Curator 2006

Edward Jessen
(b1967) first studied composition with Mel Powell and conducting with Paul Vorwerk at the California Institute of the Arts. He went on to receive his Master of Arts from Wesleyan University in 1998. Between 1999-2002, Edward was an Arts and Humanities Research Board scholar at the University of York. While at York he helped found, with co-director John Potter, the resident soloist's ensemble York Vocal Index. Edward has since been a Lecturer in Music-on speech theatre, new music coming from Scandinavia and America, dramatic aspects of repetition and composition strategies-at Trinity College of Music, University College Northampton, Oxford Brookes University and at the University of York. He has also published various articles on experimental music, new music theatre and on the works of Danish composer Per Nørgård and the American experimentalist Alvin Lucier. He lives in London.

Jessen's works are emotionally direct and centred upon diagramatic aspects of our hearing. His music foregrounds perceptible processes and aural observations, explicitly, to focus the bare sensation of listening. As a composer, he works with a distiller's approach to sound-often refining single elements to best evoke a sonic, phenomenological message-thereby describing a legible process. His work in sound corresponds to our visual sense; where we create listening-images or ideas from within abstraction. And it is within this picture making process that we might ask, "what happens if we cross these two known things to form a third unknown thing?" Bound up together with the idea of clarification-his work is predicated on this notion, of making pictures with meaning.

Edward is the recipient of commissions and awards from Meet the Composer, the Arts Council England, Performing Rights Society / Bliss Trust, Britten-Pears Foundation, Sinfonia Foundation, British Academy, the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music, British Council Grant Combined Arts Award, le Conseil Général du Nord de la DRAC and the Danish Ministry of Culture. His recent projects have been for Ensemblebash, the English Chamber Orchestra Ensemble, Northern Sinfonia (Newcastle), the Orchestra of the Opera North (Leeds) and for the Hilliard Ensemble. His current projects include a score for the Dutch ensemble Orkeste De Ereprijs and an evening-length theatre work for Tim Eriksen, Mirjana Lausevic and the Schools of Theatre and Music at the University of Minneapolis.