...[O]f the eight works that Ensemble SurPlus offered, the most memorable was Jordan Kuspa’s Piano Trio. It was the only score with a blandly formal title....
And both structurally and harmonically, Mr. Kuspa’s trio was the most conservative piece on the program. But his writing here was sharply focused, carefully shaped and attuned to coloristic possibilities of the piano, violin and cello. The resulting four-movement work, animated and melodically opulent, sounded consistently alive and inspired.
Jordan Kuspa is a promising young composer ... his "Time Crunch" is a short but entertaining work that starts with broad expansive gestures gradually picking up speed and momentum, like a boulder rolling down a hill.
Violinist Nicholas Leh Baker and violist Faith Magdalene Jones form the Houston-based chamber group Duo Scordatura. Their eponymous debut album is the result of collaborations with all the composers featured on the album and each of the works came from their ongoing commissioning project.
Jordan Kuspa's Beneath the Magma starts out with quietly growling unisons glissing and whining wider and wider into small turns. High energy, quasi-Balkan (or maybe real Balkan?) rhythms evolve from these opening gestures, populating alternating odd time signatures. While not straight-up tonal, the piece is centered in this ballpark for the most part and serves as a strong opening to the album.
Poe would have loved local composer Jordan Kuspa’s musical take on the story—ominous notes of an oboe, menacing percussion, soothing sound of a harp, and everything in between including a lush waltz and the foreboding tick, tick, tick of a clock.
What really conveyed a foreboding atmosphere in this ‘Masque’ was, one, Kuspa’s music. It was very rich, dark and theatrical ... Poe describes Prospero’s abbey having a big, ebony clock, ticking off the hours, so Kuspa included hammered chimes solemnly marking the time. His music’s rhythms churned away in the strings and brass, but the chimes would suddenly bring everything to a halt. We moved from the grim and frantic to the hushed, sepulchral air of the ‘Dies Irae.’ It’s a dramatic gesture borrowed from things like Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique, but you can’t say it still isn’t attention-getting.