Liminal Highway

(New Focus Recordings, 2020)


Christopher Cerrone deals in one-of-a-kind musical experiences. His magnetic and “gorgeous” music (The New York Times) brings raw and deep emotions to the surface. Cerrone’s Invisible Cities, performed throughout the public spaces of Los Angeles’ Union Station, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Music.

Liminal Highway, written in 2015 for flutist Tim Munro, is inspired by John K. Samson’s poem of the same name. The opening of the poem reads:

when you fall asleep in transit
you rarely wake up much closer
to where you want to be
and you’ve missed the song
you were waiting to hear
coming up after the ad for a
funeral home and the traffic and weather
in a town you’ll never live in

or even see now that you’ve passed it
in a dream you don’t recall

Caught between sleeping and waking, Samson’s protagonist comes to understand who they are and where they are going. In Cerrone’s work, layers of flute shimmer, pulse, and glow, conjuring an atmosphere of anxiety tinged with a fragile sense of hope.

The cover photograph of this album was taken on board the SS United States. This ship was the hope of a nation, but lies, ruined, in the Philadelphia harbor. It was a perfect location for Four/Ten Media’s video of Liminal Highway, which echoes with memories of the past. This video will be released on the same day as this album.

Liminal Highway was commissioned by New Music USA and Miller Theatre at Columbia University for Tim Munro. Joan and Barry Miskin provided additional support for the recording and filming of the project. 


released August 21, 2020

Recorded by Anthony Gravino in Chicago, IL on Dec 14, 2018

Mixed, edited, and mastered by Mike Tierney in Brooklyn, NY

Liminal Highway was commissioned by New Music USA and Miller Theatre at Columbia University for Tim Munro. It premiered at Miller Theatre on November 1, 2016

Further funding for the project was provided by Joan and Barry Miskin

Photos by Danie Harris, Evan Chapman, and Kevin Eikenberg, from the Liminal Highway video shoot on the SS United States

Design by Todd Doyle


© all rights reserved


"At only sixteen minutes, this foray into dream is all too brief. But as it ends, we find Cerrone and Munro had time to alter the scenery around us." sjwrogers, A Closer Listen
"I don't want to hang too much verbiage on this piece, which for 16 mesmerizing minutes gives us a whole world of sound created by flute - brilliantly played by Tim Munro - and live electronics. I will simply say that since its inception as a slender bamboo reed in the Zhou Dynasty nearly 3,000 years ago, to the addition of keys in 18th century London, to Varese's groundbreaking solo Density 21.5, the flute has been reinvented many times. And so it is again." Jeremy Shatan, An Earful
"The centering of timbral experimentation is a continued inspiration for Rome Prize winning-composer Chris Cerrone, and here, that expertise is on full display." Vanessa Ague, The Road to Sound
"this compelling travelogue...was written with the expansive artistry of flautist Tim Munro in mind... Munro evokes superbly the twin facets of driver and dreamer. His flute proliferates, layered along with decay of reverb from an oil rig and beer bottles blown like panpipes within a phantasmagoric soundscape." The Wire
"This is a contemporary composition that can appeal to anyone, and it is an extremely inventive treatment of the interface between acoustic music and electronics." AllMusic