Please find a selection of works below. The first four are primary.
Oceans in Oceans is a chamber orchestra work inspired by the feeling of swimming through the Pacific Ocean – the rhythm of breathing, the pulls outside and in, and the search for space and air.
Performed by Wellesley Composers Conference Ensemble, conducted by James Baker, 2014. 12 min.
I asked some people in parks and parking lots in China and in California how they imagine the other place. The music is sometimes measured, sometimes consisting of small games interacting with contours of speech, and action on video.
Performed by Now Hear Ensemble, Santa Barbara, 2013. 9 min.
Threads is a story about translation for ASL interpreter with hands strung to windchimes at a distance. A recorded dreamscape speaking from the back of the hall converses with live sounding chimes of different materials, hanging over the audience and threaded down to the performer interpreting silently from the stage.
Performed by Chris Clarino, La Jolla, California, 2014. 16 min.
Sometimes you might hear someone moving around in another room, and wonder what’s going on. Something about the sound of their moving might lead you to listen more carefully, to try to figure out what’s happening. Antonioni’s Blow-Up and Coppola’s The Conversation both depict an obsessively repeated combing over of accidentally documented detail, searching for a glimpse of clarification. This piece also presents a repeated process of focusing in on perceptual detail amid various obstructions. The subject of the piece is listening – or situations where listening has audible consequences. The performers switch between modes of moving across the room and playing small objects, given a series of listening tasks. They listen to, intuit, and interpret each other’s actions, translating between instrumental sounds and bodily movement, with and without sight. In each arrangement, the group must find a way to move together, against varying degrees of struggle.
Performed by Noam Bierstone, Kaylie Melville, Joao Pacheco, Christian Smith at the International Summer Course for New Music Darmstadt, 2016. 10 min.
Performed by Klangforum Wien, impuls festival, Graz, Austria, 2017. 17 min. Excerpt, 4 min.
A car accident inspired me to investigate acupuncture and Chinese medicine. In traditional diagnosis, the pulse is measured not only in a number of beats per minute. Three fingers assess the wrist at different depths of pressure to capture a fuller portrait of the pulse in action – sensing its strength at different depths and the character of its entering and leaving. There are 29 kinds of pulses described in pictorial imagery, including pulses that are wiry and taut like the strings of a musical instrument, and pulses that roll slickly like pearls in a dish. When researching this piece, I thought of these images in watching the skittering of marbles, and the variable rhythms, collisions, and pulsations they fall into when or circling harder surfaces like glass. Glass has hardness and transparency – it can preserve or protect, and also shatter and pierce. I thought about how we might move or pulse or come to feel in bodies made of glass.
Performed by Curious Chamber Players at Bludenzer Tage Neue Musik, Austria, 2016. 18 min.
Sonorous arrangements of plastic bags, newspapers, and other everyday detritus sound through the action of wind and site-specific games. Human Windchimes are nature sprites trekking through everyday sonic spaces in search of nature – skiing through galleries of contemporary art at Houston’s Menil Collection, crawling through the Encinitas library, answering clocktower chimes from an office building in La Jolla, or blending into the drone of Los Angeles traffic.
[As Human windchimes is a site-specific work, a separate score is composed for each performance responding to particularities of the space. Above is the most recent score for a performance at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.]
Performed in video by Brian Griffeath-Loeb, Kelli Moore, Jasmine Wang, Grace Leslie, Carolyn Chen, ARTifact Gallery, UC San Diego, 2011. 90 min. Excerpts, 3 min.
Supermarket Music explores the intersection between nature and commerce by elaborating the Taoist nature aesthetic of the guqin in the soundscape of a local supermarket. Problematizing the supermarket as a site of public and private experience, the evening-length event at Ralphs-La Jolla engaged over 20 performers in a series of covert and overt tasks, including tuning to freezers, shopping for products of a single color, and remapping the guqin tuning process onto supermarket shelves.
Performed by San Diego community members, Ralphs-La Jolla, 2010. 60 min. Excerpts, 10 min.
Relationships with Gravity, an assemblage on falling, interweaves personal stories of falls, interviews with physicists, projected footage from falling cameras, and spatialized falling objects with live ensemble that converses in traditionally notated music as well as listening games.
Performed by Marina Kifferstein, Vicky Chow, Matt Evans, Carolyn Chen, MATA Festival, The Kitchen, New York, 2014. 18 min.