Selected list of compositions

Most recent first

Different Cities (2012/13)

There’s a conceptual narrative to this composition. We listen to the city go by, then step back into our own thoughts, and this cycle continues through the course of the composition. In its first presentation as an installation for the inaugural show at CMCA (Center for Maine Contemporary Art) in Rockport, Maine, from October 23—December 2, 2012, this composition was called Many Times Times Square. About 20 minutes long, based on a mix of Times Square field recordings and transformations, it can be seamlessly looped for an installation of any duration. Another version, based on the original, about 5 minutes in duration, was first performed on March 4, 2013, at the Frederick Loewe Theater, New York University, as part of NYU’s Interactive Arts series.

This is the five minute version.


To Manhattan (2011)

From the Staten Island waiting room to the Manhattan entry hall, this trip on the Staten Island ferry took about 30 minutes. Recorded by Joel Chadabe and Joseph Kubera in October 2011, it is a remarkable sequence of sound, all the more so because it was unintended. Chadabe’s description: “Joe was navigator, leading the way. I was the pilot, in this case holding the recorder. We started the recording in the Staten Island waiting room, then followed the crowds onto the boat. We walked down to the lower car deck and stood near the aft railings to record the ferry closing its gates and railings and leaving the slip. When the ferry was underway, we walked up to the passenger deck, crossed the deck very slowly, then walked to the northern side of the boat. Joe held the recorder while I took some pictures of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan. We then walked slowly to the front of the boat to record the approach to the Manhattan slip and the docking process of the boat hitting piles, making a shrieking sound. We left the boat with the passengers. The recording ends in the Manhattan entry hall where the melody lingers on.”

nyharbor_800Passing through New York harbor

manhattan800Approaching Manhattan

Streaming To Manhattan. About 30 minutes.


MicroFiction (2009)

Settings of these seven words by Richard Kostelanetz are transformations of the sounds of the words as well as a portrayal of their meanings. The first performance was February 27, 2009, at The Human Voice in a New World concert at Judson Church, Richard Kostelanetz speaking, Joel Chadabe controlling the sounds.


One World 1 (2006)

One World 1, based on sounds from New York and New Delhi, is about complexity, energy, turbulence, as if the world were a large crowded city, its space shared through a common human bond. The sounds from New Delhi were recorded by Shankar Barua, in New York by Benjamin Chadabe. Composed with support from the New York State Council on the Arts, the first performance was October 7, 2006, at the first Ear to the Earth Festival.

This full version is about 16 minutes.


Many Times … (2001)

Many Times … is a series of compositions for acoustic instruments and interactive electronics. The first performance was on March 21, 2001, at the Expanded Instrument Festival, produced by EMF at Engine 27 in New York City, with Benjamin Chadabe, Frances-Marie Uitti, Chris Mann, and Jan Williams. The dots in the title are the performers first name. There are two versions that are often performed. Here is Chris Mann speaking a loop in the first version and Patti Monson improvising with her flute in the second.

Many Times Chris
Many Times Patti


Music N: 1 With Pierre’s Words (1997)

Music N is an electronic rhythmic bed for improvisation with hand drums, recitation, other instruments, and electronics. Music N was commissioned by Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company and used in a first performance called 1 With Pierre’s Words on May 3, 1997, at The Egg (New York State Performing Arts Center, Albany, New York). The performers were Jan Williams, hand drum; Benjamin Chadabe, hand drum; Xavier Chabot, flute and electronics; Curtis Bahn, double bass; and Pierre Joris, poem and recitation.

Music N: 1 With Pierre’s Words


After Some Songs (1987-1994)

This is a collection of short compositions for computer-synthesizer and solo instruments, some based on jazz classics, some not. The first performance was March 8, 1987, at the Chamber Music Society of Baltimore, with Jan Williams, percussion. A first group was published by Intelligent Music, 1988. Modalities (1990) was recorded for Centaur Records (CRC 2047, 1990). The complete collection was recorded for Deep Listening Publications (CD 001, 1995), with Jan Williams, percussion; Reto Weber, percussion; and Bruno Spoerri, saxophone. Here are some of the tracks:

Elusive Lady


Many Mornings, Many Moods (1988)

Computer/synthesizer, percussion solo, and orchestra. Technology: M (software) with Yamaha Midi Rack. Commissioned by Jan Williams, Michael Udow, and Robert Fernandez through the National Endowment for the Arts Consortium Commissioning Program. First performance: March 10, 1988, by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra at The North American New Music Festival, with Jan Williams, solo percussion.

Manhy Mornings Many Moods


Follow Me Softly (1984)

Computer/synthesizer and percussion. Technology: Synclavier. First performance: April 12, 1984, The North American New Music Festival. Recorded CDCM Series Volume 24: The Composer in the Computer Age VII, Centaur Records (CRC 2310, 1997). Jan Williams, percussion.


Scenes from Stevens (1979)

Computer/synthesizer. Technology: Synclavier. First performance: November 11, 1979, PS1 Soundshow, NYC.


Solo (1978, revised 1981)

Computer/synthesizer. Technology: Synclavier. Recorded: Lovely Music (VR 1302, 1985). First performance: August 30, 1978, UNESCO Summer Workshop in Computer Music, Aarhus, Denmark.

More about Solo: the story and a complete performance


Settings for Spirituals (1977)

Computer-generated accompaniments for spirituals sung by Irene Oliver. Technology: PDP-11 computer, software by Joel Chadabe and Roger Meyers, and Moog synthesizer. Recorded: Lovely Music (VR 1302, 1985). First performance: May 15, 1977, Experimental Intermedia Foundation, NYC.


Flowers (1975)

Solo stringed instrument and electronic sounds on tape. Technology: Moog synthesizer. Commissioned by Robert Stierer. Recorded: Paul Zukofsky, violin, CP2 Records (CP2/2, 1977). First performance: June 22, 1975, Robert Stierer’s 30th Wedding Anniversary Celebration, SUNY Albany, with David Gibson, cello.


From the 14th On (1972)

Solo cello. First performance: April 14, 1973, Bard College, with David Gibson, cello.


Echoes (1972)

Solo instrument and electronics. Technology: tape recorders and Moog synthesizer. Recorded: Folkways Records (FTS 33904, 1975). Recorded: CP2 Records (CP2/2, 1977). First performance: November 10, 1964, “New Directions”, Oberlin College, with Jan Williams, percussion.


Shadows and Lines (1972)

Electronic sounds on tapes. Technology: Moog synthesizer. Commissioned by the Center for the Creative and Performing Arts (Buffalo, NY). First performance: February 13, 1973, 10th Anniversary Celebration of the Center for the Creative and Performing Arts, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo NY.


Ideas of Movement at Bolton Landing (1971)

Electronic sounds on tape. Technology: Moog synthesizer. Recorded: Opus One Recordings (#17, 1974). First performance: May 1, 1971, Syracuse University Arts Festival.


Drift (1970)

Electronic sounds on tape. Technology: Moog synthesizer. First performance: 1971, University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana.


Street Scene (1967)

Solo English horn, tape and projections. Published: Carl Fischer Inc., 1974. Recorded: Opus One (#16, 1973). First performance: March 25, 1969, “Music In Our Time,” Kaufman Concert Hall, 92nd Street Y, NYC, with Pat Grignet Nott, English horn.