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In 2011 I inaugurated a blog called the Interpreter's Forum, where performers of my compositions can meet one another and share their experiences, observations and advice.

scholarly articles and presentations

"Aeneas in the Underworld." In Music in the Apocalyptic Mode, Lorenzo DiTomasso, and Colin McAllister, eds. Brill (2023), pp. 363-372.

Christopher Adler and Jean-Paul Allouche. "Finite self-similar sequences, permutation cycles, and music composition." Journal of Mathematics and the Arts 16 (2022).

"Zaum Box: New Music for Speaking Percussionist," Malaysian Journal of Music 9 (2020), pp. 55-64.
Free to access on-line:

“Contemporary cross-cultural composition for the free-reed mouth organ khaen,” in Patricia Matusky and Wayland Quintero, eds., Proceedings of the 4th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Performing Arts of Southeast Asia. University Sains Malaysia (2017), pp. 41-44.

Sonic Ideas 4:1

"Mathematics, Automation and Intuition in Signals Intelligence for Percussion", in Sonic Ideas 4:1 (2012). Print edition available from CMMAS. Read the paper on

"The Calcuated Groove of Postminimal Percussion." Lecture/Recital with Andrew Bliss, presented at the LIVEWIRE Conference, University of Maryland Baltimore County (October 28-30, 2010). Read it on

Reflections on Cross-Cultural Composition, in Arcana II: Musicians on Music, edited by John Zorn, Hips Road/Tzadik, 2007.
In this article, I survey my cross-cultural compositions from 1996-2006 and discuss my relationship to traditional Southeast Asian musics and the evolution of my thinking about methodology, ethics and aesthetics. Available from Tzadik and

Drone Placement and Fingering in Traditional and Contemporary Music for Khaen, The Free-Reed Journal 3 (2001)
In this article, I discuss the traditional fingerings used to play the khaen, and one of my techniques for composing new khaen music by altering fingerings.

Cross-cultural Hybridity in Music Composition: Southeast Asia in three works from America. unpublished, 1998.
This is an unpublished manuscript about cross-cultural hybridity in contemporary musical composition, with analyses of works by Chinary Ung, Michael Tenzer and Evan Ziporyn, written in 1998. The full text, without figures, is available here.

resources for composers

Khaen: The Bamboo Free-Reed Mouth Organ of Laos and Northeast Thailand: Notes for Composers. Download PDF. (Most recently revised, 2020)


Review of Laos. Musique des Khmou / Laos. Music of the Khmu, Yearbook for Traditional Music 50 (2018)
Review of Anthology of World Music: The Music of Laos (Rounder Records, 1999/196?), Asian Music 32, no. 2: 200–203 (2001)
Review of Anthology of World Music: The Music of Laos (Rounder Records, 1999/196?), The Classical Free-Reed, Inc. (April 12, 2000)
These are reviews of the Rounder Records re-release of a CD of Lao music. The review in Asian Music is more extensive and detailed, whereas the web review focuses on the khaen.

brief articles and varia

An introduction to the khaen, for the Center for World Music in San Diego, 2015.

This is a letter which I sent to National Public Radio's Weekend Edition critiquing a piece on techno music, portions of which were read over the air in August, 2002.

This article discusses an older composition for the Chinese free-reed mouth organ sheng.
"wind-chime, a Hybrid Composition for Sheng", Music from China Newsletter 7, no. 1: 8–10 (Spring–Summer, 1998)


Christopher Adler, University of San Diego Music Program, 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, 92110-2492

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