This is another in my series of semi-self-playing instruments. Semi-self-players are instruments that, having been set in motion, will continue on their own for some time, leaving the player free to pick up other instruments to layer into the music. This one is something like a slowly rotating Christmas tree, motor-driven to activate various sounding elements as it turns. It plays strings, percussion and a bass lamallaphone to make a repeating pattern with each revolution. It was created to accompany a melodic setting of texts by the ancient Chinese philosopher Chuang Tsu.
In the sound clip several percussion instruments join the ostinato machine. After an instrumental introduction, the opening lines of the song can be heard before the fade-out. An animated video of the full piece can be seen here.