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Jessica Rudman

Hartford, CT            

Jessica Rudman is a Connecticut-based composer whose recent works engage with contemporary social themes through realistic or fantastical frames. Described as a “new music ninja” (Hartford Advocate), her style unifies melodic development and narrative structures with extended techniques to create an intense emotional expression. Her pieces often differ in language and approach, with the common thread being expressivity. She believes that the ability to evoke an emotional response in one’s audience is of extreme importance in our current social, economic, and political environment. 

Jessica’s music has been performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble, the Riot Ensemble, the Cadillac Moon Ensemble, the Omaha Symphony’s Chamber Orchestra, the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra, and others. Honors include winning the Riot Ensemble’s 2015 Commissioning Competition, the 2013 Boston Metro Opera’s Advocacy Award, the 2012 College Music Society Student Composer Award, the 2012 NewMusic@ECU Orchestra Composition Competition, and IAWM’s Libby Larsen Prize (2011). 

Jessica has taught at The Hartt School, Central Connecticut State University, Eastern Connecticut State University, and Baruch College. She is currently the Head of the Musicianship and Composition department at The Hartt School Community Division and the Director of the Hartt Preparatory Academy. She has also been highly involved in arts administration and runs the student workshop for the Women Composers Festival of Hartford. Jessica holds degrees from the CUNY Graduate Center, The Hartt School, and the University of Virginia. 

More information about Jessica and her work can be found at her website, http://www.jessicarudman.com.

You, As You Were Before You Existed

This violin and cello duo was inspired by Pablo Neruda’s poem “Every Day You Play” from Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair. I was particularly fascinated with the line “Oh let me remember you as you were before you existed.” The words resonated with an idea for a piece that had been gestating in the back of my mind: a melody gradually emerges from chaos and is transformed over time, eventually reaching an emotional climax far removed from the tumult of the opening.

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Trigger

Based on an actual incident in Nova Scotia in 2014, “Trigger” explores a woman’s reaction to a news story about domestic abuse. The work is in four sections, each focused on a different aspect of the protagonist’s thought process and emotions. At first, she expresses her outrage about the incident from the news story before considering different excuses abusers give. She later contemplates her own experiences and her despair at how society handles such acts.

For an excerpt, start at 5:07.

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Foundling

Foundling began as an experiment where I listed all the things I normally do in a piece of music and then purposefully avoided them.Written for a solo vocalist accompanied by a flexible ensemble of performers, the music sets a found poem I created. The title Foundling is both one of the words in the text and a reflection of the process I undertook in creating poem. The music is an exploration of vocal and percussive color inspired by the sound and individual meaning of the words.

For an excerpt, start at 5:08.

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NewMusicBox Articles

Articles October 7 2019 | By Jessica Rudman
A Primer on Collaborating with Authors

Introduction I could wax poetic about why composers should set texts by living authors. Some big reasons include texts that stand out amid the sea of well-worn Public Domain poems,...