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 SÝrensen 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 Montrťal/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.
On Friday I turned in the two final copies of my Masters' Thesis along with a Certificate of Acceptability to complete all the academic requirements for my Masters' of Music in Composition from McGill University. Now all I have to do is wait until Febuary 14th for the degree to be official and June 1st for my convocation. For the moment though the McGill office of Graduate and Post-Graduate Studies gave me a pen with the word "Success" cheesily written on it.
What a relief! Now I feel ready to hear back from doctoral programs and can more fully concentrate on what I need to do most -- compose.
Yesterday afternoon I submitted three copies of the three volumes (analysis, score and documentation, and DVD and CD) of my thesis along with the proper forms. Once the internal and external examiners review them and I make the final edits, I will be able to receive my Masterís of Music at Convocation this upcoming February. But until then, since all the difficult work is now behind me, I can at least say that I am practically a Master of Music.
I have been meaning to write some sort of celebratory post along the lines of the Tangka (minus one syllable) that I wrote after picking up the first bound draft of Time Fixtures or the joyous ramblings I wrote after the premier of Time Fixtures but havenít really been able to figure out anything to say. In lieu of any particularly obvious celebratory remarks I thought I just quote the one thing Iíve read from a book in the last week since it seems to be a good mantra to use in fighting the inevitable swell of letdown thatís on its post-thesis way.
On Saturday I randomly picked up my copy of the ĒBardol ThodolĒ (or ďThe Tibetan Book of the DeadĒ). When I quickly flipped all the pages a dried leaf from two autumns ago fell out. I picked the leaf up and placed it on a random page and then read the strangely appropriate prayer on the page:
Alas! when the Uncertain Experiencing of Reality is dawning upon me here, With every thought of fear or terror or awe for all set aside, May I recognize whateve appear, as the reflections of mine own consciousness; May I know them to be of the nature of apparitions in the Bardo: When at this all-important moment of achieving a great end. May I not fear the bands of Peaceful and Wrathful, mine own thought-forms.*
Over the last few months Iíve been working on the written part of my thesis Ė an analysis of Time Fixtures Ė and today Iím one section away from finishing the first draft. While looking back at this work I spent almost two years working on, Iíve started to question my esthetic stance and prepare the framework for my next composition Ė a work for percussion, piano, harpsichord, and tape. (Iím writing this new composition for three friends in Montrťal, who founded an ensemble called The Contemporary Keyboard Society.)
One thing Iíve noticed is that I tend to favor exploring and using abstract phenomena or principals and have trouble revealing deep personal and formal decisions. This may perhaps explain why, with this blog, I so frequently write mp3 or other simply descriptive entries and so rarely write personal reflective entries. To a certain extent, Iím beginning to fear that my tendency towards the abstract stands in opposition to my affection towards more emotive and contemplative music and art.
This personal conflict is probably why Iíve titling my next piece Inner Music. Unlike Time Fixtures, I plan to write this piece at almost manic feverish pace and I wonít plan out the exact development or processes for each section beforehand. There will be no recapitulations of materials or themes. The music will simply consist of gradual progressions, uncertain fluctuations, and sudden dramatic and possibly shocking textural contrasts. Granted I plan to advance the rhythmic and harmonic/timbral explorations I started in Time Fixtures but this time, above all, I hope to write something personal, emotive, and Ė if I really succeed Ė haunting.