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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Mp3 Blog #47: A Medium Ping

Roger Reynolds:
”Ping” (1968)

For Piano, percussion, flute, 35 mm slide projections, 16 mm film by the composer, quadraphonic electronic sounds, and live electronic processing

Performed by Roger Reynolds, Karen Reynolds, and Hiroshi Kumagi

Available on this compact disc of three works by Roger Reynolds

Iancu Dumitrescu
”Medium III” (1983)

For solo contrabass

Performed by Fernando Grillo

Available on the Edition Modern 1001 compact disc

* * * * *

To me, both of these works seem to come at the ears from some sort of distant unknown enigmatic viscous bubbling world and draw you near with some unmistakable magnetic pull.

After hearing and reading a lot of Roger Reynold’s more recent works I first came to “Ping” expecting something similar to the post-dodecaphonic shattered hyper-structuralist esthetic that I had come to know in compositions like “Whispers Out of Time,” “Personae,” “Variations,” and “The Angel of Death.” However, the nearly perfectly prolonged bowed gongs in the beginning of “Ping” immediately signaled a different approach. Not to give away the surprises of what I’ve read to be improvised instrumental playing, but I think that the long approach to “Ping’s” horrifying and dramatic climax is one of my favourite stretches of time in Roger Reynold’s music. It’s kind of a shame that the work meanders for so long afterwards although I'm sure that piece loses a lot when missing its visual component.

Embarrassingly, it took me about four listens to realize that this Dumitrescu piece is for solo contrabass. Without reading the information beforehand I initially presumed that it was for an ensemble of at least two percussionists who bow gongs and two contrabasses. Now that I know this work is only for contrabass, I find it far more impressive. Also, since I’ve worked with a number of contrabass players and come to know how difficult it can be to write for this typically heavy and lugubrious instrument, I find the fact this work is alternatively so dramatic and contemplative to be quite a feat.

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