David Evan Jones is a composer/theorist with diverse publications in chamber music, chamber opera, computer music, and computer-assisted composition. Some of his theoretical and compositional work focuses on structural relationships between phonetics and music.
Jones has worked extensively in computer music, composing in residence at the Elektronmusikstudion (EMS) in Stockholm, at L'Institut de Recherche et de Cooordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) in Paris, and at Bregman Electronic Music Studio at Dartmouth College (where he co-founded, with Jon Appleton, the Dartmouth graduate program in Electro-Acoustic Music). In his role as an instrumental/vocal composer, Jones has served as Composer-in-Residence at York University in England. His compositions have been recognized by first prize awards from the Premio Ancona Festival (Italy), the MACRO Composition Competition (US), and the American New Music Consortium National Composition Competition, and by awards and honorable mentions from the Bourges Electroacoustic Music Competition (France), the Prix Ars Electronica (Austria), the National Opera Association, the Atlanta Clarinet Associaion Composition Competition, the Sejong Society International Composition Competition, the Longtree Opera International Competition, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
News from Afar (Jones 2016 CD released by Centaur) presents five compositions (2010-2015) by David Evan Jones (b. 1946) all of which integrate computer-processed news broadcasts with instruments performing live. These pieces transform reports of the difficult news of our day and bring them into the contemplative frame of the concert hall.
Recordings of four of the five pieces with video translations are available at the following links:
Yeonpyeong Island (Daegeum and computer)
Jeju Epilogue (for Gayagum Quartet and computer)
Tsedek Chevrati (for quintet and computer)
Gezi Park (for violin, cello and computer)
The entire CD is available (without translations) courtesy of Naxos of
America at https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Each piece in this collection refers to a recent news event with local and international significance: the seminal 2013 Gezi Park demonstrations in Istanbul, the massive 2011 Tsedek Chevrati (“social justice”) demonstrations in Israel, the 2010 attack by North Korea on South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island, the ongoing protests over the construction of a naval base on South Korea’s Jeju Island... Each broadcast is in the language of the country in which the event occurred. In performance, translations are projected as supertitles; in this CD, translations are presented in the notes below.
The news broadcasts were selected for their content and with close attention to voice qualities, speech rhythms, and intonation contours of the speakers. The broadcast voices were slowed (time-stretched) and gently stabilized into intelligible pitches in a way that generally preserved the original intonation contours. The stretched speech rhythms were edited somewhat so as to correspond occasionally to points of rhythmic emphasis.
As with most text-setting, the news broadcasts and the music imply interacting narratives. What makes the current project unique is the unification of these two elements by means of the detailed integration of speech rhythms and pitch intonations from “found audio” with the melodic/harmonic/rhythmic structures of the music.
Jones's articles have appeared in Perspectives of New Music, Computer Music Journal, and other publications. His compositions are published by Dorn Publications, American Composers Editions, and on compact disks from Wergo Records, Centaur Records, Contemporary Recording Studios, Capstone Records, Musical Heritage Society, and Composers Recordings Inc.
Jones's first chamber opera, Bardos, was previewed at UC Santa Cruz and Texas Christian University before receiving its professional premiere at the hands of the Seoul Contemporary Opera Company at Hoam Hall in Seoul, Korea. Jones' second chamber opera, The Rehearsal, was previewed at UC Santa Cruz and premiered in its piano-vocal version at the College Music Society Regional Conference at San Francisco University. Recent chamber works have been performed at the Pacific Rim Music Festival, UC Santa Cruz (2010), the Nong Festival, Seoul (2010), Master Daegum player Jeong Seung Kim's recital in Seoul (2011), with invited lecture at the Jerusalem Academy of Music & Dance (2013), the International Computer Music Conference in Athens, Greece (2014). Jones' composition Splitered Narrative (2014) was premiered by the Splintered Reeds quintet in 2014 and his Gezi Park (2014) for violin, cello, and computer tape (processed audio from youtube posts by Gezi Park demonstrators) will be previewed at UC Santa Cruz in April 2015. Jones is currently at work on a CD of a set of performances and recordings for computer-processed news podcasts in multiple languages with live instruments.
- Tibiae (Solo for Four), (Compact disc), "Flute Force", Composers Recordings Incorporated, New York, CRI 581
- Fugue State for Flute (Baroque flute and modern flute) and Harpsichord (Compact disc) Musical Heritage Society.
- Scritto for computer tape, (Compact disc), Wergo Records WER 2024-50.
- Still Life Dancing, for percussion ensemble and tape, (Compact Disc) Centaur Records CRC 2052
- Still Life in Wood & Metal for percussion ensemble and computer tape, (Compact Disc) Centaur Records CRC 2052
- Still Voices, (Compact disc), John Russo, Clarinet, Contemporary Recording Studios, Broomall, PA. CRS 8840
- Writing Out Loud (1), for computer sounds (CD), Capstone Records CPS 8744
- Neo-Balkan Jazz & Concert Music (all works composed and directed by DEJ), Centaur Records CRC 2655
- From Sofia to Seoul (all works composed and directed by DEJ), Centaur Records CRC 3006
- News from Far: News Broadcasts Transformed (works for chamber ensembles and computer by DEJ), Centaur Records CRC 3500