for clarinet, alto/baritone saxophone, trombone, piano, percussion, violin, double bass
MOD[ular] Ensemble performing, Jaclyn Hartenberger conducting
The term “antifragile” was coined by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a researcher in philosophical, mathematical and (mostly) practical problems with probability. In the prologue of his book, "Antifragile", Taleb introduces the concept: “Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors, and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty. Yet, in spite of the ubiquity of the phenomenon, there is no word for the exact opposite of fragile. Let us call it antifragile. Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better.”
I found Taleb's book and his exploration of this concept fascinating, and saw it as a good challenge to work with this notion musically. "Antifragility" is cast in three main sections as an evolution of musical material through the concepts of fragility, to robustness, to antifragility. Early on in the piece, unexpected interruptions cause problems in delicate and vague moments, but as the piece progresses, the interruptions seem to cause less turmoil to the main music as it clarifies and solidifies. In the last section of the piece those same volatile shocks are absorbed into the main musical material and have become an essential part of a highly rhythmic groove, growing stronger as the piece draws to a close.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
"Antifragility" was commissioned by Connie Frigo and Josh Bynum for their group, MOD[ular] Ensemble
Live Recording, March 22, 2017
Premiered on March 22, 2017 by MOD[ular] Ensemble, conducted by Jaclyn Hartenberger, at Hodgson Concert Hall in Athens GA