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Raised in Haugsbygd and Herasbygda, Norway, Jens Petter Nilsen (b. 1976) and Hallvard Wennersberg Hagen (b. 1977) formed the electronic-music duo Xploding Plastix in 1998. Xploding Plastix utilizes acoustic instruments and digital samples to compose music and soundscapes. Their music encompasses a wide range of cut ups, forming a genre-bending assemblage of jazz and funk beats.

In May 2000, Xploding Plastix released the limited-run single “Treat Me Mean, I Need the Reputation” on Beatservice Records, which was picked up by club DJs such as Mr. Scruff, Peshay, and Coldcut, and effectively launched their career across Europe. The next year, the band released its debut full-length album Amateur Girlfriends Go Proskirt Agents, followed by the EPs Behind the Eightball (2001) and Benevolent Volume Lurkings (2003). In addition, Xploding Plastix has also composed music and remixes for countless documentaries, short films, television, dance and theater performances, and radio programs.

“Work” is the first of three movements in Xploding Plastix’sThe Order of Things. About the piece, the composers write:

“We saw a fantastic picture in an Italian magazine. A 10-year-old Hong Kong native was pictured in his Sunday's finest. He undauntedly proposed that there should be an order of things: Work, Study, Play. This piece is a musing on how a 10-year-old came to hold such a wonderful view of the world.

“I. Work

• The causing of motion against a resisting force.

• The amount of work is proportional to, and is measured by, the product of the force into the amount of motion along the direction of the force.

• Energy is the capacity for doing work.

• Work is the transference of energy from one system to another.

• To exert oneself by doing physical tasks for a purpose or out of necessity.

• To shape, form, or improve a material.

• To proceed towards a goal or along a path or through an activity.”

Xploding Plastix’ The Order of Things was written for the Kronos Quartet.