Jacob David Sudol(b. Des Moines, Iowa 1980) writes intimate compositions that explore enigmatic phenomena and the inner nature of how we perceive sound. He recently finished his M.Mus. at McGill University and currently resides in La Jolla, CA where he is working towards a Ph.D. in composition at the University of California at San Diego with Roger Reynolds, Chinary Ung, Philippe Manoury, and Rand Steiger.

Over the last five years some of Jacob's mentors in composition have included John Rea, Denys Bouliane, Philippe Leroux, Sean Ferguson, Dan Asia, and Craig Walsh. He has also participated in master classes with Danish composer Bent Sørensen and German composer Manfred Stahnke.

During 2005-2006, Jacob was the first-ever composer-in-residence for the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble under the direction of Denys Bouliane, in collaboration with the McGill Digital Composition Studio. He has also written music for the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, the Contemporary Keyboard Society, percussionist Fernando Rocha, saxophonist Elizabeth Bunt, and clarinetist Krista Martynes. As an undergraduate at the University of Arizona, he composed the music for a collaborative dance project with choreographer Hillary Peterson, and he was the principal composer and pianist for El Proyecto de Santa Barbara, a chamber Latin jazz ensemble.

During the 2005 and 2007 Montréal/Nouvelles Musiques and 2006 MusiMars festivals Jacob was an electronic assistant for performances with Court-Circuit, Matt Haimovitz, Sara Laimon, Martin Matalon, Moritz Eggert, Manfred Stahnke, the Caput Ensemble, and the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble. These concerts were broadcast by the CBC and the European Broadcasting Union in over fifty countries throughout the world. He is currently a studio research assistant for Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Roger Reynolds.

During his free time Jacob takes an active interest in religious phenomenology, cinema, acoustics, literature, poetry, and visual art. As a composer and performer, he always attempts to bring insights from these other fields into his work.


Disclaimer: All music posted on this blog is posted out of love and the idea that for the truly great music of our time(s) to be known it must first and foremost be heard. If you like what you hear please support the artist by buying the recordings, scores, and/or encouraging the performances of the music in every way possible.

If you are the composer, performer, performing organization, artist or directly represent the composer, performer, performing organization, or artist of anything posted on this website and would like your material removed please contact me and I will happily oblige.

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Nouvel Ensemble Moderne: "Musique Francophonie I"

Earlier tonight I went to go see the second concert by the Montréal version of Court-Circuit, the ever-virtuosic Nouvel Ensemble Moderne. The concert was titled "Musique Francophonie I" - which is in reference to the mostly French program that this, and a number of their other concerts on this year's season, features.

Unfortunately, I missed a few Metros and had to listen to most of the first piece ("Les Dances interrompues" by Bruno Mantovani) from outside. I say that this was unfortunate because the next piece ("Blake Songs" by Benîot Mernier) was almost unanimously panned by all of my colleagues. Although I don't share the intensity of their response, except in the general consensusus on the weakness of soprano Louise Marcotte, I did generally find the orchestration's imitation of weather patterns (particularly in the framing songs) to be quite interesting. I may even go so far as to agree with John Rea and say that the piece would work much better if the soprano was simply replaced by a clarinet soloist.

The highlight of the evening was a performance of Tristan Murail's masterpiece "Désintègrations." This is a work that I have listened to a couple of dozen times on CD and have always found something new and compelling in it. Despite this, nothing could prepare me for the pure bliss that is hearing it live. The NEM did a magnificent job. When the final rumble ended and I opened my eyes for the first time in over twenty minutes I felt surprised to have landed back on earth. Judging from the laughs, silent smiles, and enthusiasm of the audience during the presentation of this almost perfect work it was obvious that my reaction was almost universal. In relation to the work, I was particularly struck by the usage of spatialization (how most of the predominantly electronic passages moved from the back to the front of the hall) and how the orchestra was alternatively subsumed the electronics and vice-versa. It seemed obvious to me that the ensemble had worked on this piece almost to the detriment of the rest of the program. However, when programming and performing such a great piece as "Désintègrations," it's hard to not see to why. The only shame is that Tristan Murail did not show for the "table ronde" prior to the concert. However, I doubt that he won't show for the NEM's final concert in April which features a commission of a new work by him.