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"My goal in writing music is to express a personal point of view in a manner as emphatic, compelling and universal as possible. I begin with an inclusive approach to material, celebrating diversity, and embracing heterogeneity with all its contradictions. The materials themselves may be coarse grain— possibly entire musical styles—or thin slices cut at a particular angle. In a kind of 'musical genetic engineering,' I recombine these components to create a hybrid musical organism, expressing something of the diverse multi-dimensional and sometimes fractured nature of contemporary identity. Interrelationships, juxtapositions, connections and collisions form the basis of my musical language.

I draw upon sources as diverse as folk musics from around the world, popular music, jazz and historical Western concert music styles; as well as ideas from nature, literature, visual art, science and philosophy. This merging of seemingly incompatible elements, and the dynamic it sets into motion, give rise to the development and structure of my music.

The results are often surprising, yet paradoxically seem to make an intuitive sense, combining sensibility and bold statement, abstraction and everyday objects. In this manner, I seek to create a poetic music, both startlingly new and hauntingly familiar."— David A. Jaffe

Latest News

— Events in 2016: European premiere of "Party Pieces 125," Leipzig, Germany (Jan. 15); Seattle premiere of "The Space Between Us,"the Lafayette String Quartet and others (March 5); "Impossible Animals" for two voices, performed by David A. Jaffe and Karen Bentley Pollick, Seattle (March 5); "Cluck Old Hen Variations," performed by Ann Elliott-Goldschmid, Seattle (March 5); U.S. premiere of "Congregations," Celloscape Collective: A Contemporary Music Cello Ensemble in SF Bay Area, Oakland (May 28); Premiere of "How Did It Get So Late So Soon? - homage to Dr. Seuss" for violin and orchestra, Karen Bentley Pollick, Lithuanian National Opera & Ballet Theatre Orchestra, conducted by Robertas Šervenikas, Tytuvenai Festival, Lithuania (August 27); U.S. premiere of the same work by Boulder Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Bahman Saless (Nov. 11-12); "Cluck Old Hen Variations" performed at the Permainu Muzika/Music of Changes Festival in Klaipeda, Lithuania (Sept. 22) and in Seattle (Dec. 21), Karen Bentley Pollick.

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Current Projects

— Commissions and New Works: "How Did It Get So Late So Soon? - an homage to Dr. Seuss," a concerto for violin and chamber orchestra; "Eight O's in Woolloomooloo," for contralto and baroque string quartet (with viola da gamba); "Fox Hollow," a string quartet, commissioned by the Lafayette String Quartet; "The Library of Babel," for two five-octave marimbas, commissioned by Jack Van Geem; "The Space Between Us," for two string quartets and Radiodrum-driven Trimpin percussion, commissioned by Other Minds; "Congregations" for eight cellos, commissioned by Cello Octet Amsterdam.

— "NotomotoN Unstrung," a collaboration with Andrew Schloss for mandolin and signal-processed robotic percussion, controlled by the "Radiodrum" a 3D percussive controller.

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Press

Reviews from Musical America, The San Francisco Examiner, etc.

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Selected Writings

Jorge Luis Borges envisioned a library of every possible book of a given length and set of characters. The size of this library, while not quite infinite is effectively so, dwarfing the number of atoms in the known universe by eighteen hundred orders of magnitude. The plight of the creative artist is similar: to pick exactly one of these possibilities.

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Featured Album

"Cluck Old Hen Variations", & other works for strings

Who's on First? for five double-basses
Cluck Old Hen Variations for solo violin
Quiet Places for string quartet
Havana Dreams for chamber ensemble
Whoop For Your Life! for orchestra