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for string octet and soloists


by Jessica Pavone

"The power of these pieces comes from the inherent subjectivity of sound... By centering the pleasure of the performer, we learn more about their personalities, preferences, and pleasures. And that knowledge, in turn, allows us to drift closer to a space of shared understanding and bliss." - Jonathan Williger, Pitchfork

"Sturdy construction is allied to puzzlingly idiosyncratic design" - The Wire

Pavone's music takes time and that is precisely the point. Art isn't meant to possess boundaries, and Lull is an exercise in composition and performance that requires patience and an open musical mind. The pleasures of this album are both odd and exquisite." - Chris Ingalls, PopMatters

"Pavone's unfurling melodies prove balm-like, with a discrete sense of time" - MOJO

"It is a music that plays with the heartstrings of emotivity and what that can be in music. ...never saccharine joy or oppressive doom but always something bittersweet." - Harmonic Series

"The broad patterns at work disqualify it as a work of minimalism, but the stark arrangements and lengthy passages don’t precisely define it as anything exclusively not minimal. The best way to process Lull is as a new work… this work manages to draw on several genres and techniques while committing to none of them. What happens when they coexist? Well, this is just one such way it can fall from the sky." - John Garrett, PopMatters

"Composer and violist Jessica Pavone continues an impressive streak of writing for strings with this new recording." - Peter Margasak, Bandcamp Daily, Best of Contemporary Classical on Bandcamp, October 2021

Jessica Pavone by Yuan Liu.jpg

Jessica Pavone by Yuan Liu.jpg

Jessica Pavone, eminent figure of NYC’s avant-classical scene, delivers Lull, a timely new album of transfixing sonic textures. Featuring a distinguished ensemble of New York-based musicians, including soloists Brian Chase (of indie rock legends Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and Nate Wooley (highly acclaimed trumpet virtuoso), Lull’s instrumentation consists of an eight-piece string section augmented with percussion and trumpet. This album-length minimalist-inspired composition finds stillness amidst tension, and evokes impressions of landscape environments such as rolling waves, monochrome deserts and stars punctuating a dark empty sky.

Jessica Pavone - composer/viola
Brian Chase - percussion solo
Nate Wooley - Bb trumpet solo
Aimée Niemann and Charlotte Munn-Wood - violin
Abby Swidler - viola
Christopher Hoffman and Meaghan Burke - cello
Shayna Dulberger and Nicholas Jozwiak - double bass

Recorded October 25, 2020

Scholes Street Studio in Brooklyn, NY

Engineered by René Pierre Allain

Mixed and mastered by Brian Chase

Artwork and layout: Brian Chase
Publishing: JessicaPavone BMI


As both an instrumentalist and composer, Jessica Pavone explores the tactile and sensorial experience of music as a vibration-based medium. She has produced four albums of solo viola music, all of which present indeterminate pieces that stem from years of concentrated long-tone practice, and show an emphasis on repetition, song form and sympathetic vibration. This personalized solo viola language eventually expanded into the J. Pavone String Ensemble (2 violins and 2 violas) which Pavone created in 2017. The ensemble approach of this quartet is focused on a vision of collective improvisation that prioritizes a collaboratively sewn musical fabric. They have performed at the Graham Foundation in Chicago; the NYC Winter Jazzfest; Firehouse12 in New Haven; Roulette and ISSUE Project Room in Brooklyn; and The Rotunda in Philadelphia, and have released two studio albums to critical acclaim from The Wire, The New Yorker, the San Francisco Classical Voice, and The New York City Jazz Record. Chris Ingalls from Pop Matters described the music as "too stunning to lump into genres."

Pavone has been a composer in residence at the Ucross Foundation, Soaring Gardens, Arts Letters & Numbers; has received commissions from Queens Council on the Arts (2020), New Music USA (2015), Tri-Centric Foundation (2015), the Jerome Foundation (2011), Tri-Centric Foundation (2015), Experiments in Opera (2013), and MATA Interval (2007); has premiered work in NYC venues including Roulette, Abrons Art Center, the Noguchi Museum, the Museum of Art and Design, and The Kitchen. Her albums have been produced by Tzadik, Taiga Records, Thirsty Ear, Astral Spirits, Relative Pitch, and Skirl Records, and she has released four collaborative duo recordings with guitarist Mary Halvorson. From 2005 to 2012, Pavone toured regularly with Anthony Braxton’s Sextet and 12+1tet, and she appears on his discography from that time.

In 2011, Pavone was featured in NPR’s "The Mix: 100 Composers Under 40" and since Wire magazine has praised her "ability to transform a naked tonal gesture into something special," and The New York Times described her music as "distinct and beguiling…its core is steely, and its execution clear."

For more on Jessica including concert calendar and info on other releases, visit:

For Lull on Bandcamp, visit:


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