Jeffrey Holmes composes post-spectral, teleological music incorporating elements of mysticism and lyrical expression. His creative inspiration is rooted in primitive myths, transcendent legends, and dramatic elemental landscapes in their primal and violent natural states. As a traditionalist, he composes music for acoustic orchestral instruments, using standard notational methods; as a formalist, he works within a complex and unique non-octave diatonic, chromatic, and microtonal language; as a transcendentalist, he combines the inherent abstraction of sound with a greater meaning and possibility of interpretation through the use of lyricism and overt expression.
A double-portrait CD “May the Bridges I Burn Light My Way…” (produced and engineered by John Schneider, Aron Kallay, and Michael Kudirka), featuring 9 works, including concerti, chamber, and solo compositions, released on May 17, 2019, on MicroFest Records (distributed by Naxos). Purchase “May the Bridges I Burn Light My Way…” on Amazon.com here.
“A particularly impressive combination of technical prowess and deep expression…intense, often abrasive, visionary, unafraid to challenge, even assault the listener.”
“Music of raw power and vision.”
“Screaming chords seem almost like the death rattle of a prehistoric beast.”
“I salute Holmes for his integrity and commitment to a very personal and challenging vision, very much of this time, and actually of a future when the pendulum will swing again to appreciate its lonely stance in the current musical landscape.”
(Robert Carl, Fanfare Magazine, May 2019)
“Herjan” was commissioned by the Guitar Foundation of America as the set piece for the 2017 International Concert Artist Competition, and was performed at California State University Fullerton in June 2017 by 41 guitarists. The first-place winner, Tengyue Zhang, will perform “Herjan” on tour in more than 50 cities throughout North and South America in 2018-19, including his debut recital at Carnegie Hall in New York City on March 20, 2019.
“Hagall” was successfully premiered in March by the Talea Ensemble at Roulette in New York City. The Talea Ensemble described the work: “Holmes’ music engages in the idea of landscape and mysticism through his spectral technique. Through his choice of pitch and rhythmic textures, stunning colors emerge”.
In October, “Úr” received its world premiere by the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet on the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s “Green Umbrella” series in Disney Hall. New Classic LA reported: “Jeffrey Holmes’ Ur was a break through premiere. With the ensemble surrounding the audience, each musician surrounded by similar set ups of gongs, toms, bass drums, flower pots, and cymbals, we listeners were bathed in swirling cascades of sound…it was magic.”
“Captivating…the haunting and slightly disorienting sound disrupts and engages the open ear.” – Los Angeles Times
“By far the most interesting and musically arresting work on the concert…music to be really heard and deserving of reflection.” – Society of Composers, INC
“Brilliantly crafted, a captivating listening experience…extraordinary craftsmanship as well as a mastery of contemporary musical forms…a polish and artistry that stands comparison with any of the 20th century masterworks.” – Sequenza 21
“Thund” will be premiered by Jason Hardink in Salt Lake City, Utah, September 09, 2019.
“Erilaz” for baritone Vincent Ranallo and Duo AIRS (saxophone and percussion), to be premiered at the Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur in Montréal (Canada), October 09, 2019.
A new monodrama (“Myrkriða, Ljósleiðá [Rider of Darkness, Path of Light]”), will be premiered by Kirsten Ashley Wiest, with Tara Schwab, Michael Kudirka, 2020.
A new work for guitar (“Jörmunr”) for Pierre Bibault (Ensemble Intercontemporain, Ensemble Variances) will be premiered throughout the US and Europe, 2020.