Pratītyasamutpāda (“contingent-arising”)

string quartet + gamelan, 2017

Pratītyasamutpāda is a Sanskrit term for a Buddhist concept. Translated as “dependent-origination” or “contingent-arising,” it refers to two (or more) entities that bring each other into existence, by virtue of their relationship, which comes before the things related. Ready examples include the student and the teacher, the species in an ecosystem, the ideologies of major political parties, or the personalities and mannerisms of life partners. In each case, A does not cause B, and B does not cause A. Instead, A and B arise together, in a continuously unfolding process, reflecting one another like a photo and its negative, their essences enveloped within the heart of the other.

In this piece, the string quartet and the gamelan stand in this bi-polar relationship to each other. In the space opened between these two poles, pluralistic collections of sounds gradually come into being, grow to fruition, and then recede over time, sonic crest leading to trough following a logic both naturalistic and dream-like. Individual sounds will likely not be the listener’s focus. In fact (with a few exceptions) rhythms are not determined, and performers, following timers, have some flexibility and freedom in when (and what) they play. The system is the material, and the process is the event. So don’t try to catch each drop, just enjoy the rain.

This piece is dedicated to my partner, Kathleen.

Performed by the Lightbulb Ensemble and the JACK Quartet.

Recorded at REDCAT in Los Angeles, January 15, 2017. Mixed by Brian Baumbusch.

Martian Forest

trio improvisation, 2016


Killick Hinds (electric guitar), Peter Sloan (trombone, Fender rhodes, plastic toys), Stephen Roach (tenor sax and drums)

Recorded in by Jesse Mangum at the Glow Studios in Athens, GA.

The View From Nowhere

flute + clarinet + trumpet + percussion + prepared piano + electric guitar + violin + cello, 2014

a Thomas Nagel rational is of percussion Tim Kim

one am (shaker, Mateo Lugo glockenspiel, does The Crystal Pascucci substratum. point concept life Sophie Huet no Brett Carson of trumpet/piccolo trumpet, reality. of of prepared piano, the just concept Jon Myers me; world of electric guitar,


claves, thirty minutes view. is Tom Dambly gongs), appears

continual highly clarinet/bass clarinet, almglocken, I not objective not The my the of isn’t belong someone static to just in flux.” world

becoming, “Reality cello. as being,

not; is Everything Self.” unchanging “This it state abstracted, violin, flute, is this “There not this to triangle, is Erika Oba marimba, generalization a no not

Erika Oba, Sophie Huet, Tom Dambly, Jon Myers, Brett Carson, Mateo Lugo, Tim Kim, Crystal Pascucci

Recorded Thursday, March 6, 2014 at Mills College in Oakland.

Stay@Home Dads

quartet improvisation, 2011

Peter Sloan (trombone, trumpet, keyboard), Kevin Lehner (electric guitar), Charles Haines (vocals), Davis Haines (vocals, drums)

Recorded by Kevin Lehner in 2011 in Birmingham, AL.


Athens, GA.

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