Jude Traxler is a performer and composer of experimental and conceptual music living in New York City. He has received awards in both composition and percussion including the prestigious Yamaha Young Artist Award in 2006. Since Jude's move to New York in 2008, he has quickly become a respected member of the contemporary music scene.
Jude has played with a wide range of contemporary and experimental groups including Syren Dance Company, Steeplechase Arts, Parias Ensemble, futureCities, TACTUS, the Pierrot Project, Sister Sylvester Theater Group, and Mantra Percussion with whom he is currently touring Michael Gordon's epic new percussion sextet Timber. Jude's compositions have been performed across North America by the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Hamirüge, The Living Earth Show, The UMBC New Music Group, ChemoRocket, TACTUS, Police Academy, Tempus Fugit Percussion Ensemble, thingNY, wild UP, Ekmeles and futureCities. He regularly collaborates with director Kathryn Hamilton and the Sister Sylvester experimental theater company as resident composer and sound designer.
A native of Baton Rouge, Jude completed his Bachelor of Music degrees in Composition and Percussion Performance at Louisiana State University and his Master of Music in Contemporary Performance at the Manhattan School of Music. He teaches 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade music classes at the Lower Manhattan Community Middle School near Wall Street. Jude is currently a Staff Recording Engineer at the Manhattan School of Music Recording Department and was the Assistant Conductor of the MSM Percussion Ensemble for the 2008 through 2011 seasons. He has performed, conducted, and recorded works for Cat Crisis, Stanley Leonard Music, Bourbon Thomas, and New World Records. In his downtime, he also plays in rock bands, designs websites, enjoys video games, and appreciates poetry.
I believe that art exists in the moment and that any performance should not be possible to repeat. I've achieved this in my music by writing a series of game structures and actions filling in a constantly shifting series of mobile forms. In essence, the performers could not repeat a work the same way twice, even if they tried. This process creates surprise and intrigue – for the listener and performers – by allowing extraordinary moments to occur without intention. Through game structures, the composer's ego is taken away while the performer's ego is employed to create the piece, making snap decisions and even occasionally cheating the game system to attempt a predictable outcome. (Besides, what's the fun of playing if one can't cheat?)
My music is a spiral of formal structures and evolving rule sets incorporating all aspects of live performance. Theater and movement are employed as physical tasks replacing musical themes and motives. Sounds are created through a revolving series of pandiatonic chords and intuitive rhythms that constantly hint at a fleeting groove. Music then appears as a delightful byproduct of the aforementioned circus of experimentalism and the audience has then had the pleasure of following a journey of sounds and stories that, because of the chance involved in its creation, is always fresh and original.
With all that said, check out the site. Make yourself at home. I always keep the calendar well updated so you can find out where I'm supposed to be on any given night of musical exploration (mostly because my mom checks it every so often). Check out the media section for newly posted audio and video clips as I bounce around from place to place playing really great music with even better performers. I love what I do.