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.
Performed by the Danish Notional Radio Symphony Orchestra
Available along with many of Nørgård's works on emusic
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In the last three years I've been rather preoccupied with the idea of writing two movement compositions. In reflection, I think this preoccupation started after I heard Denys Bouliane present an analysis of his work "Rumore Sui." What struck me the most about this piece at the time was the two-sidedness of the two movements -- how, although the two movements are constructed in a very simple near perfect symmetry, one perceives something much more complex in their relationships.
This preoccupation has led me to work on two compositions that each have two movements -- a work for clarinet or saxophone and electronics and a violin and cello duo. To date, I have only finished the first movement of each work. (The violin and cello duo was premiered at a jury recently at the University of California in San Diego and the clarinet/electronic piece will be premiered in a rough form on Tuesday.) Not finishing either of these works has bothered me quite a bit and in attempting finally finish the second movement of the clarinet or saxophone and electronics works I've begun to listen to a lot of my favorite two movement compositions.
One of my favorite two movement compositions is Per Nørgård's Symphony #4. Lately I have been listening to a lot of music Per Nørgård. This is in part because he has written a number of successful two movement piece such as the Third Symphony, "Voyage into the Golden Screen," "Remembering Child," and his Fourth Symphony.
Nørgård composed his Fourth Symphony soon after he became obsessed with the work of outsider artist Adolf Wölfli (1864 - 1930). As a result of this obsession Nørgård dedicates this work to Adolf Wölfli. This obsession with Wölfli is also seen in the compositional style of this symphony which includes an extreme drama not found in any of Nørgård's previous work. In fact, I often hear this symphony as a parody of the monumental high structuralism that is so present in his previous Symphony #3. That aside, this symphony also includes a personal emotionalism drawn from Nørgård's reflections on some of Wölfli's imagination. In my opinion this emotionalism is largely what imbues Nørgård's compositions written since the 80's with an expressiveness that I am greatly drawn towards.
Despite the fact that lately many things have prevented me from listening to classical and contemporary music as much as I normally do, in the last few weeks I’ve randomly rediscovered this masterpiece by Danish composer Per Nørgård.
I first encountered Per Nørgård’s music when one of my colleagues presented it at one of the weekly composer’s colloquiums at the University of Arizona. What drew me the most to Nørgård’s music was his “infinity series” – a concept and algorithm based upon the golden ratio that could create an infinitely growing yet constantly related music.
For years, Nørgård’s “infinity series” remained a great mystery to me. In fact, I didn’t seek out recordings or scores of Per Nørgård’s music until a few years ago and it wasn’t until I found a link to this remarkable website on his music in a comment section on Kyle Gann’s blog over the summer that I began to learn how it ticked.
I’ll won’t explain the analytical and historical details of Nørgård’s Symphony #3 (a wonderful elucidation that is well worth your time can be found here); however, I would like to note a few things to hopefully whet your appetites. First off, this piece is one of the Per Nørgård’s veritable masterpieces from a period (the late 60’s through the mid 70’s) when he primarily used the “infinity series” to composer music. The “infinity series” operates similar to how fractals – where the microstructure and macrostructure relate by self-similarity and self-symmetry (a concept that can be used to explain many relationships in the universe). This Symphony (like Nørgård other works which use the “infinity series”) draws its harmonic material from the harmonic series. However, unlike somebody like Radulescu who treats the harmonic series as a sort of primordial sonic icon, Nørgård uses this harmonic material creates an engaging phenomenological drama that uses interrelated proportions and references to more recent western classical music.