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.


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 #45: Acrostic Wordplay

Unsuk Chin:
ďAcrostic WordplayĒ (1991/1993)
I. Hide and Seek
II. The Puzzle of the Three Magic Gates
III.The Rules of the Game Ė sdrawkcab emit
IV. Four Seasons in Five Verses
V. Domifare S
VI. The Game of Chance
VII. From the Old Time
7 scenes from fairy-tales for soprano and ensemble

Performed by Piaa Komsi and the Ensemble Intercontemporain conducted by Kazushi Ono

Available on this compact disc of music by Unsuk Chin

* * * * *

As typically happens at the end of each academic term, Iíve been ridiculously busy as of late. However, in the last few weeks Iíve gone to a few concerts. Among these concerts there was one piece that really stood out, the piece Iím featuring in the post.

Since studying with Ligeti in the mid-1980ís Korean composer Unsuk Chin has gone on to win almost every major International composition award include the prestigious Gaudemus prize and the Grawemeyer Award. The latter award has also been given to a number of my favorite lesser-known composers such as Chinary Ung and George Tsontakis.

Although I usually hate to do this in lieu of my standard comments on the work Iím just going to include a portion of the composerís own notes and my hope that you enjoy this devilishly fantastic and dark work as much as I do.

* * *
Akrostichon-Wortspiel consists of seven scenes from the fairytales The Endless Story by Michael Ende and Alice through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. The selected texts have been worked upon in different ways: sometimes the consonants and vowels have been randomly joined together, other times the words have been read backwards so that the symbolic meaning alone remains.

Each of the seven pieces is constructed around a controlling pitch centre but in their means of expression they are fully differentiated from one another. Seven different situations of emotional states, as described in the fairytales, ranging from the bright to the grotesque are brought to expression.

The tunings of some of the ensemble instruments are adapted from one quarter to one sixth of a tone to achieve a fine microtonality. The solo soprano fluctuates between these two tuning systems, depending upon which she perceives at any time.

Unsuk Chin, 1993

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