Skip to page content

Ethan Braun makes music and sound installations for the concert hall and the stage. He studied at UCLA, Peabody, and the Royal Conservatory, The Hague before completing his studies with a DMA at Yale University. He is currently collaborating with or writing for Adam Linder, Contemporane- ous, Kenturah Davis, Ensemble Klang, Sam Gendel, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

“The Lost Ones takes its title from the Samuel Beckett novella of the same name. Inspired by divergent sources – the Beck- ett, performances and songs by Meshell Ndegéocello, George Carlin, UK rapper The Streets, Jimi Hendrix, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and Lauryn Hill – The Lost Ones meditates on virtuosity, arises at an intersection of live performance and the anonymity and immersiveness of digital media. The head- ings, named in deference to those listed above, respectively from Ndegéocello, are as follows:

Prologue: “All I got is...time to spend... wasted time”

I: “The high-tech low-lifes”

II: “Put on yer mittens for these sub-zero conditions”

III: “I can see my rainbow calling me” / ”... can I get my spirit back?”

Epilogue: “wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up”

The music was composed as an impossibly virtuosic work for a perhaps impossible ensemble – the 99 digital quintets. The live, “real,” quintet performs a reduction of the digital music. This reduction was made with the assistance of software old and new, in addition to the composer’s eyes, ears, and hands. The live performers are presented with a formidable challenge, as the music they’re given to play lies at the limit of possibility. It’s digital music.

The performers walk on stage, but head to the back. Some are seated, some remain standing; they seem to be waiting. Waiting for what? As though they’re at a bus stop out in the middle of the desert, they’re waiting for the right line, their ticket out of there.

But which line is it?” — Ethan Braun