Jay Derderian (b.1986) is composer, guitarist, writer, and Portland-native whose compositions explore the world through a rich, cerebral musical language. As a composer of (mostly) chamber music that’s influenced by the intense energies of heavy metal, late 19th century romanticism, and neo-minimalism, Jay’s ambitious and complex ideas often break the traditional denotation of form containing content to allow the two to interact and inform each other. Jay’s fourth string quartet, Celestial Vistas (2007-10) is an intense deconstruction of the palindrome through non-linear mirror writing, and his fifth string quartet, Outside the Eyes (2012-13), commissioned by Portland’s Third Angle Ensemble and semi-finalist for the American Prize, removes the score entirely in favor of giving the performers the freedom to choose which version of the piece they want to play simultaneously.
Jay's music has been performed across the United States and has received commissions from some of the leading new music performers and ensembles at work today including the Third Angle Ensemble, the Contemporary Portland Orchestra Project (CPOP), the Eugene Contemporary Chamber Ensemble (ECCE), violinist Stella Peach, the RE:Percussion Duo, and has had his music performed by violist Andrew Stiefel, pianist Hayk Arsenyan, and the FPC Chamber Choir among others. Jay has also had his music featured on the Vox Novus Composer's Voice Series, the Portland International Piano Festival, March Music Moderne, and College Music Society concerts.
Jay has also recently published reviews in I Care If You Listen and Oregon Arts Watch; two online-only publications devoted to art and music.
Jay is actively involved with a number of new music groups in Portland and is currently serving on the governing board of Cascadia Composers, a regional branch of the National Association of Composers USA (NACUSA). He resides in Portland with his wife, Tri’ah.
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