Stephen Cabell


Stephen Cabell (b. 1984) is a New York-based composer of sonically engaging and arrestingly wrought music that attempts to grab the listener from the very first moments and never lets go. His artistic mission is to write music that can be understood and appreciated by both casual and expert listeners.


  • Instrumentation: 3(III=pic).3(III=eh).3( - - timp.perc (3) - hrp - cel - strings
  • Duration: 13 minutes
  • Completed: 2004


In the 1960s the Italian fablist writer Italo Calvino wrote a compilation of short stories entitled Cosmicomics. They are an enchanting series of stories about the evolution of the universe told through the experiences of an immortal being, Qfwfq. Each story begins with a scientific fact (from the 1960s). This piece concerns itself primarily with the first story of the series, The Distance to the Moon, which begins by stating Sir George H. Darwin’s theory on the relationship of the Moon to the Earth: 

“At one time...the Moon was very close to the Earth. Then the tides gradually pushed her far away: the tides that the Moon herself causes in the Earth’s waters, where the Earth slowly loses energy.”

The story evokes many celestial and ethereal colors and my piece tries to express them musically though the music does not necessarily follow the story line programmatically. It does attempt to evoke the same moods.

COSMICOMIC was awarded the Joseph H. Bearns Prize in Music from Columbia University in 2004.

-Stephen Cabell

© Copyright 2018 Stephen Cabell