Jacob Broussard is a 17-year-old classical composer from Southern California. His first choral work is called Spirit Come, written when he was 16, and has been performed by the University of Southern California (USC) Chamber Singers; a beautiful and slightly haunting piece. You can hear it on Soundcloud above.
Jacob’s infectious enthusiasm has led him to set up a Kickstarter project to help fund the development of an orchestral piece called Plures Amores. Kickstarter is the “leader in Creative Arts Crowd Funding”, which means that anyone can chose to back a project, big or small, and with large or small amounts. Filmmaker, Stephen Heleker, has called the system, “The most democratic way art has ever been made”. Spike Lee’s Kickstarter campaign to fund his latest film reached his target before the summer when more than 5,000 backers pledged to donate a total of $1,325,481. Jacob’s request is more modest, but just as important.
In Jacob’s Kickstarter blurb he says,
I have decided to begin writing my first orchestral piece, Plures Amores, as well as several film scores… Plures Amores is going to be HUGE and i’m very excited for the results. Unfortunately, I have very BIG dreams and quite a small budget (I think we can all relate). I hope to use “Plures Amores” as well as the several film scores I’m working on, as the beginning of a professional portfolio to send to publishers, potential clients, etc. As exciting as that all may be, there are many expenses that come with composing and publishing music. THAT is where you all come in!
I have always loved large chords and melodies and pull the emotion out of people, but I’m actually working on some piano pieces right now.
His earliest memory was watching his older sister play the piano when he was 3-years-old.
Like most kids, I wanted to be just like my older sibling so I asked her to teach me. Not much of the patient one, she skipped the introductory stuff and went straight to “Ode to Joy”. I loved it and from that day on I never wanted to leave the piano bench. I also remember playing all three movements of Für Elise for my 3rd grade talent show, receiving my very first standing ovation!
he says, smiling. Jacob’s got a big smile, and laughs a lot.
I love everything about playing, it’s my outlet, my escape, and my constant. I know no matter what that my piano will always be there at the end of the day and I can let out everything on it.
Though the piano’s his number one love, he dabbles with other instruments too: organ, vibraphone, marimba, guitar, bass, mandolin, banjo, contrabass, cello, viola, violin, trumpet, trombone, and sax.
Classical music has always been my true passion. I was classically trained my whole life in piano and I could never get enough of listening to classical piano, orchestra, or choir. Naturally, when I began composing, my emotions and the story I try to tell just come out in a classical form.
I’ve always messed around with little melodies since I was little. It wasn’t until about two years ago that I started compiling those melodies and writing them down, eventually composing my first choral piece.
He hasn’t written all that much however – his Spirit Come has a sister piece called Alleluia – but he’s working on several other works for various ensembles, and has started writing music for independent films by freelance filmmakers and friends that are filmmakers. So has he got enough experience to realistically achieve his goals?
I believe that music is something that anyone can produce at any time in their life with any level of experience. I’ve been playing piano my whole life and composing for a little over a year and so I’m not sure if I have enough experience but I promise that I have enough ambition and enough inspiration.
Jacob cites his favourite composers as Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Liszt, American composer Leon Kirchner, and, almost inevitably, Eric Whitacre whose 2008 choral CD Cloudburst topped the classical charts; but there’s room for a little jazz, blues, and oldies rock too. Does he have any rap in his iPod?
My top played in my iPod would be Whitacre, Pentatonix (an a cappella group), and Queen.
So consistent in his tastes – think Bohemian Rhapsody.
Below is a link to Jacob’s video presentation of his Kickstarter project. If you want to give him a hand, and join him on his journey, pledges can be from as little as $1:
I’m making a Kickstarter project because of what Kickstarter stands for: Funding creative projects. What better place to raise money for my first orchestral piece than an environment like Kickstarter. Everything is going towards starting my professional career and specifically my first orchestral piece Plures Amores.