Student Composer: John Jansen - Depth of Scale and Quantum Lilypads Sessions
A little over a month ago today, I had the privilege of joining some great musicians in two recording sessions for a student composer named John Jansen. The first piece consists of three continuous movements for electronics, flute, clarinet, alto sax, marimba, violin, and cello. It is a journey through space set to music. As described by Jansen, "Movement I. Pale Blue Dot (0' - 1' in the recording) is a tribute to Carl Sagan that outlines lifting off from earth, and from the space craft window, seeing our planet from outer space. Movement II. Deep Space Axis (1' - 4' in the recording) The journey continuing through deep space as we venture further into the black, time as we know it beginning to break down. Movement III. Answers That Need Questions (4' - 7'15" in the recording) We are at the edge now... linear time is gone, and we are surrounded by an array of separate realities, all screaming at once." The session involved some great performers (seen above) and was recorded at GVSU. This included Krista Visnovsky (violin), myself (piano), Kevin Flynn (cello), Kevin Bays (alto sax), Ian McIntyre (clarinet), Wade Selkirk (percussion) and Kaitlyn Huisjen (flute).
The second piece was a trio for piano, cello, and flute entitled "Quantum Lilypads," and it included current GVSU student Kevin Flynn (cello) and recent GVSU grad and UofM graduate student Ashley Stanely (flute). The piece is divided into three distinct sections. The first sets a mixed-meter rhythmic engine that establishes a distinct groove between the performing players, building to a climatic transition. Contrasting sharply is a slow, lyrical second movement that borderlines on the etherial with how much expression is generated between the players. The third marks a triumphant return of the theme built on the mixed-meter engine with some new variations. The piece is a great example of Jansen's writing and his ability to connect seemingly unrelated ideas together into a succinct work.
John not only composed the work that was recorded for his graduate school portfolio, he also did the miking, mixing, and mastering through River City Studios and at his personal home studio, with some on-site assistance from friend and the current chief engineer at River City Studios Austin Ruhstorfer.
John C.L. Jansen is a composer, guitarist, and audio engineer from Grand Rapids, Michigan. He began his study of music at Grand Rapids Community College, where he received an Associate in Arts studying classical guitar with Brian Morris. Jansen also received an additional Associate’s degree in Music Recording Technology studying recording with Tim Heldt, followed by an internship at River City Studios. Jansen has participated in master classes with renowned guitarists such as Adam Holzman, and the Goran Ivanovic and Andreas Kapsalis duo, and has also received an instrumental leadership award. Jansen graduated magna cum laude from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor in Arts degree, and in 2014 was selected for the Composer of the Year award. At GVSU he studied composition with Bill Ryan, and was a part of GVSU’s New Music Ensemble, where he operated electronics and sound reinforcement. He is currently pursuing graduate studies in composition.
To find more recordings John Jansen has done (like his ArtPrize 2013 submission) and more about his current projects, you can find more information at https://soundcloud.com/john-c-l-jansen-1
If you want to hear the finished products, check them out here: [embed]https://soundcloud.com/dutcher-1/sets/john-jansen-compositions[/embed]