Composition Department

Jacob Shrum, BM 2012

Excerpts from High and Low
for String Quartet and Piano

Anastasia Falasca, Violin
Lee Anderson, Viola
Brian Aladesuyi, Violincello
Eric Lacour, Double Bass
Grigor Khachatryan, Piano

Performed on April 1, 2010



High and Low is intended as a musical interpretation of an M.C. Escher print of the same title.  Escher’s work utilizes the ideas of “high” and “low” on multiple levels:  the work is split into two parts, one above the other.  Each part gives a different perspective on the same scene; one from above and one from below.  In the scene, a man sits down on the stairs and stares up at a girl in her window.  I think that one could even argue that there is an apparent emotional high and low between the two sections.  Needless to say, the idea of interpreting the notion of “high” and “low” in various ways musically is essentially what this piece is all about.

Excerpts from Saga Variations

Samson Neslund, Bb CLarinet

Max Grafe, Bassoon
Performed on March 24 2009

Theme and 5th Variation


Included here is the 12 bar Theme (which I realized after writing it was just a more elaborated version of a melody heard several times throughout the video game “Xenosaga.”  Hence the name, “Saga Variations.”) and the final variation of that theme.  This final variation has actually strayed from the Theme by a decent amount, but there are hints of it throughout that grow a more obvious by the end, though (I like to think) that it never appears too blatantly.

Jacob Shrum will be entering his third year as an undergraduate in composition at IU this fall.  He will be continuing his studies under Professor Aaron Travers, having studied in previous years with Professors Don Freund and PQ Phan.  Jacob was the 2007 winner of the Composition Department’s High School Composition Competition.

He also studies voice under Marietta Simpson and is constantly performing new choral works with the Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, which he has been involved with since entering the music school as a freshman.