Based in New York City, contemporary Classical composer Elliot Cole recently released his EP, Journals, Vol. 1, via Long Echo Records.
Elliot explains, “I usually make music to get outside myself, to explore, to roam. To discover something I didn’t already have in me. But ‘Journals’ is a return to the personal—a pencil and a notebook, a private moment, drawing out what’s inside.”
Acclaimed cellist Gabriel Cabezas and guitarist Jordan Dodson appear on Journals, Vol. 1.
Elliot worked with Grammy-winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth, Jonny Greenwood, and Wu-Tang Clan on Evolver, which was previewed at Cannes in 2021. He’s also written for and performed with A Far Cry, Metropolis Ensemble, Gabriel Cabezas, Conor Hanick, David Kaplan, FLUX Quartet, and Projeto Arcomusical.
Along with composing Postludes, performed by hundreds of ensembles, Elliot reads and teaches 14th-century mensural notation, and collaborates with ensembles such as Alkemie. Moreover, he is a doctoral researcher in algorithmic composition at Princeton University, designed and coded Movements, a VR gestural instrument, and has worked as a producer, engineer, video editor, and animator. He is on faculty at Juilliard.
Journals Vol. 1 comprises five entries, beginning with “November 1: Homesick,” opening on a gentle, elegant guitar topped by a wistful cello, imbuing the tune with elegiac tones.
Personal favorites include “November 25: Lovesick,” featuring Cabezas’ marvelously evocative cello, at once starkly intense and rife with profound raw emotions. Dodson’s luminous guitar contrasts against the darker colors of the cello, providing a delicious antiphonal leitmotif.
“December 7: Utah” drifts slowly, exuding nostalgic savors, regretful and brooding with introspective, emotional commitment. While “December 14: Exit Row” rolls out on surging washes of guitar and cello, rippling with ferocity and hints of discordant notes.
Graceful and poignant, Journals Vol. 1 conveys brilliant allusions and turns of sonic phrase, at times heartrending while at other times vehement, yet always exquisitely subtle.