About

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Jake Sorgen is a Chicago-based Composer/Improviser/Multi-Instrumentalist whose work in the areas of lyrical songwriting, improvised music, contemporary composition, and theatrical scoring is renowned for its inventive harmonies and economical impacts in sound and story.

“Jake Sorgen’s languid, lugubrious voice, haunted by burble of whispering voices in the head, lit by backdrop of compassionately strummed acoustic guitar, tear drop steel, lyrical strings and river deep bass; occasionally straying to stranger, convoluted musical places; is illuminated by ruminative instrumentation, almost improvisational jazz and magnetically mesmeric, meandering, swaying half spoken vocal…impossible to put down.

– Chumki Banerjee, Mudkiss Magazine

Between 2012-2018, Jake wrote and produced 4 albums of lyrical songs that showcase a grounding yet restlessness with American and Celtic folk traditions. Tinged with “outside” influences from the American 20th century’s avant-garde, these songs tell modernist stories in Americana-based forms.

As an improviser/new music composer, Jake has performed and studied with many of the masters on the scene today including Jeff Lederer, Joe Fonda, Mary Oliver, and Jasper Stadhouders, as well as dancers such as Katie Duck and Miri Lee. With rigid economy, Jake’s contemporary approaches to acoustic & electric guitar and electric bass playing reflect his work with jazz, baroque lute songs, and contemporary composition often within the same piece.

From 2014-2019 he served as Composer in Residence and Artistic Associate for the American Theatre Wing award-winning Rogue Theatre in Tucson, AZ and has written for theatre and dance companies in Boston, Tucson, Chicago, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

Jake holds a BA from Emerson College and is a current MFA student in Music Composition at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Recent compositions have been featured in Chicago at Trap Door Theatre, 2nd Story, and The Story Theatre.

“[Jake Sorgen] creates music—and often performs it live—that lends an incalculable depth to our experience of their shows”

– Tucson Weekly

Podcast/Audio Production

Since 2006, Jake has worked in all facets of audio storytelling including commercial and public radio, digital content production, and podcast production from scriptwriting to post-production. His work has appeared in New York, Boston, Austin, Tucson, and Chicago and been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition and numerous podcasts.

The audio format provides an ideal platform for Jake’s multifaceted creativity to shine through, embracing the spoken word, sonic experimentalism, and music composition in equal measure. Hear more and contact Jake about working together on a radio or podcast project.

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