Stuart Saunders Smith

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Stuart Saunders Smith in 2008

Stuart Saunders Smith (born 16 March 1948) is an American composer and percussionist.


Stuart Saunders Smith was born in Portland Maine, and began his percussion and composition studies at the age of six with Charles Newcomb. He studied harmony, counterpoint, and arranging at the Berklee School of Music in 1966, and continued his percussion and composition studies at the Hartt College of Music (1967–1972) and the University of Illinois at Urbana (1973–1977). Along with Charles Newcomb, his percussion teachers were Fred Budha, Al Dawson, Alexander Lepak, and Thomas Siwe. He currently resides in the state of Vermont with his wife Sylvia.

"I began composing when I was six. My first piece, Sandbox, was written for woodblock and cowbell with many whole rests between the sounds. I loved the looks of whole rests. My rests where not of the Cage variety; I simply loved counting to four.

My teacher was Charles Newcomb. A veteran Vaudeville musician, he could sight-read virtually everything. Some of his assignments for homework were to hand copy various percussion scores. These were my first composition lessons, along with lessons providing in many styles – Latin music, to waltz, to Dixieland - anything with drums. For me, music composition is physical thanks to Mr. Newcomb. Also, composition was seen as what a musician does: you perform, you compose.

I got my union card when I was thirteen as I began playing in clubs, dances, and the like. In my late teens I had an epiphany: The better we played, the less the club owner liked it. The audience was no problem. The gate-keeper paid for dull music. We better play dull, or never get hired again.

One cannot teach composition. One supports the young composers, exposes them to a wide selection of literature, helps with notation, and move them on, by your example.

I studied composition in my twenties with Edward Diemente, Sal Martirano, Ben Johnston, and Herbert Brün. My work with Mr. Diemente was almost exclusively centered around notation and its relationship to performance practice. Also, Mr. Diemente and I “Co-directed” a new music ensemble. We would compose a piece one week and hear it the next. It was the composer ́s ensemble. We also improvised in every rehearsal. My first lesson with Sal consisted of him staring at my score silently for about forty-five minutes. (He seemed a bit stoned.) Then out of the blue he said, “You want to play some jazz at my home?” I said sure. So we got my drum-set to his place. We rehearsed a couple nights a week – drums and piano. These sessions were my lessons with Sal. Then came Ben Johnston. I knocked at his studio door. I went in. There was silence everywhere. He was in his rocking chair, staring out the window. I showed Ben the score I was working on. I played through it on his piano. He asked after I finished, “How did you make it?“ I said, “I don’t know. I worked it out by ear.“ There was a long wait. Finally he said, “well, we better not change that!“ So went my lessons with Ben. I entered his room in silence. One of us would say something, more silence, and so forth. He did not say much. Ben watched. He watched me build rhythm by rhythm and interval by interval. He did not interfere. Not saying but doing, was his lesson. Later, Ben would read some of his essays for my comment. He performed these papers with great intensity or purpose and passion. Herbert Brün was brilliant. Herbert was a communist. He believed (oh, how he hated the word believe) that pitch and rhythm governments needed to be designed like he wanted civil governments. Herbert and I rarely agreed on much, even though I am an American version of a utopian communist. We wrestled with the purpose of music in society. I thought then, and I still do, that politics is thought, and art is not. Our argument was experience vs theory. (I am politically committed. My music could care less!)

My life in music is about letting things evolve, emerge, with experience the guide.

As I write this introduction, it occurs to me, that I have had and have, one more composition teacher, Sylvia Smith, the owner and editor of Sonic Art Editions and Smith Publications. She publishes all my music. She has known my music since 1968. I rely on Sylvia to comment on my latest works. I sometimes revise a composition if she suggests changes. Also, once in a great while, Sylvia suggests that a work does not work at all. It is rare that we disagree on this. When we do, I withhold the piece from performance, in order to see if I change my mind a year later or so.

It is important to always have a mentor; a big ego is useless. I am a worker, an artworker. I go to work everyday. I listen, I notate my listening. My listening has evolved. My listening was greatly enhanced thanks to Edward Diemente, Sal Martirano, Ben Johnston, Herbert Brün, Charles Newcomb and Sylvia Smith. They are here, with me, one to another." (from Stuart Saunders Smith, New England liner notes, Kairos, 2018)


In nearly fifty years of composing music, Stuart Saunders Smith has amassed a body of well over 150 works that have consistently defied the status quo. His compositional aesthetics are broad and somewhat different in every piece – many compositions feature wholly unique notational systems that the composer himself has invented. In categorizing Smith's work, one finds four primary areas of focus: music of extreme rhythmic and melodic intricacy; musical mobiles with instrumental parts that freely interact; text-based compositions; trans-media systems for any kind of performing artist(s). At the core of each of these styles, there is a focus on language – body language, melody, and speech – which Smith uses as his primary tool for contemplating a deeper question: how do we perceive and interact with the sounds we hear around us? (Burke)

Stuart Saunders Smith's percussion-theater music forms the core of that literature with such pieces as Poems I II III, ...And Points North, Tunnels, Clay Singing and twenty-six compositions of that genre (Welsh).

Stuart Saunders Smith is widely recorded with compositions on such labels as New World Records, Ravello Records, Centaur, Innova, 11 West Records, O.O. Discs, Equilibrium, GAC, Soundset Recordings, and Chen Li.

In addition, anthologies of new music have included his theater music, and music of rhythmic intricacy: Here and There, MacMillan Publishing, NYC; Return and Recall, Assembling Press, NYC; Faces, ASUC, NYC; and Transitions and Leaps, Mark Batty Publications, NYC. Articles on his music have been published regularly throughout the years in such journals as: Perspectives of New Music, Percussive Notes, Interface, and ex tempore.

Reflections on Paths traveled

From: Composing....Thoughts

I am in a subtropical paradise. There is a plethora of flowering plants of all colors imaginable, a warm steady breeze, sea water with azure blue, waterfalls of fresh spring water, and citrus fruits off the tress. . Yet , I crave art. Art is much better than nature. . At the very center of art is tragedy, which is sorrow seen in the mirror the knowing eyes of death. . Nature does not speak to humane condition, only art does. . . . . . I am in nature trying to be out of nature – way out. Give me the music over flowers.

When the mind parts from the body into two separate beings – that is the day of arrival – the beginning of wisdom. The separation stimulates a conversation between body and mind; and allows us to experience mortality rather than immortality. . . . . . Much of the world musical cultures create a music of reconciliation – trying to heal the “rift” between body and mind. This music is largely trance music. I want music that separates mind and body to such an extent that it creates a dissociative state which enriches two rather the making a one

God was talking to his best friend before He made the universe. How friend asked, . “are you going to use directions?” “No, no directions, just expanding.”

It ́s the act of writing that something is written. . . It is the movement of the pen. . Music is in the pen

  • Program Notes by Stuart Saunders Smith

(from the “modern percussion revolution – journeys of the progressive artist”, Routledge, New York, London)


Smith is the author of several articles on his music and other's. There have also been a number of articles written about Smith's music.

Perspectives of New Music

"Communications" By Stuart Smith

  • Vol. 11, no. 2, pgs. 269–277 (1973)

"A Portrait of Herbert Brün" By Stuart Smith and Sylvia Smith

  • Vol. 17, no. 2, pgs. 56–75 (1979)

"Visual Music" By Sylvia Smith and Stuart Smith

  • Volume 20, no. 1-2, pgs. 75–93 (1981)

"A Composer’s Mosaic" By Stuart Smith

  • Vol. 22, no. 1-2, pgs. 275–285 (1983)

"Return and Recall (Improvisation – The First Step) at U. M. B. C." By Stuart Smith

  • Vol. 22, no. 1-2, pgs. 286–289 (1983)

"Notes on Stuart Smith’s Return and Recall: A View From Within" By Linda Fiore

  • Vol. 22, no. 1-2, pgs. 290–302 (1983)

"Aussie Blue (Day in the Summer in 1985) for Piano (Pianist Also Plays Triangle and Sings) Commissioned by Chris Mann" By Stuart Saunders Smith

  • Vol. 26, no. 2, pgs. 300–305 (1988)

"Against Definition" By Stuart Smith

  • Vol. 32, no. 1, pgs. 214–218 (1994)

"To Suffer Music" By Stuart Smith

  • Vol. 34, no. 1, pgs. 106–112 (1996)

"Showing and Saying" By Stuart Smith

  • Vol. 34, no. 1, pgs. 116–121 (1996)

"Inner-views: A Conversation between Stuart Saunders Smith and Tom Goldstein" By Stuart Saunders Smith and Tom Goldstein

  • Vol. 36, no. 2, pgs. 187–199 (1998)

"Stuart Saunders Smith's Links No. 6 (Song Interiors): How Can I Tell what I Think Until I See What I Sing?" By Ron Hess

  • Vol. 47, no. 1, pgs. 211–232 (2009)

"Interview with Stuart Saunders Smith" By Kristina Der

  • Vol. 55, no. 2, pgs. 219–233 (2017)

Percussive Notes

"Music Notation as Visual Art" By Sylvia Smith and Stuart Smith

  • Vol. 20, No. 1, pgs. 49–54 (1981)

"Focus on Performance: The Noble Snare – A Concert of Snare Drum Solos" By Brian Johnson

  • Vol. 28, No. 1, Pgs. 52–54 (1989)

"Having Words With John Cage" By Stuart Saunders Smith

  • Vol. 30, No. 3, pgs. 48–52 (1992)

"Percussion in Discussion (Language, Percussion, and My Speech Songs)" By Stuart Saunders Smith

  • Vol. 31, No. 8, pgs. 71–73 (1993)

"Thinking On Tools – Touching My Trade – or – The Touch in Time Is Mine" By Stuart Saunders Smith

  • Vol. 31, No. 8, pgs. 74–79 (1993)

"Percussion Ecology: Doing More With Less – Music for a Small Planet" By Stuart Saunders Smith

  • Vol. 32, No. 1, pgs. 62–63 (1994)

"Against Definition" By Stuart Saunders Smith

  • Vol. 32, No. 1, pgs. 63–64 (1994)

"Showing and Saying (1994)" By Stuart Saunders Smith

  • Vol. 33, No. 2, pgs. 68–70 (1995)

"The Links Series of Vibraphone Essays: A Personal View/A Concert Review" By Christopher Shultis

  • Vol. 34, no. 3, pgs. 70–74 (1996)

"An Interview with Sylvia Smith on the 30th Anniversary of Smith Publications and Sonic Arts Editions" By Carrie Rose

  • Vol. 42, No. 4, pgs. 74–79 (2004)

"The Geography of Time: The Links Series of Vibraphone Essays (1974–1994)" By Stuart Saunders Smith

  • Vol. 43, No. 2, pgs. 58–62 (2005)

"The History and Significance of The Noble Snare" By Jason Baker

  • Vol. 44, No. 3, Pgs. 72–77 (2006)

"Stuart Saunders Smith's Links No. 6 (Song Interiors) How Can I Tell What I Think Until I See What I Sing?" By Ron Hess

  • Vol. 48, No. 3, pgs. 42–50 (2010)

"Stuart Saunders Smith’s Ground for Solo Glockenspiel: Clear Complexity" By Rob Falvo

  • Vol. 49, no. 3, pgs. 42–49 (2011)

"Interview with Stuart Smith: On the Formation and Early Years of the PAS New Music/Research Committee" By Dr. Eugene Novotney

  • Vol. 49, No.5, pgs. 32–33 (2011)

"The Silence… An Introduction to the Inner World of Stuart Saunders Smith" By Jose "Zeca" Lacerda

  • Vol. 50, no. 6, pgs. 40–47 (2012)

"Amidst the Noise: Stuart Saunders Smith’s Percussion Music" By Jeremy Muller

  • Vol. 52, no. 4, pgs. 6–15 (2014)

"Night Suite: Interviews with Stuart Saunders Smith and Berndt Thurner" By Rose Martin

  • Vol. 56, no.3, pgs. 20–25 (2018)

Percussive Notes Research Edition

"Music Notation as Visual Art" By Sylvia Smith and Stuart Smith

  • Vol. 18, no. 2, Pgs. 7–14 (1981)

"Interview with John Cage" By Dr. Stuart Smith

  • Vol. 21, No. 3, pgs. 3–7 (1983)

"Stuart Smith’s Links Series" By John P. Welsh

  • Vol. 23, No. 3, Pgs. 75–89 (1983)

"Lecture by Dr. Thomas DeLio" By Dr. Thomas DeLio

  • Vol. 22, No. 6, Pgs. 76–81 (1984)

"Scribing Sound" By Sylvia Smith

  • Vol. 23, No. 3, pgs. 34–51 (1985)


"Avant Garde Percussion" By Stuart Smith

  • Vol. 10, No. 1, pgs. 3–4 (1972)

"The Early Percussion Music of John Cage" By Stuart Smith

  • Vol. 16, No. 1, pgs. 16–27 (1978)

"Lou Harrison’s 'Fugue' for Percussion" By Stuart Smith

  • Vol. 16, No. 2, pgs. 47–56 (1979)


"Music in the Air Here and There – A Radio Landscape" By John P. Welsh

  • Vol. 13, No. 4, pgs. 199–223 (1984)

"Viewing Mobile Minds: Stuart Smith's Gifts" By John P. Welsh

  • Vol. 16, No. 4, pgs. 219–245 (1987)

ex tempore

"Thoughts of Stuart Saunders Smith on Quakerism, Trans-Media and Democracy" By Stuart Smith and Christine Humphries

  • Vol. 7, No. 2 (1995)

"Family Portraits: 'Delbert (great-grandfather)' and Self Interview on the Thirtieth Year of Smith Publications and Sonic Art Editions" By Sylvia Smith

  • Vol. 13, No. 2 (2007)

"A Composer’s Mosaic: Selected Entries from the Composing Journals of Stuart Saunders Smith (1985–1986)" By Stuart Saunders Smith

  • Vol. 14, No. 1 (2008)

"Interview with Stuart Saunders Smith" By Jude Traxler

  • Vol. 14, No. 1 (2008)

Smith is the author of two books: Twentieth Century Music Scores, an anthology, (Prentice-Hall, 1989), co-edited with Dr. Thomas DeLio; Words and Spaces, an anthology, (University Press, 1989), co-authored with Dr. Thomas DeLio. In addition, he is currently writing Composing, Thoughts, a book of experimental writings about aesthetics, language, composition, listening, and religion. Part I of this book was published in The Modern Percussion Revolution: Journeys of the Progressive Artist, edited by Kevin Lewis and Gustavo Aguilar (Routledge, 2014). John P. Welsh's "The Music of Stuart Saunders Smith" is published by Greenwood Press (1995).

Stuart Saunders Smith's service works on the behalf of music includes organizing hundreds of concerts of new music, functioning as a lobbyist for the arts for the American Society of University Composers during the Reagan presidency, and as Executive Editor of Percussive Notes, Research Edition from 1982–1984.


His awards and honors include three UMBC Research Grants, The Hartt College Distinguished Alumni Award, East/West Artist Award, three Maryland State Artists Fellowships, the National Endowment for the Arts Composer's Fellowship, Percussive Arts Society Service Award and the Atlantic Center's Master Artist Award.


When Stuart Saunders Smith chose the title "Links" for his ongoing series of compositions for vibraphone, he provided us with the most suggestive mode of biographical entry and subsequent inquiry, for his links are not only intra- and inter-compositional, but between and among his vocations as composer, performer, teacher, writer, anthologist, editor, entrepreneur, philomath, and musical activist.

When as a young man from Maine he ventured out into our hypercompartmentalized, ultrapluristic compositional society, he was disposed to be no one's myrmidon, and so his music has displayed no more the explicit influences of the succession of strong-willed composition teachers with whom he studied and from whom he surely learned than that of jazz which he professes to be (or, at least, to have been) his primary musical influence. For he has forged a personalized seamless musical compound, a vast collection of awarenesses fused into a unified, single, and singular vision in which the individual sources retain little of their literal characteristics. (Milton Babbitt – quoted in Welsh, "The Music of Stuart Saunders Smith")

Stuart Saunders Smith has done very important and unique work in the fields of open-form composition and jazz. He comes to this approach naturally, for two reasons: first, as a percussionist he is comfortable with notation which diverges from the traditional mainstream in a number of ways; and second, as a jazz performer he is at home with improvisation. There is even a third reason, perhaps somewhat less obvious than these: because poetic consciousness is so fundamental to Smith, his musical thinking often results in compositions that seem to transcend music itself. This leads him to a view of artistic composition which is not tied either to ratiocination or to expression. It is not that his art is lacking in logic or in expressive effect but rather that its center of gravity is elsewhere. (Ben Johnston – quoted in Welsh, "The Music of Stuart Saunders Smith")



1. Poems I, II, III for five brake drums and narrator

2. One for Syl for solo vibraphone


3. One for Two for alto saxophone and organ

4. A Gift for Bessie for violin, piano, bassoon, and percussion


5. Here and There for shortwave radio, piano interior (percussion) and any melody instrument or voice

6. Legacy Variations No. 1 for any three sustaining melody instruments

7. Legacy Variations No. 99 for any three sustaining melody instruments

8. Three for Two for violin and viola

9. Two for Four for percussion quartet (orchestra bells, vibraphone, cymbal, large and medium gong, xylophone, marimba, timpani, temple blocks, and various small percussion instruments).


10. Rock Garden for organ and two percussion


11. Faces for oboe and clarinet

12. Gifts for keyboard and any two melody instruments

13. Links for solo vibraphone


14. Links no. 2 for solo vibraphone

15. Links no. 3 for solo vibraphone


16. Return and Recall / Initiatives and Reactions: Studies in the Concept of Group Composition performance systems for actors, dancers, musicians, mimes, etc.


17. Pinetop for solo piano


18. Flight for flute and piano


19. Blue for trumpet, drum set and double bass


20. Notebook for any instruments in any combination

21. Notebook, Part II for one or two pianos (may be played with Notebook)


22. Songs I-IX for percussionist-actor (small percussion instruments and various household items from kitchen)


23. Tunnels a solo music-text-theater composition for keyboard, string, or multiple percussion

24. Links No. 4 (Monk) for solo vibraphone


25. Blue Too for solo drum set

26. By Language Embellished: I percussion / theater opera for speaking voice


27. Some Household Words I-XVI for solo speaking voice


28. Aussie Blue for solo piano

29. In Bingham for solo speaker/narrator


30. Links No. 5 (Sitting on the Edge of Nothing) for solo vibraphone with offstage orchestra bells and chimes


31. The Noble Snare for solo snare drum


32. Links No. 6 (Song Interiors) for vibraphone and piano

33. Links No. 7 (New England Night Weave) for solo vibraphone


34. ...And Points North a music-theater work for solo percussionist/narrator (wood block, small Peking opera gong, Tibetan cymbal, glass wind chimes, owl hooter, hawk screamer, pod rattles, Audubon bird call, "found" instruments from the city and the woods)

35. Transitions and Leaps for two or more performers performing any sounds/actions


36. "as if time would heal by its passing for solo marimba

37. Family Portraits: Sylvia (wife) for solo piano

38. Family Portraits: Ivy (grandmother) for solo piano

39. Family Portraits: Earle (father) for solo piano

40. Hawk for solo oboe

41. In Common for flute and vibraphone

42. Links No. 8 (Confessions-Witness to 48 Things) for vibraphone with flute

43. Nightshade for violin or medium voice and two percussionists, each playing orchestra bells (glockenspiel), tam-tam or gong, two cymbals, two triangles


44. Good Night for solo marimba

45. Links No. 9 (Mosque) for solo vibraphone

46. Meetings for flute, vibraphone and piano


47. Each Moment and Ending for keyboard percussion quintet

48. Part for flute, piano, and cello

49. Thaw for solo orchestra bells (glockenspiel)

50. Links No. 10 (Who Are We? Where Are We?) for solo vibraphone


51. Family Portraits: Brenda (first cousin) for solo piano

52. Links No. 11 (Regions I-XXI) for three vibraphones

53. Wind in the Channel for solo tenor recorder


54. Family Portraits: Delbert (great-grandfather) for percussionist/narrator (playing woodblock, logs, and newspaper)

55. Strays for xylophone and tenor recorder or flute


56. Family Portraits: Cubba (grandfather) for trumpet, flute, and five percussion (tom-toms and triangles)

57. Family Portraits: Mom and Dad Together for solo double bass

58. Polka in Treblinka for percussion trio (bass drum, xylophone, snare drum and high hat)


59. Family Portrait: Self (in 14 stations) for solo piano

60. The Night is Never Long for piccolo and xylophone


61. Closing for solo guitar

62. Fences in Three Tragedies for solo piano

63. When Music is Missing, Music Sings for two percussionists playing five "found" instruments each


64. All That is Left orchestra bells (glockenspiel) duet

65. And Sometimes the Ears for solo tenor steel drum

66. Even Song for solo orchestra bells (glockenspiel)

67. Leaving for solo marimba


68. Books of Flutes for solo flute

69. Bones for percussion, piano, and 3 or 4 melody instruments

70. Endless for two flutes and two vibraphones

71. The Geography of Streams for percussion trio (xylophone solo with two sets of orchestra bells, two bass drums, claves, and woodblocks)

72. Thinking About Anne Sexton duo for vibraphone and speaking voice


73. Breath for mezzo-soprano and orchestra bells (glockenspiel)

74. Family Portraits: Ligeia (daughter) for soprano voice and piano

75. Light A Dew for solo double bass

76. Minor for solo violin


77. Asleep in Thorns for guitar and flute

78. Brush for solo drum set

79. Dad's Time Had Come for solo xylophone

80. Dead Reckoning for tenor recorder trio

81. Things That Grow Smaller for flute, clarinet, bassoon, piano, and percussion

82. Two Lights for solo drum set


83. Family Portraits: Embden Pond for solo alto flute with two vibraphones

84. Willow for solo cello

85. Wounded an antiphonal composition for 3 or 4 xylophones


86. Hearts for solo violin

87. Ground for solo orchestra bells (glockenspiel)

88. Plenty thirty-four movements for solo vibraphone


89. Clay Singing for solo percussion with spoken text

90. Family Portraits: Erika (daughter) for vibraphone and violin

91. In Hours Like These for soprano voice and orchestra bells (glockenspiel)

92. A River, Rose for violin and vibraphone

93. When The Body Betrays for tenor voice and double seconds steel drums

94. Women in Meeting flute duet


95. The Authors for solo marimba with spoken text

96. Big Falls, Little Falls' for percussion quartet and off-stage percussion ensemble (4)

97. Castine for marimba with offstage voice

98. Magdalene for soprano saxophone and two percussion

99. Over for solo orchestra bells (glockenspiel)

100. Rose for flute with spoken text and movement

101. A Vietnam Memorial opera for speaking voice and vibraphone


102. Among Us for solo piano

103. Light for two voices

104. Light in Each One for solo alto flute

105. The Lines of Ageing for solo vibraphone

106. The Narrow Path trio for two vibraphones and orchestra bells (glockenspiel)

107. Quilt for vibraphone and orchestra bells

108. Seven Seasons for contralto voice and vibraphone

109. Angels for percussion trio, three triangles each

110. as the days get shorter for solo bass clarinet (revised 2018)


111. Mornings for solo vibraphone

112. Apart for 2 orchestra bells and vibraphone

113. The Narrow Path for 2 vibraphones and orchestra bells

114. Family Portraits: Justin for vibraphone/voice

115. Shine for piccolo and orchestra bells


116. The Home of the Brave for percussionist/actor performing on a 2X4, 3 bottles, and 5 metal objects

117. To Freshen the Moment for cello and vibraphone

118. Far Away for solo chimes

119. Wait for solo marimba

120. GodSongs for actor singer and orchestra bells (one player) (revised 2018)


121. Time Comes Full Circle for cello and violin

122. Thicket for orchestra bells or piano

123. All Too Human for soprano and clarinet

124. Winter, Knee Deep for flute/theater

125. They Looked Like Strangers for solo vibraphone

126. Winter Songs for violin/theater


127. Three Winter Carols for orchestra bells/voice

128. Winter for any winds, strings, keyboard, mallet percussion

129. New England for vibraphone


130. Palm Sunday for piano

131. A Liturgy of the Hours for flute

132. Our Father for soprano

133. Heaven and Earth for organ

134. Five Books for orchestra bells


135. Blessings for soprano and clarinet

136. A Good Friday for clarinet

137. By Hand for bongos

138. The Lilies of the Field for vibraphone and female voice

139. Across: Lines for orchestra bells/xylophone/vibraphone/marimba/chimes/voice, one player

140. My Friend Gita Said: for marimba/voice

141. Lyric for percussion theater

142. The Shapes Beneath the Ground for marimba


143. Crystal Night for violin and percussion quartet

144. Memory for any soloist

145. Lazarus for piano or vibraphone/actor/singer

146. Past Regrets for double bass/singer/actor or cello

147. Lady Slippers for harp, viola, alto flute

148. Queen Anne's Lace for vibraphone

149. The Deep for vibraphone


150. Re:Verse trans-media work for any two performance artists

151. Wellspring for orchestra bells

152. Echo for 1–8 singers

153. Evening Primrose for vibraphone solo with two drumsets 154. Commune, vibraphone concerto with small chamber ensemble

155. Meadow Sweet for marimba and clarinet

156. Here's the Sun for cello solo


157. Inner Light for solo violin

158. Halo for solo vibraphone

159. The Circle of Light for flute solo and eight luminists/actors

160. Family Portraits: Our Home for soprano voice and vibraphone

161. Easter in Bingham for alto saxophone and actor/vibraphone

162. Milk and Honey for vibraphone and harp

163. Alone for solo vibraphone

164. Men's Culture for soprano saxophone and xylophone, two actors

165. My Romance for solo orchestra bells or vibraphone or piano

166. Alone in a Room for solo orchestra bells and percussion quartet (triangles)


167. Emily for jazz/electric guitar and piano

168. Mercy for large percussion orchestra

169. Dignity for soprano voice, vibraphone, and actor

170. History for marimba, vibraphone, and piano

171. When We Were Giants for guitar (2014/2017)

172. The Untold Range for 3–5 percussionists, chimes, and pre-recorded environmental sounds

173. Lace for orchestra bells duet and soprano


174. as the days get shorter for solo bass clarinet

175. Envelope Poems for vibraphonist / vocalist and offstage melody instrument

176. Winter Taps for 2 actors and vibraphone duet

177. Lace for orchestra bells duet and soprano

178. Honesty for flute and vibraphone

179. Family Portraits: Harriet for vibraphone

180. Family Portraits: Harpreet for violin and vibraphone

181. Holy Week for vibraphone

182. Compassion for vibraphone

183. My Better Angel for vibraphone

184. Family Portraits: Self at 70 for flute, double bass, and drumset

185. Family Portraits: Sylvia at 70 for piano


186. Afterlife concerto for marimba with large percussion orchestra

187. Poetry for marimba and actor/actress

188. A Friend's End for actor/actress and offstage flute and chimes

189. Regrets for double bass and soprano

190. Older Years for alto flute and actor

191. The Vibraphone Poems for vibraphone and voice (one player)

192. Peace for bass flute, flute, piccolo (one player)


  • Smith, Stuart Saunders. Twentieth Century Scores. Prentice-Hall.
  • Smith, Stuart Saunders, and Thomas DeLio (1989). Words and Spaces: An Anthology of Twentieth Century Musical Experiments in Language and Sonic Environments. University Press of America. ISBN 0-8191-7425-4. ISBN 978-0-8191-7425-3.


  • Wind in the Channel, O.O. Disc (Out of Print)
    • 1. Hawk (1991), solo oboe
    • 2. Family Portraits: Brenda (1994), solo piano
    • 3. California Driving (1995), solo voice
    • Return and Recall (1976)
    • 4. Notebook (1980), 2-piano version
    • 5. Wind in the Channel (1994), tenor recorder/voice/percussion
    • 6. Gifts (1974), flute, vibraphone, piano
    • 7. Pinetop (1976–1977), solo piano
    • 8. In Bingham (1985), solo voice
    • 9. Aussie Blue (1985), solo piano
  • Music/Theater, Centaur (CRC 2633)
    • 1. By Language Embellished: I (1983–1984), solo voice/percussion
  • The Year Begins to Be Ripe, 11 West Records/Smith Publications
    • 1. Poems I, II, III (1970), 5 brake drums, narrator
    • 2. In Hours Like These (2005), soprano, orchestra bells
    • 3. Family Portraits: Delbert (1994), percussion/voice
    • 4. Xylophone Poems No. 1: Went Forth (1999), xylophone/voice
    • 5. Thinking About Anne Sexton, vibraphone (2000), narrator
  • The Noble Snare, 11 West Records/Smith Publications
    • 1. The Noble Snare (1988), solo snare drum
  • Breath, 11 West Records/Smith Publications
    • 1. Each Moment An Ending (1993), marimba, xylophone, vibraphone, orchestra bells, chimes
    • 2. Blue Too (1981–1983), solo drumset
    • 3. ...And Points North (1990), percussion/voice
    • 4. Links No. 11 (1994), 3 vibraphones
    • 5. Breath (2001), mezzo-soprano, orchestra bells
    • 6. Polka in Treblinka (1996), xylophone, snare drum, high-hat, bass drum
    • 7. Thaw (1993), orchestra bells
    • 8. Family Portraits: Cubba (1996), trumpet, percussion, flute
  • Withered Leaves – New Birth, Disques Christal (France)
    • 1. Links (1974), vibraphone
    • 2. Links No. 2 (1975), vibraphone
    • 3. Links No. 3 (1975), vibraphone
  • In Common, Equilibrium
    • 1. In Common (1991), flute, vibraphone
  • Book of Horizons, New World Records
    • 1. Fences, In Three Tragedies (1998), solo piano
  • When Still, Soundset Recordings
    • 1. Links No. 2 (1975), vibraphone
    • 2. The Starving Month (2012), vibraphone
  • McCormick Percussion Group, Ravello Records
    • 1. Nightshade (1991), violin, 2 percussion
  • Trio Spectra, GAC (Sweden)
    • 1. Polka in Treblinka (1996), xylophone, snare drum, high-hat, bass drum
  • At Sixty (Selections), 11 West Records/Smith Publications
    • CD#1
      • 1. Women in Meeting (2005), flute duo
      • 2. Polka in Treblinka (1996), xylophone, snare drum, high-hat, bass drum
      • 3. Over (2006), orchestra bells
      • 4. Wounded (2003), xylophone
      • 5. Magdalene (2006), soprano sax, 2 percussion
      • 6. Notebook (1980), any instruments
    • CD#2
      • 1. In Bingham (1985), solo voice
      • 2. Rose (2006), flute/dancer/actor
      • 3. Family Portraits: Embden Pond (2003), alto flute, 2 vibraphones
      • 4. A River, Rose (2005), violin, vibraphone
      • 5. Hearts (2004), violin
      • 6. Good Night (1992), marimba/voice
  • Books of Flutes, 11 West Records/Smith Publications
    • 1. Books of Flutes (2000), solo flute
    • 2. Legacy Variations No. 1 (1972), any three melody instruments
    • 3. Legacy Variations No. 99 (1972), any three melody instruments
    • 4. Family Portraits: Embden Pond (2003), alto flute, 2 vibraphones
  • Crux, Chen Li Music
    • 1. Notebook (1980), any instruments
    • 2. Family Portraits: Ivy, Earle, Sylvia (1991), solo piano
    • 3. Here and There (1972), short-wave radio, piano interior, any melody instruments
    • 4. Strays (1995), tenor recorder and xylophone
  • Strange Paths, Innova
    • 1. They Looked Like Strangers (2010), vibraphone
  • Music for Keyboard Percussions, Ravello
    • 1. Apart (2008), 2 orchestra bells, vibraphone
  • The Isle is Full of Noises, Centaur (CRC 3091)
    • 1. Family Portraits: Embden Pond (2003), alto flute, 2 vibraphones
  • The Links Series of Vibraphone Essays, New World Records
    • The Links Series
      • Links-Links 11, vibraphone
  • A River Rose, New World Records
    • 1. Hearts (2004), violin
    • 2. Three for Two (1972), violin and viola
    • 3. A Gift for Bessie (1971), violin, piano, bassoon, percussion
    • 4. Minor (2001), violin
    • 5. A River Rose (2005), violin, vibraphone
    • 6. I've Been Here Before (2009), violin and piano
  • Hawk – The Saxophone Music of Stuart Saunders Smith, Chen Li Music
    • 1. Notebook (1980), any instruments
    • 2. Magdalene (2006), soprano sax and 2 percussion
    • 3. Husbands and Wives (2008), alto sax duet
    • 4. Hawk (2007), soprano sax solo
    • 5. One for Two (1971), alto sax and organ
  • Plot: Music for Unspecified Instrumentation, Ravello Records
    • 1. Bones (2000), for any musicians and piano
    • 2. Winter (2010–2011), any instruments and voices
  • Full Circle – NOISE Plays the Music of Stuart Saunders Smith, Centaur Records
    • 1. Flight (1978), for flute and piano
    • 2. Notebook (1980), any instruments
    • 3. Time Comes Full Circle (2010), for violin and cello
    • 4. Asleep in Thorns (2002), for flute and guitar
    • 5. Women in Meeting (2005), for two flutes
  • Pluralities, Chen Li Music
    • 1. Lazarus, for piano and voice
  • Lisa Cella - Shine, Chen Li Music
    • 4. Light in Each One, for solo flute
    • 5. Shine, for flute and orchestra bells
  • New England, Kairos
    • 1-11. New England, for solo vibraphone


External links[edit]