Mockery Pursuit for Violin and Cello (2018)

Mockery Pursuit was initially inspired by Jorge Luis Borges’ story of the mythical “A Bao A Qu”: a creature which resides at the base of an enormous staircase, waiting for a traveler to begin an ascent. Initially shapeless and invisible, the A Bao A Qu follows behind the traveler and gradually becomes more colorful as the traveler ascends the staircase. If the traveler reaches the top of the tower, they are granted a view of the most beautiful landscape imaginable. In Borges’ story, the A Bao A Qu appears to be benign even when a traveler fails to reach the end of their journey. Thus, the concept for this piece was born from the question: “what happens to the traveler who fails to reach their destination?”

Where Borges’ story uses the A Bao A Qu to describe the journey to Nirvana, Mockery Pursuit seeks to explore the dangers of the obsessive pursuit of a singular goal.


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Track Info

Performed and premiered by Sara Bashore and Kathryn Carlson at the University of California, Santa Barbara Lotte Lehman Concert Hall, 2018.


Full Score and Parts


Mockery Pursuit Score


Mockery Pursuit Violin



Mockery Pursuit Cello