Welcome to the web page of composer Mark Eliot Jacobs.
A great truth for me as a composer is the idea that we do not create music so much as discover it. A composer finds inspiration for music from life, the universe, and, of course, everything (with apologies to Douglas Adams).
Music is a gift to our waking world from another slumbering world. Like Isaac Newton (quoted in Memoirs … of Sir Isaac Newton by D. Brewster, 1855), I feel
…like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
For me that truth is nothing less than the meaning of music itself, the inner life of a work that reveals itself to the participants in the musical experience through listening. All musical activities are forms of listening: the purest art of the listener, the skill of performers, the collected wisdom of theorists and musicologists, and even the efforts of the humble composer.
The concepts of Pitch Space and Sound Space are crucial to the way that I compose. These mental constructs offer a paradigm for exploring the limitless possibilities in music. Composer Iannis Xenakis expressed this well in his book Formalized Music (1971, p.144):
Freed from tedious calculations, the composer is able to devote himself to the general problems that the new musical form poses and to explore the nooks and crannies of this form while modifying the values of the input data … the composer becomes a sort of pilot: he … supervises the controls of a cosmic vessel sailing in the space of sound, across sonic constellations and galaxies that he could formerly glimpse only as a distant dream.
The composer’s unique character, background, and training set the stage for the potentials that express themselves in compositions. The composer directs these expressions into a cultural context. In my case, I always inform my compositions with a "backstory" based on my personal life and a good deal of research.
I have amassed a body of works in the areas of chamber, orchestra, theater, and electronic music. I hope that you will take the time to familiarize yourself with the samples on my music page.
This website will also be the forum for announcements of new projects and events. Please feel free to subscribe to my occasional E-Newsletter and to follow me on Facebook and Twitter. There is also a contact page through which you can contact me directly.
- Coming soon: World premiere of a new work at the Oregon Music Education Association Conference January 16, 2016 at the Hult Center in Eugene, OR.
- Read an article about the May 29, 2015 YSSO concerts in the Medford Mail Tribune.
- Premiere of Crater Lake Fantasy with the Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon in Ashland, Grants Pass, and Medford Oregon on Friday May 29 - Sunday May 31. Read more here.
- Read a review of the CD Spellbound which contains my Las Ranas de Katanchel
- Check out my page at JW Pepper! My scores will be available there for sale as electronic downloads and physical scores.
- The Compact Disc Spellbound is available. The CD features a performance of my 2010 tone poem Las Ranas de Katanchel by the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra, Petr Vronsky, conductor. Check out the YouTube sampler and my artist's page on Navona Records!
- Spellbound was released as an enhanced CD on May 28, 2013. It can be purchased through Amazon, Arkiv Music, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Kmart, CD Universe, and HB Direct.
- The CD is available for digital download from iTunes, Amazon MP3, ClassicsOnline, Google Play, Presto Classical, Rhapsody, and eMusic.
- You can also listen through the following streaming audio services: Spotify, Rdio, and Naxos Music library.
- Live recording of The Orchard City: Medford, Oregon 1913 with the Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon now streaming on the music page.