Jurjen Hempel

Here Comes Everybody




During the period in which I composed Here Comes Everybody, I dreamed of a gigantic orchestra, drifting over the fields like a summer storm. In the distance it approached me like a thundercloud. But when I looked closely, I could see the musicians playing—all at the same time, fast and loud, as one big sounding body. It reminded me of the early minimalist music of Steve Reich and Philip Glass, or the massive overtures and finales of Wagner, Beethoven and Sibelius.

The title that went best with this piece had to be Here Comes Everybody. I borrowed it from James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake by (where it is one of the many names of the protagonist, but that aside). “Finnegans Wake is one of the books I've always loved, but never read”, John Cage once said. I myself needed three guides to be able to read and understand Joyce’s masterpiece (if that is possible at all). It has left a lasting impression.

Here Comes Everybody is an optimistic piece. The music lives up to the title and, for that matter, to the dream that lay at the root of it all: everyone plays almost constantly—except in the middle section, where the orchestra sings a song without words.