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Composition Portfolio

Brief Artist Statement

Adam Zuckerman (b. 1992, Los Angeles, CA) is a musician working with acoustic, electronic, and environmental media in the creation of scores, recordings, performances, and installations. At the core of Adam's work is an interest in the conditions and perceptual limits of change, difference, and memory, as well as the modalities of temporal experience and the attendant atmosphere that adheres in specific performance situations. Adam understands music as having a uniquely immediate connection with the pure sensation of sound. Music exists for itself as an acoustic object which coalesces sound, explores its possibilities, and presents it for aesthetic apprehension. All of the components that make up a piece – its materials, textures, formal structures, temporal dimensions, conceptual frameworks, concrete performance situations – these serve to allow sound to unfold its rich materiality as a concretization and reiteration of the creative impulses of the world. In this way, music reveals and explores the inherent beauty of sound in a world always full of vibration. Adam's music aspires to offer an intuition into this vast and folded sonic domain as it holds open an immersive space for listening, reflection, and imagination in a celebration and affirmation of existence.

The materials found below have also been collected in a Google Drive Folder, found here: Portfolio to Google Drive

Writing Samples (click on titles for PDF)

1. The Use of the Canon Technique in Clementi's Scherzo and Beuger's cantor quartets

2. An Introduction to Echo-logical Acoustemology



for three or more musicians and processed field recording playback

38' , 2020/21

Score link: STARPERMEABLE score

If the recording does not appear below, it can be found at this link: STARPERMEABLE (alternate)


To the memory of Moshe Matyas (1925 - 2020)

A collection of melodies

as a constellation of stars

in the direction of a tree

in celebration of life

The melody is a thing of memory. It collects time and suspends it in apprehension of a whole. It is a sequence of points, and it is itself a point, a part cut from the virtual fabric of sound. The melodies here composed open a space of possibility, becoming only through the process of their realization. Filtered by it, they emerge folded, many-faceted – like crystal, or stone. Heard, unheard, reheard, they suggest a listening in all temporal directions. Expanding and contracting like breath, here: melody crystallizes as harmony, harmony unfolds as melody.

Studio album forthcoming in December 2022 on Nueni Recs (Berlin).

Kanoa Ichiyanagi, viola                         Kristyna Svihalkova, percussion

Zaq Kenefick, harmonica                     Sam Torres, mastering

Juan Marroquin, flute                           Adam Zuckerman, composition, recording, mixing

Dylan Marx, guitar

If You're Going To Dance Don't Hide Your Face

for two performers on an amplified setup of acoustic guitars, objects, feedback, and electronics

collaboration with Dan Meyer

18' , 2019/20

Score link: If You're Going To Dance... score

If the recording does not appear below, it can be found at this link: If You're Going To Dance... (alternate)


If You're Going to Dance Don't Hide Your Face was conceived and concretized through a long collaborative process of composition, improvisation, and performance that culminated in the studio recording presented below. The recording consists of an unprocessed studio performance of the piece, with the sparse addition of recorded sounds and electronics.

The sky without end. 

for flute, clarinet, piano, percussion, violin, viola, cello

9' , 2022

Score link: The sky without end. score

If the recording does not appear below, it can be found at this link: The sky without end. (alternate)


The sky without end. uses a simple chromatic line as its basic material. With this chromatic line, canonic structures are built that operate independently on several instrumental and parametric levels. Instrumental groupings present the same material using different scalings of pitch (whole tone, chromatic, quarter-tone, glissandi), different scales of duration (based on mathematical proportions and multiplications of these proportions), and different scales of timbre (on a spectrum from noise to tone). The form of the piece, also built with these proportions, uses the contour of the chromatic line to determine its shape. By introducing erasure and fragmentation, their resultant layering alternates sound and silence to create a state of floating and to fill the space with felt potential. In this way the piece builds a small but complete world: from infinitely small to large steps, from short attacks to long sustained notes, from pure noise to pure tone.

Premiered by Ensemble Dal Niente at the São Paulo Contemporary Composers Festival in August 2022.

Additional pieces

shine like fire, that mirrors nothing

for viola

11' , 2021 

Score link: shine like fire, that mirrors nothing score

If the recording does not appear below, it can be found at this link: shine like fire, that mirrors nothing (alternate)


shine like fire, that mirrors nothing explores repetition and resemblance in a two-part form: in part one, gradually transforming isorhythmic structures are layered and operate independently; in part two, these layered elements are abstracted and merged into a single gesture. I am currently expanding the scope of the piece, the duration of which will be about 30', and I am elaborating the site-specific conditions of its performance environment and its choreography.

Premiered by Andrew McIntosh at California Institute of the Arts

light porous world

for piano and percussion quartet with electronic playback

11' , 2019

Score link: light porous world (score)

If the recording does not appear below, it can be found at this link: light porous world (alternate)


A world: slightly obscured, orb-like, pulsating, light-emanating. Heard from the outside and as though glimpsed at a distance between walls packed closely together.

** Loud, high-pitched sound near the middle - take care of your ears! **

Premiered at the Yarn/Wire Institute:

Andrew Anderson and Ning Yu, pianos

Boyce Jeffries and Ancel Neeley, percussion


The Hand, The Grid, And The Red Breeze

acoustic guitar, field recordings

29' , 2022

The Hand, The Grid, And The Red Breeze takes as its sole material the microscopic and typically imperceptible sound of an e-bow at the edge of functionality on an acoustic guitar. The player sits by the guitar and, with extreme focus and discipline, gradually slackens the strings, which subtly changes the orientation of the e-bow. The result is an amplification of feedback interference, internal dynamics, and slow transformations.

album released in October 2022 on NCTMMRN (Melbourne)

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