Fleeting Thoughts




For clarinet, percussion, piano, violin, and cello

premiered by

The Kentucky Center Chamber Players; Paul W. Ogle Center for the Performing Arts in New Albany, IN.

commissioned by

Kentucky Center Chamber Players and recorded and released by counter)induction (pictured right).

premiere date:

Premiered on September 19, 2010

Contact for Score


Fleeting Thoughts is comprised of four movements, each representing different ideas and musical languages. Similar to all fleeting thoughts we experience, each movement is short and intensely focused on one idea until a new thought emerges and places the listener in a different moment. Mimicking the way such thoughts merge and converge, there is no break between movements three and four.

Audio Excerpts


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“It is followed by Erich Stem’s “Fleeting Thoughts”, a kind of experiment in sound that aims at reproducing the functioning of the mind, establishing a fluent and chaotic exchange that breaks minimalism apart…”

–David Murrieta, A Closer Listen, May 15, 2012.

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“Erich Stem’s four-part suite Fleeting Thoughts juxtaposes a terse, balletesque pulse with icily moody piano-and-string interludes that eventually leads to a richly satisfying noir bustle on the way out.”

–Delarue, Lucid Culture, May 17, 2012.

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