Impossibility Song

Instrumentation: soprano, guitar (+ tenor banjo), piano (+ electric piano)

Duration: 10′

Program note:

This work, written for Pesedjet, is one of a few works of mine that began with its eventual title first; then came the music – music that, ironically in a sense, contains shaped phonemes instead of words for the vocal part. Considering that the title is a seeming source of inspiration, I have been wondering what is the connection to the actual music — a music of disjointed sonic patterns, fluctuations of individual instrumental colors and tempi, and uncorrelated layers which align in jarring ways. As I was writing the piece, I came across a passage from Ben Marcus’ book The Flame Alphabet that resonated with me and, in a way, seems to have guided me towards some understanding of the title:

Oh don’t worry, I am perfectly aware of the fantasy involved here, but what we want is almost never exempt from the impossible. That barrier has very little meaning for me these days. Given what’s happened, the impossible is just a blind spot that dissolves if we move our heads fast enough. History seems to show that the impossible is probably the most likely thing of all.

Ben Marcus, The Flame Alphabet

I’d like to thank Carrie Henneman-Shaw, Mabel Kwan, and Jesse Langen for the dedication and impeccable craftsmanship put into this work.


Performance by Pesedjet – Chicago, IL

Score (excerpt)


score download/purchase


Impossibility Song – Score

Full score with instructions


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