The Dharma Bums

  • The Dharma Bums
  • The Dharma Bums
  • The Dharma Bums
  • The Dharma Bums
  • The Dharma Bums
  • The Dharma Bums


Electric Bass


18 minutes

Program Notes

Jack Kerouac was one of the primary writers and practitioners of the beat culture in the 1950s. His novels are autobiographical and give an astonishing insight into a culture that was dissatisfied with the society in which it found itself. Turning to poetry, nature and Zen Buddhism, they found an alternative to the mainstream. Sex, wine, drugs and jazz were all ingredients in their quest for answers.

In his novel, "The Dharma Bums," first published in 1958, Kerouac relates the story of two bohemian poets, their interactions and their travels. In doing so he reveals much of the life style and thoughts of this often misunderstood generation.

This composition is not a programmatic work which attempts to describe the various scenes from the novel. Rather, I have chosen six episodes as inspiration and let the free flow of the music go its own way.

It was premiered in Cleveland, Ohio, on 5 November 1993 by Tom Lundberg on trombone, Damien Bassman on timpani and the composer on electric bass.


Performance parts


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