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.
“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, including his debut recital at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
“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
– San Francisco Classical Voice
“Thrall”, a concerto for pianist Aron Kallay and Brightwork New Music Ensemble, will be premiered in Los Angeles in October 2017.
“Fragments” will be performed by Kirsten Ashley Wiest and Nic Gerpe at Harvey Mudd College and other locations in Fall 2017.
“Íss”, for Duo Amantis, will be premiered in the 2017/18 season.
“Urðarmána [Moon of Fate]” will be performed by Vincent Ranallo and Bruce Mather at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, Canada, in January 2018.
A new monodrama, “Myrkriða, Ljósleiðá [Rider of Darkness, Path of Light]”, will be premiered by Kirsten Ashley Wiest, with Tara Schwab and Michael Kudirka, in 2018.