The Happy End Problem
|The Happy End Problem|
|Studio album by Fred Frith|
|Recorded||2003 and 2004|
|Fred Frith chronology|
|Music for Dance series chronology|
|All About Jazz||favorable|
The Happy End Problem (Music for Dance Volume 5) is a studio album by English guitarist, composer and improvisor Fred Frith, and is the fifth of a series of Music for Dance albums he made. It comprises two suites composed in 2003 by Frith "for flute, bassoon, gu zheng, percussion, violin and electronics" and was recorded in 2003 and 2004.
A reviewer at Sea of Tranquility summed up the album with the following comment:
- "Overall two highly accomplished and fascinating pieces of music, more perhaps for the classical enthusiast than the progger."
The two suites on the album, "Imitation" and "The Happy End Problem" were composed by Frith for small ensembles of six and seven musicians. They were originally commissioned in 2003 by choreographer Amanda Miller for two dances for her The Pretty Ugly Dance Company. Both suites premiered at the Stadttheater in Freiburg, Germany, "The Happy End Problem" in May 2003 and "Imitation" in April 2004.
In "The Happy End Problem" Frith drew on elements from Igor Stravinsky's 1910 ballet, Firebird Suite. "Imitation" focused on Oriental elements and played on the Western world's perception of Japan. At the time, the shakuhachi player, Kikutsubo Day was a student of Frith's at Mills College in the United States, and he constructed "Imitation" around her playing.
- "The Happy End Problem" (Frith) – 21:00
- Fred Frith – guitar, bass guitar, laptop instruments
- Kikutsubo Day (1-9) – shakuhachi
- Carla Kihlstedt – violin
- William Winant – percussion
- Theresa Wong (1-9) – cello
- Patrice Scanlon – electronics, clarinet
- Sheela Bringi (10) – flute
- Heather Vorwerck (10) – cello
- Wu Fei (10) – gu zheng
Sound and artwork
- "Imitation" recorded at Guerrilla Recordings, Oakland, United States, February 2004
- "The Happy End Problem" recorded at Guerrilla Recordings, Oakland, United States, February 2003
- Engineered, mixed and mastered by Myles Boisen
- Artwork by Tom Kurth
- Kelman, John. "The Happy End Problem". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2011-06-20.
- Couture, François. "The Happy End Problem". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-03-29.
- Frith, Fred. "Fred Frith compositions". Fred Frith homepage. Retrieved 2007-03-06.
- Barnes, Richard. "Frith, Fred: The Happy End Problem". Sea of Tranquility. Retrieved 2007-04-24.