Adam Mirza


Reading: (A Mish-Mash) / For a Man / I will never 2013
for Voice, Trumpet, Trombone and Bass Clarinet

The physical act of typing with only thumb and index finger translates reading (thought) to writing (action) one letter at a time. For Laurence (“Larry”) Joel Eigner (1927-1996), handicapped by cerebral palsy from birth, the typewriter was another wheelchair in the machinery of life: a tool whose limitations could be reappropriated and mobilized as productive conditions for acts of creation. Eigner’s poetry is performative, carefully situated by its setting on the page. It exhibits a kind of embodied phenomenological awareness that is frequently compared to Charles Olson’s concept of projective verse. And yet, Eigner’s texts, which certainly induce poetic form as an emergent property of the activity of reading, nonetheless bear a problematic relationship to the paradigm of spoken utterances enthused for in Olson’s manifesto. Poetry must be read, all agree. But must it be read aloud? What constitutes its projection, its embodiment, its sensuality, its history — its performance? Here, the problematic performance of reading is taken for a different tack: a musical mish-mash of poems, phrases, and prosodies — objects, instances and interactions gratefully borrowed from a body of work, from Mr. Larry Eigner.

Prose and poetry selections from Larry Eigner’s works with permission of the Estate of Larry Eigner: areas / lights / heights: Writings 1954-1989 (1990, ed. Benjamin Friedlander); Windows / Walls / Yard / Ways (1994, ed. Robert Grenier) and readiness / enough / everything / depends on (2000, ed. Robert Grenier).

loadbang: Jeffrey Gavett (baritone), Will Lang (tbn), Andy Kozar (tpt), Carlos Cordeiro (BCl)

Triangles 2012
for flute, violin and piano

Like any form of social organization, musical ensembles embody complicated processes of negotiation and compromise between participants in the pursuit of communal expression. In this short composition I consider the related facts of coexistence and encounter that play out between the violinist, pianist and flutist, under the metaphorical call of a distant tinning-ringing of triangles.

Members of ICE: Eric Lamb (fl), Erik Carlson (vln), Jacob Greenberg (pno)

Safe Words 2012
for 5 vocalists

There are no safe words. To save words words-in-a-safe open saving worlds world-safe. Whirl-words: are public. Passwords and play words, key words, after-words and bywords for the political-personal games which require humor to be taken seriously. Plink-Plank-Plunk! Four words: back-words (crosswords). Words and deadly deeds, watch words reward. Safe words are dangerous.

Text excerpts from Frederick Douglass, John Heminge and Henrie Condell, IMSLP,, Gertrude Stein, UbuWeb, Plato, WikiLeaks, and Wikipedia.

Ekmeles Vocal Ensemble

Strike 2011
for 3 percussionists


(… complicit memories of a troubled youth/
the physical life of power)

in light of unfortunate events 2003 to 2010 we must

machine guns and marching bands
kids at play play play (boys with toys
— toys for teenage tots)
march the madness
(march for madness)

aRagaDagaDagaTEAR THAT statue down
down drown down
drone drone drone droning drone
ing ing ing ing ing ing ing ing ing ing ing

A-bombs and F-bombs
shock and awe
  the fastest fascist nation of power
  in between the dream and the desire
  the fascination power
  power is its expression

slogans of the world unite, rocket the vote

boom tch-tch, BOOM tch-tch, boom tch-tch, BOOM tch-tch,

Ing. fuck

TimeTable Percussion

QXTR 2010
for string quartet

violin1 violin2 viola cello

QXTR: consonants without consonance. What grounds the fore-back if it isn’t the gexture/testure inversion? Reciprocation (comm-unity). Communify! Eternal elision… impending immanence. And silence. (listening)

JACK Quartet

Partial Knowledge (Situational Ethics) 2010
for chamber ensemble

Argento Ensemble

Body-Process: Ritual 2008-9
for tenor saxophone

Michael Ibrahim

Line Noise 2007-8
for electric guitar and effects

Adam Mirza

Die Knospe Verschwindet in Dem Hervorbrechen Der Bl├╝te 2004-6
for alto saxophone

Michael Ibrahim

Time Patterns 2005-6
for violin, viola or cello

William Lane (viola)

then       there
for chamber orchestra

Cleveland Chamber Symphony (Andrew Rindfleich)

Spiral Passages 2000
for two violins

Mark Dorosheff, Monika Chamasyan