This page contains postings on compositions, performances and press.

Honorable Mention at Classic Pure Vienna International Composition Competition 2019


Cluck Old Hen Variations, for solo violin, by David A. Jaffe was awarded Honorable Mention at the Classic Pure Vienna International Composition Contest for 2019. The certificate is being presented on July 7, 2019 at the Mozarthaus in Vienna, Austria.

Classic Pure Vienna is a competition organization based in Vienna, which aims to support new composers and young musicians of our time from all over the world.

Sharps and Flatirons Review of Boulder Chamber Orchestra performance of "How Did It Get So Late So Soon"


Review of November 11, 2016 Boulder Chamber Orchestra performance of "How Did It Get So Late So Soon?" is on the Sharps & Flatirons web site, a blog by Peter Alexander. Link to review is here. Excerpts below...

This highly personal but unmistakably American work [How Did It Get So Late So Soon?] received a vigorous performance from the orchestra and Pollick, for whom the concerto was written, and by whom it was premiered in Lithuania Aug. 27.

A former bluegrass musician, Jaffe has filled the score with quotes and references to American music from the blues to the protest music of the 1930s. You may not hear the Woody Guthrie song he quotes, but the overall tone will be familiar to American audiences. The blues inflections, the outbreaks of Appalachian fiddling, the folk-tune-like melodies all come from a world we recognize.

There are portions of the concerto that sound as American as anything by Copland. But these ideas are always refracted thought a Charles Ives-ian sensibility, so that the music never settles into an extensive folkish groove. To my ears, that makes it all the more interesting: you never know what will happen next, but it all hangs together in a fascinating mélange. Bravo to Saless and the BCO for programming a work that deserves to be heard widely.


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The Sound of Innovation - Stanford and the Computer Music Revolution


Fascinating book by Andrew J. Nelson on the history of CCRMA, particularly focusing on the 1980s and 1990s. Chapter 7 is called "Plucking the Golden Gate Bridge," with extensive excerpts from the author's interviews with me, Julius Smith, and others. Overview from web site...

In the 1960s, a team of Stanford musicians, engineers, computer scientists, and psychologists used computing in an entirely novel way: to produce and manipulate sound and create the sonic basis of new musical compositions. This group of interdisciplinary researchers at the nascent Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA, pronounced “karma”) helped to develop computer music as an academic field, invent the technologies that underlie it, and usher in the age of digital music. In The Sound of Innovation, Andrew Nelson chronicles the history of CCRMA, tracing its origins in Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory through its present-day influence on Silicon Valley and digital music groups worldwide.

Nelson emphasizes CCRMA’s interdisciplinarity, which stimulates creativity at the intersections of fields; its commitment to open sharing and users; and its pioneering commercial engagement. He shows that Stanford’s outsized influence on the emergence of digital music came from the intertwining of these three modes, which brought together diverse supporters with different aims around a field of shared interest. Nelson thus challenges long-standing assumptions about the divisions between art and science, between the humanities and technology, and between academic research and commercial applications, showing how the story of a small group of musicians reveals substantial insights about innovation.

Nelson draws on extensive archival research and dozens of interviews with digital music pioneers; the book’s website provides access to original historic documents and other material.

Further info here.