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Eudaimonia (εύδαιμονία) : for french horn and virtual prepared pianoforte (or sustaining instrument)

by Andrián Pertout (2021)

Work Overview

Eudaimonia (εύδαιμονία) was commissioned by Dr Tracy Newlands, and especially composed for Australian hornist Carla Blackwood (Melbourne, Australia). According to Australian psychologist Catherine Moore and her online article 'What is Eudaimonia? Aristotle and Eudaimonic Well-Being' (2020): "The concept of Eudaimonia comes from Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, his philosophical work on the 'science of happiness,'" and "in its simplest (translated) form, eudaimonia is often taken to mean happiness. Sometimes it is translated from the original ancient Greek as welfare, sometimes flourishing, and sometimes as well-being." In 'Eudaimonia: The Achievement of One's Highest Purpose' (2020) Swedish entrepreneur Ellen Gunnarsson proposes the following argument: "In its simplest form, eudaimonia has been mistakenly likened to happiness, but fulfilment is its truest definition. Aristotle proposed that the true equilibrium of well-being was eudaimonia, not happiness, something only achievable by a virtuous dedication to excellence. A rational, rather than emotional activity of pursuing 'what is worthwhile in life.'" The notion of Aristotle's concept of 'eudaimonia' being about individual happiness further elucidated upon by Edward L. Deci and Richard M Ryan in a Journal of Happiness Studies article entitled 'Hedonia, Eudaimonia, and Well-Being: An Introduction' (2008): "Well-being is not so much an outcome or end state as it is a process of fulfilling or realizing one's daemon or true nature - that is, of fulfilling one's virtuous potentials and living as one was inherently intended to live." The current Coronavirus Covid-19 global pandemic "affecting 218 countries and territories around the world and 2 international conveyances," which as of January 1, 2021 has accumulated 84,287,784 reported cases (including 59,594,847 recoveries) and 1,833,555 deaths has been a pronounced time of reflection for most people around the globe, because in spite of the fact that Covid-19 "forced entire countries into lockdown mode, terrified citizens around the world, and triggered a financial-market meltdown," humanity experienced a renewed appreciation for the simple things in life. In the case of Australia, social analyst Mark McCrindle states that "while COVID-19 brought anxiety, health concerns, and financial impacts, it has also provided a much-needed 'coronacation', which many Australians have used to rebalance their lives."
Eudaimonia (εύδαιμονία) attempts to portray a musical interpretation of the 'individual happiness' characterized by Aristotle's 'eudaimonia' within the context of this recent collective focus on 'gratitude' ("the practice of noticing and being thankful for what is valuable and meaningful to you") and the desire by people around the globe to acknowledge the beauty and joy in the world.

Work Details

Year: 2021

Instrumentation: French horn, virtual prepared pianoforte (or sustaining instrument).

Duration: 9 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Commission note: Commissioned for Carla Blackwood.. Commissioned by Dr Tracy Newlands

The composer has noted the following styles, genres, influences, etc. of this work:
Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics ; Coronavirus Covid-19 global pandemic ; Stefan Hollos and J. Richard Hollos Combinatoriality Algorithmic Composition Single- and Multi-State Probabilistic Automatons ; Magic Squares ; C Lydionian mode of the G Bebop Dominant Scale ; North Indian ‘Hindustani’ scale of Raga Yaman-Kalyana.


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