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To Live in Los Angeles | flute, oboe, marimba & piano | 8'

To Live in Los Angeles was premiered by Helix Collective (Sarah Robinson, flute; Phil Popham, oboe; Lorry Black, marimba; Katie Norring, piano). This piece was commissioned for Helix Collective's concert program L.A. Stories, as well as their newly-released album of the same name, in which Los Angeles-based composers wrote works about the city for speaking chamber ensemble.


First, the hills will burn.

Let them—

but stay here.



Learn to spend more than you have;

learn to have just enough.

Learn to leave the porch light on for yourself.


Some days the hills will burn;

some days, they'll disappear.

Let them.


Be driving constantly;

be driving, always, into the sun.

The car will break down;

let it.

Drive it into the ground.


Let the moon be a child's moon,

the wind, always the wind before a storm.

Gusty winds may exist—

let them.


Let fallen palm fronds look like road kill,

the street names like water:

Ripple, Ripple.


Turn left onto Echo, or just remember

the act of doing so.

Drive daily past Future Street;

never turn.


Bring it all to a boil,

each small sweetness in the back of the throat.

Bring it all to a boil that can't be stirred down.


Meet him.

Meet him, finally, here,

in the hills—where else?—


let them burn,

and stay here.


—Dale Trumbore

early drafts & composing notes

Click on each score to magnify it.

Sketches for To Live in Los Angeles
Sketches for To Live in Los Angeles 2
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