The Living is Merely


The Living is Merely was written in 2009, a chamber music piece that combined quasi-mystical, comedic and surreal text; theatrical gestures; folk-spectral interludes; and -best of all- a giant hidden mural designed by artist Lisi Stoessel.

Listen to Excerpts:
Living is Merely Excerpt 1
Living is Merely Excerpt 2
Living is Merely Excerpt 3

The living is merely
a type of what is dead
and a very rare type


The text was written by me, with research help from my friend Patrick Swanson. The idea was to take a single line from an author, and use it to seed the resulting verse. Each movement begins with this method. For example:

Ralph Waldo Emerson says:

Children are all foreigners

This became:

Children are all foreigners
under the apple trees
circling through droning bees
they steal our memories and spread disease, oh yeah