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(Originally appeared on ArtsAtl.)


Bent Frequency’s January 20 program, Sound Worlds: the Sonification of the Japanese Garden, presented four works representing “music informed and inspired by the design elements, proportions, and aesthetics of the Japanese Garden.”

“The GSU ensemble collaborated with Berlin-based sound artist Michael Fowler to conceive and execute the program, which included two of Fowler’s works. Despite the thematic unity of the evening’s pieces, a performative distinction exists: Fowler’s pieces all centered on computer-based manipulations, while John Cage’s “Ryoanji” (1983) and Toshio Hosokawa‘s “Vertical Time Study II” (1993–1994) are both scored for live performers only. Despite the adventurous, often experimental music that Bent Frequency explores, the computer-generated aspects of the evening were what fell flat, tending to deliver novelty over compositional strength. But another way, the looser, more improvisational works seemed less like a planned garden and more like an overgrown plot hedged by urban space.”



Reviewed on Buddhist Art news:

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A poem on the unknown

May 1, 2016


These margins of error are

emerald green and flattened from

frequent padding, but don’t mar


the passage enclosed, instead form

eyelines and sleeping spaces,

climb a ladder and rock in warm


rail motion. Far distant places

roll just outside the right just-

ification. A footnote raises


my head above shifting dust

like a full feather pillow

above white sheets. They say we must


sleep, so sleep soundly! follow

waves and clear bell rings

in between the lines, fields fallow


and dark, new buds pushed up fingers

around pencils, rubbed out erasure,

dream and wake to see what the sun brings.


Istanbul Drawings book

September 17, 2015

24 pages, hand stitched, full color. Drawings from a week in Istanbul. A limited number of copies are available: email me or visit Poem 88 Gallery & Bookshop.



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On this date in 2014. See more from that occasion here.



From the Spiti Valley

July 4, 2015

On this date in 2010… from the book Six Weeks in the Spiti Valley.



Laid, milled sheets, a head to rest
and a place is held to where
the while is, and that’s the least

Concern to have. Being takes care
of itself. Receipts, tree bark,
ATM slips, rough scraps, or rare

Japanese paper; the mark
that is on it is the thing, not
the fiber. The end will hark-

en each bit: through fire, dry rot,
crumbling dust, recycle bin,
as bird’s cage lining, forgot-

ten in a drawer, or worn thin
by passing time. The weaver
who waits for the perfect skein

To make a tapestry never
gets anywhere, and mistakes
matter for idea, or takes
time to be other than ever.

The wine in the bottle of 101
was sweet and sustaining,
overflowing, crushed to
liquid beauty by hands and
feet of the beloved, and now
that the container is empty,
the hollow sound intoned is
a bell of memory treasured,
not a desperate drunk’s
morning after longing
for just one more sip.

(On this date in 2009)


Written on demand on this date in 2011.




I’ve made a book(let) of some drawings I made while in London last November.

It is hand sewn and printed on 24 lb. linen paper, 20 pages with a 32 lb. full cover color: thus 24 pages of drawings. The center spread is also full-color.

The deluxe first edition is 108 copies; 48 copies remain, and they are for sale for $10 each, shipping to USA included. Or, you can find them at Poem 88 gallery.

The drawings are ink, pencil, colored pencil, and watercolor.

Email me at jciliberto at gmail to order one.

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