Episode 7: Jennifer Jolley
Updated: Aug 11, 2021
(Originally posted by Brad Pierson of whateverandeveramen. on July 11, 2021.)
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Our guest this episode is Jennifer Jolley. I had a chance to work with Jenn back in 2016 when she was in a residency with my choirs. I was quickly impressed with her as a composer, but also as a human. She is very kind and supportive of young musicians, and incredibly humble. So humble, in fact, that she has an entire blog dedicated to her own musical rejections. Her choral music often sets texts that address a fairly specific moment in time or experience. This is in stark contrast to the "tradition" of setting pretty poetry by dead white people, that seems to aim for timelessness, but too often ends up not being very good even in the moment. In this episode we discuss baseball, how to give directions in California, and why f*ck is such a great word for choral music.
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Jennifer Jolley (b. 1981) is a composer, blogger, and professor person. She is also a cat lover and part-time creative opera producer.
Jennifer’s work draws toward subjects that are political and even provocative. Her collaboration with librettist Kendall A, Prisoner of Conscience, has been described as “the ideal soundtrack and perhaps balm for our current ‘toxic… times’” by Frank J. Oteri of NewMusicBox. Her piece, Blue Glacier Decoy, written as a musical response to the Olympic National Park, depicts the Pacific Northwest’s melting glaciers. Her partnership with writer Scott Woods, You Are Not Alone, evokes the fallout of the #MeToo Movement.
Jennifer’s works have been performed by ensembles worldwide. She has received commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts, the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music, the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Quince Ensemble, and many others.
Jennifer deeply values the relationship that is created between composers and the communities with whom they collaborate. She has been composer-in-residence at multiple institutions. She promotes composer advocacy through her opera company NANOWorks Opera and her articles for NewMusicBox & I CARE IF YOU LISTEN. Also, she is on the Executive Council of the Institute for Composer Diversity and the New Music USA Program Council.
Jennifer joined the Texas Tech School of Music composition faculty in 2018 and has been a member of the composition faculty at Interlochen Arts Camp since 2015.
All Recordings Used by Permission of the Composer:
"Prisoner of Conscience" (2015)
"Drei Brücken" (2012)
I. Roebling - Premiere Performance, Commissioned by the Contemporary Arts Center for their 2012 Gala, Drew Klein, Performance Curator
III. Brent Spence - University of Toledo Chamber Singers
"Her Speed Left the Winds Behind" (2020)
Voices of Ascension and Trio Triumphatrix