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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'...write a piano piece for one finger.'

Today, as many commentators have already noted, Morton Feldman would have turned eighty.

In the past, a number of my colleages had told me few of my pieces (particularly Black Stream for string quartet and Resonances for solo metallic percussion and electroncs) had a certain ambiance that resembles Morton Feldman’s music. While writing those pieces I had always enjoyed the little I heard of Feldman’s music but never loved it the way I have during the last nine months. Ironically, this has occured while I've tried and push my musical vision further by writing a piece that that is more active and, if you’ll pardon the cliché, complex.

While trying to clear my mind from the distorted phasing patterns, cyclical timbral constructions, and the polyrhythmic tonal flux that predominate my thesis Time Fixtures, there have been few things that can calm me down more than listening to some of Morton Feldman works. There is something about the slow transparent and sumptuousness of pieces like Patterns in a Chromatic Field, Piano and String Quartet, andPalais de Maris that allows me to reflect on my own craft and designs better. A particular experience that stands out, was the night of sleep where I seemed to inhabit Feldman's contradictory time conception after listening to his remarkably succint (anti)opera Neither for the first time.

What seems to me to be the greatest gift in Feldman’s music is its ability to clearly display the folding and unfolding of itself. In Feldman’s music, I am reminded of Mallarmé’s explanation of life as “pli selon pli” (fold upon fold) far more than in Boulez’s music (who has favoured this esthetic since writing Pli selon Pli). It may just be a matter of taste, but I don’t think I see life in the same shattered manner as Boulez.

Addendum: Here is an interesting artifact of the endless arguments between too much/too little and too complex/too simple - a conversation between Morton Feldman and Iannis Xennakis.