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 #54: Helmut Lachenmann

Helmut Lachenmann:
”Gran Torso” (1972)
For String Quartet
Performed by the Berner String Quartet
Available on compact disc at Forced Exposure

”Schwankungen am Rand” (1974-75)
For brass, four percussionists, two electric guitars, two pianos, and strings
Performed by SWF-Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg conducted by Ernest Bour
Available on this compact disc

* * * * *

I am a little reluctant to say much about Helmut Lachenmann besides laugh that I’m posting this after posting an mp3 blog entry featuring Philip Glass.

Although Lachenmann’s music is rarely heard in the United States, or the Western Hemisphere for that matter, he is considered one of biggest names in contemporary composition in most of Europe especially in his native Germany. I’m also a little reluctant to write much about Lachenmann because I’ve seen his esthetics exert something close to a cult-like dogmatic influence amongst some of my colleagues, because so much has recently been published on his music (for example see the recent issues of Contemporary Music Review, an English translation by Sequenza 21’s own Evan Johnson, and – for those who read German – the recently published collection of Lachenmann's writings) and furthermore – to be completely honest – I’m still struggling to fully understand what Lachenmann does and aims to do in his music.

That said I have a great respect and admiration for Lachenmann’s forward thinking compositional approach. These two works demonstrate something that I would feel confident in calling “Lachenmann-esque” – a focus on what one would call in other contexts “extra-instrumental techniques” and the pure physicality required to produce sound from all instruments to create a new (possibly more natural) hybrid ensemble which is largely treated as one instrument or entity. I personally find that these formal, structural, and timbral exploratory techniques engender his music with a certain highly imagination excitement.

“Gran Torso” (the first Lachenmann piece that ever made any sense to me) achieves this aim by largely focusing on the string players’ excessive bow pressure (or grain/”granum”) to create an alternatively dramatic and unaffected disembodied entity (or “torso”). “Schwankungen am Rand” works similarly but on a much larger scale with a sonic focus on brass and sheet metal in its many manifestations. The larger palette in this piece creates a sound world that is both ripely volatile with abandon and delicately intimate.

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