admiration for. Regarding the actual artwork created under the umbrella of Futurism, I particularly respond to the architectural drawings which predict an urban landscape for the future eg. Electric Power Plant (1914) by Antonio Sant’Elia and Umberto Boccioni’s acclaimed sculpture Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (1913) the latter is an almost baroque image of the man of the future, a muscular form moving with awesome power through space, something beyond the human.
Morgan Hayes employs monumental accents in his “Futurist Manifesto,” creating muffled, bizarre sounds, which transport the listener into a hall filled with machines.
Dorothea Husslein, Münchener Merkur, 14 June, 2007