"Richly talented" - The New York Times 

"A maverick electronic song composer" - The New Yorker

"Subversive" - The Village Voice

Comments on Individual Works:

 Silver Threads

"Stylish, with a youthful energy. . . The electronics accompanying soloist Hughes reveal a keen ear for finer ambiance and timbre, as well as a canny ear for pop affect, and [Cooper's] writing for her voice is native to the digital medium. . . Nonesuch Records deserves a round of applause for putting out Silver Threads for any number of reasons."

                                                   - Daniel Stephen Johnson, WQXR.org--a Q2 album of the week (read the whole review

"Watery keyboard pulses are spackled with glitchy beats; tiny eddying noises buzz like insects around undulating organ drones; doomy sheets of thunder-noise hold treated vocal fragments hostage. At times, the results resemble the electro-soul of James Blake, except that Hughes's measured recitation of pieces like Kristin Kelly's "Fame" and Zach Savich's "Antique Windfall" has a cool emotional distance."

                                                   - Andy Gill UK Independent

"Utterly engrossing. . . the sonic experience is completely immersive, and the unassuming music makes no prerequisite demands of the listener. . . . Overall, the album is part pop, part ambient, yet wholly undefinable when taken in its totality. Composer Jacob Cooper has crafted a highly thoughtful, utterly accessible, and undeniably appealing set of songs that wafts into the listener's eras and lingers with ease and unforced profundity.

                                                   - Daniel J. Kushner, I Care If You Listen Magazine

"Silver Threads is a shimmering ambient song cycle based around the powerful soprano of Mellissa Hughes, who is equally adept at abstract vocal tones as she is tight song forms, and atop the gently pulsing arrangements, she delivers a fairly stunning performance. It's Cooper's most fully realized work, and a nice return to form for an iconic label."

   - Other Music (read the whole review)

   Also check out WNYC's New Sounds episode that features two tracks from Silver Threads.

Cast (from Hand Eye)

". . . the kind of meditative concentration one associates with Olivier Messiaen at his best, but with the composer's own kind of undulating layers and strokes of color."

                                                                - David Patrick Stearns, The Philadelphia Inquirer (read the whole review)

"From its first phrases, Cast seems to revolve around some great, all-immersive mystery. Into this unnameable universe instruments make some rather humorous entrances into a gorgeous score that sounds like nothing else. Eventually, the music seems intent on fading out until it throws you for a loop as it plays with you. The sounds are extraordinary, the visceral impact immense."
                                                                             - Stereophile.com (read the whole review)

On Hand Eye as a whole: "Each piece of this diverse, eclectic, and colorful suite had its own voice and character. . . Yet the overall work had narrative thrust and a structural arc, even a shared aesthetic, common among younger composers today, that values the mixing of styles from all realms of contemporary music."

                                                     - Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times (read the whole review)

Commencer Une Autre Mort (
from Triptych)

"The sensation of watching Cooper’s Commencer. . . puts the viewer into the character of José himself, which does in fact cause us to look at the opera in a different way: The sharp cuts and glacial pace run as if this moment is being manically and maniacally played in José’s mind as he sits in prison, perhaps waiting for trial or death."

                                                                - Olivia Giovetti, WQXR blog (read the whole article)

"Time seems to both stand still and rush by as Carmen is stabbed many times over to a harsh, frenetic soundtrack sampling the final chorus of the opera. . . . The destabilizing video skillfully toyed with the audience’s expectations and experience of opera, of staged death, of performance."

                                                     - Claudia Carrera, Capital NY (read the whole review)

". . . a quick-cut video piece with a soundtrack built of noise-bursts. It had the virtue of brevity" (!)

- Allan Kozinn, The New York Times (read the whole review)

Alla stagion dei fior (from Triptych)

"A rumbling, jittering threnody."

                                                    - Steve Smith, The New York Times (read the whole review

"[The] video showed a series of embraces-- faces locked in kisses, hands holding faces. . . . The work left a memorably uncomfortable impression."

                                                                  - Jayson Greene, Pitchfork (read the whole review)


Agitated, stumbling, like an endless run-on sentence (from Histories)

"In Agitated, Stumbling, Like an Endless Run-on Sentence, Mr. Cooper used the percussion writing toward the end of The Soldier's Tale as the starting point for a robust fantasy, at times transferring the high-energy bursts in Stravinsky's music to the brasses and woodwinds and strings."

                                                    - Allan Kozinn, The New York Times (read the whole review)

". . . a fascinating, often compelling piece that captured much of the original’s energy and earthy flavor, with its demented little dances and dark, acerbic edge." [about Histories as a whole].  

 - Stephen Brookes, The Washington Post (read the whole review)


"The audience is reminded of Spears’s music and lyrics, but the fast pacing of pop becomes dark and weighted. . . The stretching of both the music and story prolongs Spears’s destruction and amplifies her downfall, but seeing it happen in slow motion makes it all the more tragic.”

                - All Things Considered, National Public Radio (read and listen to the whole piece)

"A gutsy rock opera."

                  - Time Out NY (a Critic's Pick)

"'Baby One More Time. . .' has all the passion of 'Nessun Dorma.' Who knew Britney's canon was so conducive to staged melodrama?

                    - The Village Voice (a Voice Choice)


"A PR person's wet dream. . . The lives of former Mouseketeers sure make for ripe melodrama."

- Randy Nordschow, NewMusicBox.org

[With Timberbrit], our city can lay claim to a new cultural offering."

- Page 6 Magazine (NY Post)

"The opera easily transcends its conceptual calculations and becomes an engrossing, intriguing human drama. Human vocals waft over a wave of slowed-down chords, accented by crashing drums and keyboard effects. It has the airy eeriness of a David Lynch film score, yet not as doom-laden. . . The grandeur and polish bear the patience and intelligence of a classical score, but the humanity and desperation are pure pop. . . Just as few fans of Verdi's Camille, Puccini's Madama Butterfly or Mozart's Marriage of Figaro have read the books and stories on which those operas are based, someday when people have forgotten about the real Britney Spears, they may still be enthralled by the tragic electronically fueled slo-mo musical meltdown of Timberbrit."

- Chris Arnott, The New Haven Advocate

"Listening to [Timberbrit's] Britney singing like a record on the wrong speed, you feel like either she must be on the drugs, or you are. . . There are moments of overwhelming force in the work. Like when Justin and Britney's voices are nearly drowned out by the guitarist's wall-of-sound chords and the apocalyptic drums. Or the duet when Justin's voice slides above Britney's in a piercing falsetto as they proclaim their love for each other."

- Tom MacMillan, Signals and Noise blog

Also see the interview with me in the Toronto Star, Alex Ross's Timberbrit shout-out #1 and shout-out#2, the preview article by Adam Rathe in the Brooklyn Paper, and a wonderfully scathing review by a bicoastal blogger.


"A rich, roiling composition [that] featured Ashley Bathgate's beautiful and sensitive bowing."

- Elizabeth Pandolfi, Charleston City Paper  


"Serenade featured a string quintet playing thick, slow repeating chords while the two singers changed an enigmatic poem. A trumpet added off-key blasts, which grew to become a cacophony of wails and moans, and short discordant attacks, and the piece ended with added wild drumming. The buildup was powerful, satisfying, and original."

- Priscilla McLean, Albany Times Union (read the whole review)  

Stabat Mater Dolorosa

"A work of unmistakably solemn beauty."

- Daniel Stephen Johnson, Q2 "Composer Portal" Feature on Cooper (read the whole article)

"A stunning new work. . . The plain tones, simple harmonies, and the concentration of the musicians makes for an intensely powerful listening experience. Musically beautiful and emotionally gripping, this is a stunning piece and was played with exceptional focus and control by all the musicians."

 - George Grella, The Big City (read the whole review)


"[Odradek] is clearly not hopelessly Kafkaesque. Filled with mood changes, from wild syncopated sections to hazy chordal atmospheres, it led the listener toward one of the most cacophonous concert conclusions in recent memory."

- David Hawley, St Paul Pioneer Press

“Cooper’s goal was to create something intelligible out of seemingly random elements, and in this he succeeded admirably.” 

- David H. Kim, New Haven Independent magazine (read the whole review)


   “At some point in Jacob Cooper's Untitled, the unutterable sadness of the work hit me.”

                                                  - John Schneider, Express Milwaukee (read the whole review) 








all materials ©2007 Jacob Cooper
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