Four Koans (2011)

I. Glass-covered Canyons

II. Two Mountain Profile

III. Ever-ascending Spiral

IV. Cloud and Earth




violin & viola


Mvmts I & III: Pasha Tseitlin & Meredith Treaster / 12 August 2011 / Aspen Music Festival, Harris Concert Hall, Aspen, CO, USA
Mvmt II: Leah Asher & Hannah Levinson / 23 May 2012 / Yes.Oi.Si Space, Boston, MA, USA
Complete work: Jeoung-Yin Kim & Lauren Nelson / 19 August 2012 / Lake George Music Festival, Lake George, NY, USA


Finalist, Thailand International Composition Competition 2013


for the Aspen Music Festival

Four Koans is an exploration of the Zen Buddhist koan concept in a musical context (perhaps the widest known koan--poorly translated--is "what is the sound of one hand clapping?"). I have always loved these irrational statements, stories, and questions designed to foil the logical mind and allow for an intuitive and spontaneous type of comprehension. I have composed these four short movements with the aim of stimulating similar mental faculties in the performers and listeners. Disengage the logical facilities of your mind, and see what type of meaning you perceive.

Full Audio:

Online Perusal Score:

[Jeoung-Yin Kim, violin / Lauren Nelson, viola]

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