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 #81: Cries and Trains

The Carter Family:
”Engine 143”
Available with The Carter Family's Complete Recordings 1927-1934

”Driver 8”
Available on Fables of the Reconstruction

* * * * *

When the Carter Family sings, their achingly beautiful songs seem to contain endless human cries from endless origins. Here we find human cries ranging from an anonymous and threatening command from further down the line, the driver’s steadfast and reckless cry of love for the engine 143, the doctor’s cry for the driver’s quick death, his mother cry that he use caution, and – only when we see from the blood on the tracks and his eyes scalded shut – is there the final or ultimate cry to return to God.

I don’t know if R.E.M. meant to reference “Engine 143,” or some of its many similar variations like “The Wreck of Old ’97,” but I find the link undeniable. Here we are immersed in the setting and can feel the cry of the engine, the cry of the tracks, the cry of the country, the cry of the destination, the cry of determination, the cry of exhaustion, the cry of ultimate human longing, and the lingering cry of weary persistence. However, unlike in the Carter Family’s song, here there is no narrative arch; here we find ourselves suspended in this state and – besides in our minds – forever removed from the destination.

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