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World premiere recording of four new works for bassoon and electronics

The Latest Update

Two Reviews of Carve!

Posted on January 18, 2017 by Dana Jessen

I’m delighted and grateful that Carve has already received two fantastic reviews! The album is available now through Innova Recordings and will be available through all digital platforms this Friday, January 20th. Here are links to the two reviews:

Avant Music News review of Carve can be found HERE.
Cleveland Classical review of Carve is HERE.

More Updates ▼

Now available from innova

Posted on January 11, 2017 by innova Recordings

Carve can be ordered here directly from the innova label

Carve Album Release Event in Brooklyn!

Posted on January 4, 2017 by Dana Jessen

Hi Friends!

Nine more days until the official release of Carve! To celebrate the release of this album, I will be playing an improv set as part of the Soup and Sound series in Brooklyn on Saturday, January 28th at 8:00 p.m. Since improvisation played such an essential role in shaping the album, I felt it most fitting to bring together some incredible NYC improvisers to join me at the show. I’ll be playing with Dan Peck (tuba), Andrew Drury (drums) and Paula Matthusen (electronics).

I hope to see you there!!

Perfect Sound Forever Interview

Posted on November 23, 2016 by Dana Jessen

Interested in learning more about my approach to commissioning new works through collaboration and improvisation? Check out this interview from Perfect Sound Forever, where I discuss my work as a performer (improviser, interpreter, collaborator) including pieces on the Carve album.


Carve Release: January 13, 2017!

Posted on November 23, 2016 by Dana Jessen

It’s official! Carve will be officially released on January 13, 2017! The hard working folks at Innova Recordings have put together a nice page that you can visit to purchase the album: https://www.innova.mu/albums/dana-jessen/carve

Stay tuned for information about an album release celebration in New York in January!


Posted on July 15, 2016 by Dana Jessen

Hi Everyone, 

I’m super excited and honored that I was awarded this grant from New Music USA  to help support the release of my debut solo album for bassoon and electronics! I’ll periodically post updates to this page with information about the music and upcoming release. Speaking of which, my release date was pushed back a bit and the album will be officially released this coming October or November. 

In the meantime, check out some of the amazing artwork by Denise Burt who worked with me to create a beautiful design for the album. You can check out some of her work here: http://elevator-design.dk" target="_blank">http://elevator-design.dk">http://elevator-design.dk

More updates and sneak peaks coming soon!


Carve is a world premiere recording of four new works for bassoon and electronics by American composers Paula Matthusen, Peter V. Swendsen, Sam Pluta and Kyle Bruckmann, commissioned in 2014 by bassoonist and improviser Dana Jessen. The set of four pieces highlight the intimate collaborative process between composer and performer with an emphasis on improvisation. The result is four new works that celebrate the blurred lines of composition, interpretation and improvisation in the context of electroacoustic music. Carve is a significant addition to the existing bassoon repertoire and discography, highlighting the instrument in new ways through expansive use of extended techniques and contemporary improvisation.

Support from NewMusicUSA will go towards the recording production costs of Carve, which will be released through Innova Recordings in August 2016 and serve as Dana Jessen’s debut solo album. The album was recorded at Oberlin’s Clonick Hall in October 2015.

Four New Works
The first work, of an implacable subtraction by Paula Matthusen grew out of a series of improvisations during a collaborative residency with Dana Jessen at the Centro Mexicano para la Música y las Artes Sonaras (CMMAS). The title is drawn from Julio Cortázar’s landmark work, Hopscotch, and engages with the idea of defining various points of focus. Fireflies in Winter by Peter V. Swendsen is written for bassoon, field recordings, and live electronics. The piece collides and layers a diverse set of environments, through which the bassoon moves or sometimes lingers. The field recordings come from a wide range of seasons and locations, including Seattle, Oberlin, Prague, and Bodø, Norway. Sam Pluta’s Points Against Fields (tombeau de Bernard Parmegiani) is a collaborative piece co-composed by Sam Pluta and Dana Jessen. The electronics part is comprised mostly of components created in improvisations together. The piece is dedicated to the composer Bernard Parmegiani, who died at the end of 2013. Kyle Bruckmann’s Cadenzas and Degradations for bassoon and fixed electronic tracks integrate sounds from his own improvisations on the oboe and bass oboe, implying that his voice is there. The composition moves between fixed and open forms, striking the right balance of structure and surprise.

Album Timeline
September 11, 12, 17 & 24, 2015: All four pieces recorded at Oberlin Conservatory’s Clonick Studio with sound engineer Paul Eachus.
December 1, 2015-January 8, 2016: Post-production mixing and editing.
April-May 2016: Design by Denise Burt and layout of liner notes.
May 2016: Mastering session with Paul Eachus.
August 2016: Carve is scheduled for release through Innova Recordings.

Project Media

of an implacable subtraction by Paula Matthusen
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Performed live at the Avant Music Festival in New York City on February 27, 2015. Featuring Dana Jessen on Bassoon and members of Mantra Percussion. This is one of the four pieces featured on the album.

Points Against Fields (excerpt) by Sam Pluta
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Features: Dana Jessen, Sam Pluta

This excerpt of Points Against Fields highlights the high energy of Pluta’s piece. This un-mastered recording was made in Oberlin’s Clonick Studio in October 2015 and will be featured on the album.

Fireflies in Winter (excerpt) by Peter V. Swendsen
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This excerpt showcases the extreme high register playing from the bassoon as well as the field recordings present throughout Peter Swendsen’s piece. This un-mastered track was recorded in Oberlin’s Clonick Studio in October 2015 and will be featured on the album.

Start and End Dates



Oberlin, Ohio

6 updates
Last update on January 18, 2017

Project Created By

Oberlin, Ohio
Praised for her diverse talents, bassoonist Dana Jessen is highly active as a soloist, chamber musician, improviser and new music specialist. Dana is the founder of Splinter Reeds, a San Francisco-based reed quintet, and has performed with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Ensemble Dal Niente, Pamela Z, Anthony Braxton’s Tri-Centric Orchestra, Lucky Dragons, Amsterdam Contemporary…

In Collaboration With

New York, New York
Oberlin, Ohio
Oakland, California
Record Label
St. Paul, Minnesota


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