Cascades in music, gentlest of all time’s shapes

Borges and Music

Borges was fascinated by the tango, and published several “milongas”—Argentine folk songs filled with passion, honor, and vengeance. There have been numerous works of music inspired by Borges, from lyrical settings of his poetry to surreal fragments of avant-garde classical inspired by his fabulist prose. This section of the Garden collects notes on these pieces and their composers.

The section is organized by genre, with individual musicians listed alphabetically. Each link takes you to a page profiling their Borges-related work. If you have any suggestions or additions, please contact the Garden!

[SECTION UNDER DEVELOPMENT. Only blue links are currently active.]


Born Mario Rubén Gonzáles in Argentina, Jairo changed his name to an Aramaic word meaning “The Faithful Illuminated.” In 1976 he released an album named Jairo canta Borges.

Valeria Munárriz
A traditional Argentine singer, Munárriz released an album called Chante Jorge Luis Borges, featuring fourteen settings of Borges’ poems and milongas.

Astor Piazzolla
The world-famous maestro of nuevo tango, Piazzolla has composed many wonderful works based on Borges’ poetry.


Gheorghi Arnaoudov
Specializing in modern and postmodern aesthetics, communication and semiotics, this Bulgarian composer wrote Ritual III: Borges Fragment for solo cello.

Lawrence Casserley
With roots in the British avant-garde music scene of the 1960s, Casserly’s 1999 album Labyrinths is an electroacoustic explorations of Borges’ mazes.

William Neil
An American composer who worked with the Chicago Lyric Opera, Neil set the poem “Límites” to music in 1978.

Robert Parris
This American composer’s Book of Imaginary Beingsis inspired by Borges’ famous compendium.

Roger Reynolds
Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and physicist Roger Reynolds has three separate pieces that incorporate texts from Borges.

Mark Saya
Composer of the percussion work, From the Book of Imaginary Beings.


This group of seminal prog rockers committed “The Squonk” to vinyl in 1976.

PopCanon were a cheerfully demented and wildly talented group from Gainesville, Florida. Among other literary treasures, PopCanon’s first CD contains a Borges-inspired song called “Labyrinths.”

Blaak Heat
The third album by this French-American psychedelic band is named Shifting Mirrors, and makes allusions to Borges’ story “The Approach to Al-Mu’tasim.”

Author: Allen B. Ruch
Last Modified: 21 August 2019
Main Borges Page: The Garden of Forking Paths
Contact: quail(at)shipwrecklibrary(dot)com


Copyright © Dandelion by Pexeto