In the sense of transparence is inspired by and constructed from two sections of George Oppen’s 1968 long poem “Of Being Numerous.” It repeats two key sections of the poem, which like an invocation calls for us to see things outside of ourselves, with clarity and with the knowledge that each of us is surrounded by others. The rhythm and intonation of the cello is drawn from a 1968 recording of the poet reading at Berkeley, broadcast on KPFA. This piece was written for Séverine Ballon.

From “Of Being Numerous,” by George Oppen


Obsessed, bewildered

By the shipwreck
Of the singular

We have chosen the meaning
Of being numerous.



In the sense of transparence,
I don’t mean that much can be explained

Clarity in the sense of silence.