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 #26: The Viola in My Life...

Morton Feldman:
”Viola in My Life II” (1970)
For Viola, Flute, Clarinet, Percussion, Celesta, Violin, and Cello
Performed by Karen Phillips, Paula Robison, Arthur Bloom, Raymond DesRoches, David Tudor, Anahid Ajemian, and Seymour Barab

Another version is available on this disc compact disc featuring the Ensemble Recherche

”Rothko Chapel: I” (1971)
For Viola, Percussion, Celesta, Soprano, Alto, and Chorus
Performed by William Winant, Deborah Dietrich, Karen Rosenak, and David Abel

Available on this compact disc featuring the complete “Rothko Chapel”

* * * * *

My Dearest Piano,

You were my original love. When young, I promised to always love you first and foremost. Because of that, it pains me greatly to tell you I have a confession to make – I have fallen in love with another. Although I do promise that I will never stop loving you or fully lose my dedication to you, I cannot deny the sensual power that draws me to this other as much as, if not at times, more strongly than I am drawn to you.

Her name is the Viola. While you have the ability to express with more dynamic force than an entire orchestra, she is brittle and easily overwhelmed. While you can produce notes of equal beauty within a tessitura unsurpassed by any other instrument, she can barely sing beyond three octaves. While countless composers and performers have stretched your virtuosic prowess, she remains steady and has injured most who have tried to surpass her limits. And, furthermore, while you are grand and bear a formidable presence, she is delicate and can seduce with only one note.

I cannot explain this passion that I feel for the Viola. I am sure that to you –since she seems the exact opposite of you in every way – that you cannot understand how, after declaring my undying dedication to you, I could fall for an object so unworthy. I have struggled many long hours and sleepless nights trying to answer this very question and despite this I fear I cannot offer you an answer that will assuage your hurt questioning longing anymore than I stop loving her.

Possibly – and I say this to be honest rather than hurtful – while everything you say is destined to only exist sound as a glorious resonating decay, Viola seems to speak brittlely and more profoundly from within the very center of this dying decay that I love so much in all sound and in you.

With great sympathy and affection,
Jacob Sudol

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