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Dances of Remote Islands

Seven Dances I Have Never Joined and Never Will

The fantasy of these alternate realities — with their associated traditions, customs and rituals in seven brief glimpses of dance music — is inspired Judith Schalansky’s beautiful “Atlas of Remote Islands”. It is in the strange and unreal we shall meet ourselves and reality.

For clarinet, vibraphone, piano, electric guitar, ’cello, and double bass. Music composed for and first performed by Bang on a Can All-Stars.


Face the Music

“Face the Music” starts as a lecture, but gradually transforms into a kaleidoscopic theatrical fantasy as the speaker — literally, dramatically — disappears into his musical memories. It evolves into a short story where he has to try to find his way back, traveling by the memories the music recalls.

Performed by Matthew Lieff Christian and Contemporaneous at MATA Festival, New York City.

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Tuning, Applause

“Tuning, Applause” is a kind of symphonic narrative. It starts almost unnoticed with the music growing out of the orchestra’s tuning procedure but is interrupted when an audience member claps too soon, midway through the work. The conductor asks the orchestra to start over, but from here on, something has changed. The orchestra is now out of tuning and the conductor turns impatiently towards the audience, conducting their applause.


Music composed for and first performed by Aarhus Symphony Orchestra. To get the audience in the game, we placed 50 extras among the rest of the unknowing audience, who (thank God!) all joined the clapping.

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Commissions and music performed by
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