- Accord, Musidisc France
- Percussions de Strasbourg / Believe Digital
- Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles Cros
‘Erewhon’ was composed over a period of four years (1972-1976). The work takes its title from Samuel Butler’s satiric novel describing a civilisation and an imaginary world : ‘Erewhon’, an anagramme of ‘Nowhere’.
The cycle was first performed at the 14th International Festival of Contemporary Art in Roman, on April 2, 1977, by Les Percussions de Strasbourg, to whom the work is dedicated, under the direction of Giuseppe Sinopoli.
With ‘Erewhon’, Hugues Dufourt embarked upon a potent new dynamic form of expression, veering in a new stylistic and conceptual direction, dramatically changing the treatment of musical parameters – i.e. temporality, space, form, energy and density. His explorations led to the discovery and integration of the percussion section of instruments (Erewhon), followed by electronic stringed and bass wind instruments (Saturne) and finally a full symphony orchestra (Surgir). Erewhon’s four movements encompass sound-noise concepts, examining acoustic volumes and their scope for permutation. With a fresh approach to composition that is resolutely avant-garde, the composer besets formalism with jolts and fractures, creating explosive patches of contrast, areas of intuitive or formal turbulence with outlying dynamic fringes, producing instinctive, genetic or refractory reactions (via harmonics and non-harmonics), zones of emergence, resurgence and persistence with twisted, stretched and compressed outlines and layers of conflicting temporality and tectonics joins. His craftsmanship involves combining traditionally Western assets (a player’s routine gestures and traditional playing styles) with a determined drive for musical emancipation.