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.
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.
Denys Bouliane is another one of the better living Canadian composers. Although his music is not widely known in the U.S.A. he is highly regarded in Canada and, even more so, in Germany (where he spends some of his time in Cologne). Denys currently teaches composition and directs the Contemporary Music Ensemble (C.M.E.) at McGill. A wonderfully gracious man, his sponsored C.M.E. after-concert parties are almost legendary amongst McGill contemporary music performers and composers.
Since coming to McGill, I’ve had the pleasure of performing electronics and sound diffusion with Denys in concerts with the C.M.E., the Caput Ensemble, and Court-Circuit. He also magnificently conducted the world premiere of my extraordinarily difficult work for 11 players and live electronics – ”Time Fixtures”.
Denys writes incredibly imaginative music that has been dubbed a sort “musical magical realism.” In the early 80’s, he studied with the infamously difficult György Ligeti who later described Denys, along with Benedict Mason, as one of his two favorite students. It was during this time in Cologne that Denys developed a voice that depends upon a personalized collections of modes that, to use his description, “alludes but never quotes.” Interestingly enough, a number of Ligeti’s works from that same period (particularly the piano etude “Fanfares” and parts of the Horn Trio) sound remarkably similar in style to Denys.
“Comme un Silène Entr-ouvert” (“Like Silenus Opening”) is, in my opinion, one of Denys’ strangest and most imaginative works. The composition is based upon the Greek myth of the satyr Silenus and follows a path from the extraverted to the introverted. Compositionally the ensemble is mostly broken into two trios – one high (piccolo, oboe, and harp) and one low (bass clarinet, trombone, and contrabass) while, in contrast, the tape – which is made of pitch-shift recordings from the ensemble – and the piano represent the bridge between these different trios and worlds.