Jaco Meyer is a Johannesburg-based composer and researcher, working in the field of contemporary classical music and collaborating with visual artists. A large part of his oeuvre consists of collaborations with the conceptual artist, Willem Boshoff. In his first set of compositions, Fünf Skizzen nach Kunstwerken von Willem Boshoff, he used the sculptures Tafelboek, Kasboek, Kubus, Verskeur, and Psephos as conceptual frameworks to write compositions for a double quartet. The most recent collaboration with Willem Boshoff is the addition of sound to the Blind Alphabet sculptures in the art collection of the MTN Foundation in collaboration with the University of Johannesburg Art Gallery. He is also working on setting some of the visual poems in Boshoff's KykAfrikaans to music.
Jaco studied at the School of Music and Conservatory of the North-West University (NWU). He completed his BMus degree, specialising in Music Composition and Music Theory, with additional qualifications in Psychology, Art Philosophy, Statistics, and German. He completed a Masters degree in Music Composition (cum laude) under the guidance of composer Hannes Taljaard. His exceptional work of a collaborative nature was acknowledged by the NWU with a special award for the best postgraduate student in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. The research component of his Masters degree dealt with the principles of orchestration through the lens of musical forces. This research was conducted in more depth when he completed his PhD in Musicology and Music Analysis: he expanded the theory of musical forces by using analyses of the music by the Belgian composer, Wim Henderickx.
His music has been performed at several local and international concerts by international performers and orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Flanders, Duo Montagnard, The Chamber Music Company of London, and the Helton-Thomas Duo. His research on Musicology, Music Analysis and Ethnomusicology is often presented at both national and international music conferences, and some his research papers, articles and compositions are published in academic journals and books. Jaco is an Extraordinary Research Associate at the MASARA research entity of the NWU. Paper abstracts were already submitted to some organisations to present aspects of the collaboration with Willem Boshoff on Blind Alphabet to fellow researchers and composers.
Click here to watch Jaco Meyer talk about composing the music for the Blind Alphabet.
Click here to read Jaco Meyer's artist statement