Jason Carl Rosenberg (b.1979; Ph.D. in Music from UC San Diego) is an acclaimed composer, conductor, and music cognition researcher.

 

The Rotary Club of Jackson welcomed Dr. Jason Rosenberg, artistic director of Mississippi Experimental Music Ensemble (MEME).

 

Jason Carl Rosenberg (b.1979; Ph.D. in Music from UC San Diego) is an acclaimed composer, conductor, and music cognition researcher.  Having worked in Switzerland and Singapore for several years, Dr. Rosenberg is active in several contemporary music scenes in the U.S. and abroad, and seeks to link these communities through collaborative projects and innovative programming.  His concert music uses contrapuntal inventiveness and rhythmic vitality to create rich environments of “power and persuasion…and violence” (Herald Tribune).  His music also features an interaction with historical models, especially from the Renaissance and Baroque, through an idiosyncratic artistic practice based on evocation and transformation.  Rosenberg has been a selected composer at several festivals, including the Royaumont Abbey and the Acanthes Festival, and has received the Salvatore Martirano Award and the Foro de Música Nueva Composition Prize.  Dr. Rosenberg is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Millsaps College and is the Artistic Director of MEME (the Mississippi Experimental Music Ensemble).

Dr. Rosenburg used his piece L.O.S.T to illustrate the type of music he creates.  L.O.S.T. is a 25-minute composition scored for a 16-part unaccompanied mixed choir.  Related to the Renaissance practice of the paraphrase mass, the work is a compositional response, and potential companion piece, to Lamentations of Jeremiah by Thomas Tallis.  L.O.S.T. is designed such that Tallis’ work can be interleaved with it in performance.  Both pieces are shaped by the Hebrew Bible’s penitential “Book of Lamentations,” which chronicles an attempt to understand and cope with a devastating loss -- in particular, the sacking of Jerusalem.  The book is divided into 5 chapters.  Each chapter consists of 22 lines of text or a multiple thereof, whereby each line begins with a different letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  Likewise, the English language lyrics created for L.O.S.T. by the composer contain 22 lines, each beginning with a different letter of the English alphabet.  The four letters omitted from the list are, in order: L, O, S, and T.
 

 

The piece is based on the five stages of grief to create a sense of iconic gestures that should form a movement.  The text of his piece is below:


I. Denial
Amaranthine walls cannot be breached (Aleph)
Boundless air within our lungs (Beth)
Chimeras don’t cloud the reality (Gimel)
Deathless fire on our tongues (Daleth)

II. Anger
Eviscerate the enemy (He)
Fight and torment (Waw)
Gorge on revenge ‘til teeth are stained in blood (Zayin)
Hostility’s the remedy (Heth)
Incite and/the lament (Teth)

III. Bargaining
Justice, can you spare me? (Yodh)
Know that I faithfully plead (Kaph)
Measure out my fate kindly? (Lamed)
Nullify my every misdeed? (Mem)

IV. Depression
Pallbearers pull my broken heart (Nun)
Quietly to a quarantined grave (Samekh)
Resigned to a life of a ragpicker (Ayin)
Unhinged, unhappy, unable to restart (Pe)
Voided, vulnerable, unable to be saved (Sadhe)

V. Acceptance
With due time we'll accept (Qoph)
Xanadu has run its course (Resh)
Yes, we have wept (Shin)
Zero remorse (Taw)

 

Dr. Rosenburg shared audio pieces of his work.