Jessica Rudman (b. 1982) is a Connecticut-based composer whose music unifies extended techniques with clear melodic development and narrative structures to create a unique and personal emotional expression. Her works have been performed across the U.S. and abroad by groups such as the International Contemporary Ensemble, the Cadillac Moon Ensemble, Mivos Quartet, the Omaha Symphony Chamber Orchestra, and the Yakima Symphony Orchestra. She has received awards from Boston Metro Opera, SCI/ASCAP, the College Music Society, the International Alliance for Women in Music, and others. Her recent commissions include works for the Riot Ensemble, the Blue Box Ensemble, bassist Gahlord Dewald, and the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra. Jessica has taught at The Hartt School, Central Connecticut State University, and Baruch College. She is currently the Director of the Young Composers Project and the Chair of the Creative Studies Department at The Hartt School Community Division. Jessica is also an active music theorist and arts advocate, serving on the board of the Women Composers Festival of Hartford. She holds degrees from the CUNY Graduate Center, The Hartt School, and the University of Virginia.
Still I Rise! is named after Maya Angelou’s eponymous poem. Her words express a profound sentiment of perseverance: they reflect not only surviving hardships, but coming out of them with one’s spirit intact. The narrator’s sassiness, quirky humor, and energy are manifested in the music’s grooves, flirty lines, and vibrant colors. The theme of endurance is expressed as the main motive or ‘protagonist’ travels through periods of confidence, adversity, manic excitement, questioning, and catharsis. Even when the identity of the main motive is almost obliterated by the heavy, static chords of the climax, it emerges to close the piece with a wink and a flourish – always rising again.”
listen to an excerpt of Jessica’s Iseult Speaks: