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The Library of Babel

Duration: 10'

Instrumentation: two 5-octave marimbas

"The Library of Babel" for two 5-octave marimbas is based on the short story by the great Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges, which describes a nearly-infinite library containing every possible book of a certain length and format, in every possible language, known and unknown. In addition to every book ever written or someday to be written, the library includes every possible misprint of these books. As the volumes are organized at random, nobody can ever find anything. Yet, somewhere in the library is the answer to every possible question.

This piece was commissioned by Jack Van Geem for his duo with Nancy Zeltsman and was inspired by his seemingly boundless virtuosity and love of the marimba. The premiere is scheduled for the Zeltsman Marimba Festival in Arcata, California in July 2013.

To order a score and parts contact Terra Non Firma Press


Performance by Jack Van Geem and Fumito Nunoya.