The Poetry Project


10 meditations in an emergency (Ethan Philbrick)

10 meditations in an emergency is a piece of music for cello, voice, and recorded sound that doubles as a series of meditation exercises for living through modernity’s ongoing emergencies. Beginning with a series of textual shards from Frank O’Hara’s 1957 Meditations in an Emergency (“in times of crisis we must all decide again and again whom we love,” “everything is turbulent and green,” “the open flesh of the world,” “I could never be a boy,” “once you are helpless you are free”), the piece submerges O’Hara’s text in morphing sonic environments in an attempt to pay attention to what O’Hara’s ghost might have to offer us in the present.

10 meditations in an emergency will begin no later than 8:15. Attendees arriving later than that will need to be admitted quietly at intervals.