American Composers
September 27, 2022
5 min read

Composer Spotlight: Yvette Janine Jackson Interview with Garrett McQueen

ACO’s Director of Artist Equity, Garrett McQueen, sat down with composer Yvette Janine Jackson to discuss the upcoming World Premiere of her ACO-commissioned work Hello, Tomorrow!, featured in ACO’s concert “The Natural Order” at Carnegie Hall on October 20th, 2022. Get your tickets now.

Yvette is a 2022-23 EarShot CoLABoratory Fellow with ACO. She is a composer of electroacoustic, chamber, and orchestral musics for concert, theatre, and installation.  Building on her experience as a theatrical sound designer, she blends various forms into her own aesthetic of narrative soundscape composition, radio opera, and improvisation.  Her works often draw from history to examine relevant social issues.

The commission and premiere of Hello, Tomorrow! by Yvette Janine Jackson has been made possible with the support of Elizabeth and Justus Schlichting. Hello, Tomorrow! was workshopped as part of ACO’s EarShot CoLABoratory, generously funded by TD Charitable Foundation.

Yvette is a recipient of San Francisco’s Dean Goodman Choice Award for Sound Design and Theatre Bay Area’s Eric Landisman Fellowship.  She was selected by the American Composers Orchestra to participate in the third Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute in conjunction with the The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music and Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University. Yvette studied music at the RD Colburn School of Performing Arts in Los Angeles, holds a B.A. in Music from Columbia University in the City of New York, and a Ph.D. in Music-Integrative Studies from the University of California, San Diego.  Her research focuses on the history of production techniques and aesthetics which link radio drama and electroacoustic musics; multichannel composition; and immersion.

Past projects and collaborations include: ABC News Nightline, Altoids, American Composers Orchestra, Anthony Davis Improvisation Ensemble, Asian American Theater Company, Audiorama (Stockholm), Aura Codec, Aurora Theatre Company, California Audio Arts, Campo Santo, Chariot Videos, Conrad Prebys Music Center, Crowded Fire, Cultural Odyssey, David Molina, Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe, Elektronmusikstudion (Stockholm EMS), Ellen Sabastian Chang, Erik Ian Walker, Erika Chong Shuch, Exit Theatre, Fridman Gallery, Golden Thread Productions, Grace Cathedral, Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute, Intersection for the Arts, Joe Goode Performance Group, John Luther Adams, Magic Theatre, Mark Dresser Bass Ensemble, Marlo Thomas, Oakland Public Theater, Pagliacci’s Fools, Phillip Kan Gotanda, Qualcomm Institute (Calit2) Recombinant Media Lab, Ray’s Vast Basement, Salida Circus, San Diego Art Institute, Solano College Theatre, Space 4 Art, Strange Lights, Stuart Collection, Su-Chen Hung, Tiffany Ng, A Traveling Jewish Theatre, W. Kamau Bell, Wackoworld Music, Wa/So Collective with Ava Porter, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Youth Speaks, Zellerbach Hall.

In the Composer’s Own Words

Hello, Tomorrow!, for orchestra and electronics, takes its title from George Lefferts’ story that was adapted for the radio drama series Dimension X and X Minus One in the 1950s, and is a response to reading Naomi Oreskes’ and Eric M. Conway’s The Collapse of Western Civilization.  Both use science fiction to depict a future made unrecognizable by human (in)actions.  This composition is a reflection on the actions that can be taken today to bring about positive change.  Building on Yvette Janine Jackson’s body of electroacoustic radio operas, Hello, Tomorrow! invites the listener to draw upon personal experiences and knowledge to construct the narrative.

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