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: Wind Ensemble; 3(III=pic).2.3.bcl.cbcl.2 - 2.1.1 - - pno - timp.perc (4)
  • Duration: 8 minutes
  • Completed: 2016

While sketching ideas for SEEP, I was reminded of a documentary detailing an abstract painting technique of German visual artist Gerhard Richter. The film shows Richter etch, scrape, and smear thick oil paint over a pre-painted canvas with a giant squeegee, resulting in intricate, vibrant spreads of color. Seeing these beautiful paintings emerge in realtime drove me to emulate and adapt this technique in my music.

Shifting stacks of thirds extend across the ensemble resulting in complex, monolithic harmonies. Within these harmonies, an immovable triad persists as an object of permanence around which the musical landscape evolves. Pitch bends, introduced first by the flutes, spread to all sections of the ensemble, obscuring the stacked harmonies and mimicking Richter’s squeegee technique.

SEEP was written in 2016 and is scored for piccolo (doubling flute), 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 3 clarinets in B-flat, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet, 2 bassoons, 2 alto saxophones, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, 4 horns, 3 trumpets in B-flat, 2 trombones, bass trombone, euphonium, tuba, string bass, piano, timpani, and percussion (vibraphone, glockenspiel, crotales, chimes, marimba, high, medium, and low suspended cymbals, large tam-tam, low gong, water gong, water chimes). It has an approximate performance time of 8 minutes.

-Stephen Cabell


March 31, 2017 - USC Thornton Wind Ensemble - H. Robert Reynolds


[ Recording available upon request]

© Copyright 2018 Stephen Cabell