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Jay Mobley

Somerville, MA      

Jay Mobley (b. 1988) is a Boston-based composer, music director, and performer. He has written music for opera, dance, theater, rock bands, electronics, and hubcaps. His critically-acclaimed score to the new play Who Would Be King (“ingenious” — The Arts Fuse, Boston; “the perfect compliment…to this epic tale” — NETheatreGeek) premiered at American Repertory Theater’s OBERON venue in November 2015, and played at FringeArts (Philadelphia) in 2016 and Ars Nova (NYC) in 2017.

Mobley received a nomination for Best Music Direction (Small Stage) for his work on a new
 stage adaptation of Beowulf by The Poets’ Theatre in December 2015 (Independent Reviewers 
of New England). Other music direction credits include the new musical Jack & the Giant (Greater Boston Stage Company), Midnight Society (at Follow the Honey, Cambridge), ICARUS (Liars & Believers), and NYSTI’s Summer Theatre Institute.

Jay works collaboratively with a wide range of artists. He has created podcasts for a theater
 company in Austin (Exchange Artists), served as a musical consultant for a Boston opera
 company (OperaHub), and led the arts program at an Adirondack summer camp (Fowler Camp
 & Retreat Center). He is highly active as a vocalist and guitarist throughout New England and 
New York, having played on recordings and in musical productions throughout New England and New York. On banjo, Jay has played with bands based in Brooklyn, NY, Northampton, MA, and Rochester, NY, and has toured in the freak-folk/puppet-rock-opera group 23 Psaegz.

Mobley received his Bachelor of Music in composition from Fredonia State University of New York, where he studied with Drs. Donald Bohlen and Rob Deemer. He studied conducting at the Conductors Institute of Bard College Conservatory with Harold Farberman, and composition at New England Conservatory.

Recent commissions include a song cycle for 8 men’s voices for New England’s acclaimed male vocal chamber ensemble, Renaissance Men, and a work for high school band from Niskayuna High School in upstate New York.

Who Would Be King (promo)

Who Would Be King was conceived in collaboration with Liars & Believers, a devised theater company in Cambridge, MA. The play tells the story of King Saul through postmodern physical theater, and traverses a range of dramatic forms from clown to high drama in the course of its 90 minutes. Mobley composed and performed the score, written for voice, guitar, and live-controlled electronics, which accompanies the entire show and often acts as a Greek chorus. This is a promo video from the premiere; the full video is private for copyright reasons.

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“Un tabouret. Un verre. Une pipe.” Mvt. I

The first movement of a piano solo composed in 2011 by Jay Mobley for pianist Robin Morace. A melody emerges from a murky and quiet background, and then mirror harmonies and modes of limited transposition lend a mysterious tone to the lush texture throughout the rest of the piece.

“if i love You/speaking of love(of” from Cummings Songs

This lyrical and playful song comes from a Mobley cycle setting the poetry of E.E. Cummings. It treats two poems, each dealing with the excitement of new love. Listen especially to the portion of the song that sets the second poem, “speaking of love(of,” beginning at 1:25, to hear Mobley’s recitative-style parlando writing. Benjamin Pfeil, bass-baritone, accompanied by Jason Weisinger, piano; Recorded live in recital, April 2010; Fredonia, NY

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