Music of a moment
Jesse Jones
Argento Chamber Ensemble
Xak Bjerken
Sharon Harms
ensemble recherche
Joseph Eller
Nicholas DiEugenio
Kenneth Meyer
Catalog Number: 
new classical
solo voice

Oberlin, OH

Release Date: 
Sep 22, 2017
Liner Notes: 
1 CD
One Sheet: 

Featuring a star-studded cast of international musicians, EPHEMERA is the debut album of Guggenheim- and Rome-Prize-winning composer Jesse Jones. From sonic portraiture of the pagan god Abraxas, through a microtonal setting of Lamartine’s languid prose, to the solitary verse of Edgar Allan Poe, EPHEMERA presents a cross-section of Jones’s most personal and introspective music. Performed expertly by American soprano Sharon Harms, Germany’s famed ensemble recherche, New York’s Argento Chamber Ensemble, pianist Xak Bjerken, and guitarist Kenneth Meyer, EPHEMERA delivers a stunning glimpse into Jones’s relationship with the numinous.  Intended as an artistic reflection of the fleeting, ephemeral nature of mortality, EPHEMERA engages concepts of spirituality, love & loss, unity & discord, depression, and redemption.

The opening track (ABRAXAS) bespeaks the struggle of birth and a striving toward the divine; the title track (EPHEMERA) distills memory of the composer’s mother into a shimmering kaleidoscope of musical metaphor; the album's keystone (HARMONIES POETIQUES ET RELIGIEUSES) alludes to issues of piety versus apostasy, while the fourth track (UNISONO) creates a playful foil to the album’s mostly-serious nature; the final track (THE MYSTERY WHICH BINDS ME STILL) delves into the inner psyche through the lens of Poe’s poetic imagery. 


“Jesse Jones is a remarkable composer. His music embraces a kind of subtlety and refinement which is very rare.” — John Harbison (composer) 

"Jones works in eerie microtones, producing glassy surfaces like a mystically still sonic pond onto which he throws pebbles and generates ripples."Mark Swed (LA TIMES)


"Superbly performed and well recorded, this is a very fine collection of contemporary music by what is clearly one of America’s most worthwhile voices. Presentation is innova’s usual slimline card, and documentation with commentary on each piece by the composer is most satisfactory." [FULL ARTICLE] - Dominy Clements


"Five pieces by Jesse Jones mix poetry, prose and passion here, with moods and textures changing with each piece. “Abraxas” I sperformed by the Argento Chamber Ensemble, including moody clarinet and strings, while dreamy and dramatic solo piano passions are released by Xak Bjerken on “Epemera.”A charming trio of clariet, violin and piano make for a chamber of shadows on “Unisono” and Sharon Harms’ husky soprano voice delivers words by Poe and guitar with electronics on a dark as raven “The Mystery Which Binds Me Still” while she brods an aria with strings and woodwinds with spoken words by Lambert Bumiller during a liturgical  “Harmonies Poetiques Et Religieuses.” A flickering candelabra." [FULL ARTICLE] - George Harris


"It's an impressive debut album of deeply affecting music." [FULL ARTICLE] - Anya Wassenberg