Presentations and Panels


Jackson has presented on music in different settings and for diverse audiences. On some occasions, formal research has been presented at colleges in front of academics, and at other times Jackson has presented to high school students just beginning to discover classical music. Jackson has also led seminars with audience participation and has sat on panels alongside fellow music scholars and composers. Explore the list below for a detailed account of Jackson's activities as a presenter on music.


Titles & Abstracts:

March 24, 2018.  Timbre and Melody in the Cello Concerti of Kaija Saariaho.  Presented as part of the American Musicological Society South-Central Chapter's Annual Meeting.  Warren Wilson College, Asheville, North Carolina.  View PowerPoint!  Read More at MusicCentral!

Abstract: From the inception of French spectralism in the mid-1970s, melody had posed a problem for composers working within the orbit of this aesthetic movement. The Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho who settled in Paris in the 1980s has been a great admirer of the music and ideas of French spectralism, and has applied many of its concepts in her compositions without sacrificing her own individuality. Her deep interest in timbre, however, has not prevented her from also exploring the melodic possibilities inherent in the new music. After a thorough investigation of timbral properties had guided her compositional interests in the 1980s and early 1990s, Saariaho has worked from the mid-1990s to integrate what she has discovered about timbre with a renewed interest in melody. This paper seeks to understand how Saariaho has incorporated timbre as an essential factor in her melodic writing, tracing this development through her two cello concerti, Amers and Notes on Light. These concerti are especially relevant when we consider that the cello is an instrument for which Saariaho has written repeatedly thanks to her friendship and close working relationship with cellist Anssi Karttunen. In addition to the attention I give to the scores themselves, my research also draws on published statements by Saariaho, Karttunen, and others. Ultimately, I demonstrate that, as her career has progressed, Saariaho has elevated timbre into a structural component for crafting melody, a position previously held only by pitch and rhythm.

November 30, 2016.  Old World or New?  Framing the Cultural Context of Two Polychoral, Concerted Mass Settings by Ignacio Jerusalem y Stella.  In-class presentation for the seminar "Exoticism and Early Music." University of Louisville - School of Music, Louisville, Kentucky.  View PowerPoint!

Abstract: A forgotten master of eighteenth-century music, Ignacio Jerusalem y Stella (1707-1769) was one of the most significant figures in Mexican music in the colonial age. As maestro de capilla of the Mexico City Cathedral from 1750 to 1769, Jerusalem exerted a tremendous influence over the sacred music of New Spain. This paper examines two polychoral settings of the Mass Ordinary in the keys of G major and D major composed by Ignacio Jerusalem during his tenure as maestro de capilla. In the process, the paper asks if his American surroundings encouraged any shifts in his musical language which might meaningfully be considered exotic in comparison to Mass settings by composers active in Europe at approximately that same time. In particular, the polychoral Mass in G major by José de Nebra – assistant maestro at the Royal Chapel in Madrid – shall also be considered. Ultimately, through their display of galant characteristics and multiple similarities with the Nebra setting, the polychoral Mass settings by Ignacio Jerusalem shall be shown to diverge little from the European mainstream, and instead become representative of a composer whose intent was to transplant this tradition in Mexico rather than incorporate influences from his American surroundings.

May 14, 2016.  Panel Discussion - Composing Today with composers Al Benner, Jackson Harmeyer, and Samuel Stokes.  Sugarmill Music Festival, Rosalie Plantation near Alexandria, Louisiana.

May 14, 2016.  Panel Discussion - What is Classical Music? with Paul Christopher, Jackson Harmeyer, and Matt Petty.  Sugarmill Music Festival, Rosalie Plantation near Alexandria, Louisiana.

April 21, 2016.  Musical Ghosts: References and Associations in the Works of Luciano Berio and Alfred Schnittke; and an Original Composition.  Presented as part of Northwestern State University's 29th Annual Research Day.  Northwestern State University - Morrison Hall, Natchitoches, Louisiana.  View PowerPoint!

Abstract: Since the waning of the Modernist venture in music beginning in the late 1960s and early 1970s, references to pre-existing music have become a prominent feature in many new compositions. The current presentation considers three representative works, including the third movement of Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia (1969) constructed entirely from references as diverse as Beethoven, Mahler, Schoenberg, and Boulez; the haunted waltz from Alfred Schnittke’s Piano Quintet (1976); and the first movement of my own Organ Symphony (2015) generated from a Gregorian Kyrie eleison chant. The project uncovers the structural logic behind why these composers make use of their references.

April 15, 2016.  Musical Ghosts: References and Associations in the Works of Luciano Berio and Alfred Schnittke; and an Original Composition.  Presented as part of the 5th Annual University of Louisiana System Academic Summit.  Nicholls State University - LeBijou Theater, Thibodeaux, Louisiana.  Read More at MusicCentral!

November 18, 2015.  What Is 'Classical Music' and Why Does It Matter?

A Cultural Engagement at BrainSurge, Alexandria, Louisiana.

September 9, 2015.  An Overview of My Compositions - Concepts in Classical Music from the Composer's Perspective.  Holy Savior Menard High School - Fine Arts Room, Alexandria, Louisiana.

September 23, 2014.  Seven Great Classical Composers - An Introduction to Classical Music.

Holy Savior Menard High School - Fine Arts Room, Alexandria, Louisiana.  Read More at MusicCentral!

April 10, 2013.  Learning from the Past: The Influence of Johann Sebastian Bach upon the Soviet Composers.

Thesis Defense given in partial completion of the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts.

Northwestern State University - Morrison Hall, Natchitoches, Louisiana.

Abstract: Expected to adhere to the strict dictates of Socialist Realism, many Soviet composers found refuge and salvation in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, incorporating its influence into their own compositions in a variety of ways. Composers key to this movement include Dmitri Shostakovich, Arvo Pärt, Alfred Schnittke, and Sofia Gubaidulina. In his fight against Stalin, Shostakovich invoked Bach’s aid by employing the forms, genres, and conventions of his Baroque predecessor. Later, Pärt and Schnittke would represent Bach as the only possible victor in the ideological battle between the Soviet Union’s official policy of conservatism and the encroaching avant-garde. More recently, Gubaidulina has attempted to parallel the balance she perceives in Bach’s music between its intellectual and intuitive aspects. Ultimately, for many composers forced to work under the totalitarianism of Socialist Realism, the legacy of Bach proved to be both an invaluable refuge from oppression and a vital source for new inspiration.

February 21, 2013.  Learning from the Past: The Influence of Johann Sebastian Bach upon the Soviet Composers.  Presented as part of Northwestern State University's 26th Annual Research Day.

Northwestern State University - Morrison Hall, Natchitoches, Louisiana.

Jackson presented his paper "Timbre and Melody in the Cello Concerti of Kaija Saariaho" at the AMS South-Central Chapter's Annual Meeting in Asheville, North Carolina on March 24, 2018.

Panelists at the 2016 Sugarmill Music Festival included Al Benner, composer; Matt Petty, composer and trombonist; Paul Christopher, cellist; Samuel Stokes, composer; and

Jackson Harmeyer, music scholar and composer.

Jackson defended his undergraduate thesis "Learning from the Past: The Influence of Johann Sebastian Bach upon the Soviet Composers" on April 10, 2013.

© 2015-2020 by Jackson Harmeyer