Recent performance by
the Arditti Quartet at June in Buffalo
Jack Herscowitz engages alternate forms of notation, deep inter-personal collaborations, and trans-disciplinary thinking to recognize music as a process which has always extended beyond the singular dimension of sound. Situated in a unique digital age of superficial accessibility, he draws from a seemingly incongruous tessellation of influences: from Bladee to Lachenmann, Deborah Hay to slapstick, the AACM to corporate boardrooms, and Artaud to lame parties. These compound influences engender an identity in limbo, searching for compassion, empathy, and genuine political urgency within a zeitgeist of overwhelmingly apathetic irony and capitalist co-optation. This personal search is all he could ever hope for from his audience, performers, and co-creators: to respond to art and life with presence, empathy, and transformation.
His music has been performed throughout the United States and Europe by artists including the Arditti Quartet, Ensemble Dal Niente, Hypercube, .abeceda Ensemble, Flutist Anat Nazarathy of Meitar Ensemble, and Baritone Stephen Lancaster. He has been a fellow or featured composer at June in Buffalo, Meitar Ensemble's CEME Festival, DePaul University's Residency for New Music, and the University of North Georgia’s ROCC Conference, with performances at the Hellerau European Centre for the Arts, Riverside Church in NYC, the Moscow Conservatory, the Santa Maria del Carmine, Pavia, and the City of Basel Music Academy.
He has collaborated with Pete Francis of the rock band Dispatch to arrange one of Francis’s original songs, "Show Me", for rock band and orchestra, novelist and poet Julia Alvarez on a piece for chamber orchestra and chamber choir based off her novel, In the Time of Butterflies, and members of the Middlebury College Dance Department. Future collaborations include a new piece for the Atlantic Reed Consort drawing from the ethos of hardcore punk and pop music and the 2022 Shastra Collaborative in Los Angeles to premiere a new arrangement of a traditional Hindustani bhajan for string quartet and Hindustani vocalist. Jack has also written music for big bands and short films, and performs as a saxophonist enamored with improvisation, especially alongside dancers.
Jack’s artistic philosophy is also deeply influenced by his studies in ethnomusicology under professor Damascus Kafumbe. He worked as Kafumbe’s research assistant on the book, Tuning the Kingdom, which was published spring 2018 and won the 2020 Kwabena Nketia Book Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology. Jack's personal research on the legacy of La Nueva Canción Chilena won the 2021 Lise Waxer NECSEM Prize and other research projects have studied the embodied practice of Pauline Oliveros’ Sonic Meditations as well as syncretic musical influences in Keith Jarrett's improvisations.
Jack holds a B.A. in Music and Environmental Studies from Middlebury College where he studied composition with Matthew Evan Taylor and Su Lian Tan. He will begin his M.F.A. in Composition and Experimental Sound Practices at CalArts in the fall of 2021.