People - Music Composition

Music Composition Faculty: Jerica Oblak

Dr. Jerica Oblak has been teaching composition at NYU since 2001. She also conducted a music technology class on Contemporary Trends in Music Education. Previously she taught several music technology, theory, analysis, film music, music appreciation, music history, and piano classes at CUNY-QCC, Bergen Community College, 92nd Street Y, and University of Pittsburgh. Before her teaching career in higher education, she had taught at a high school in Ljubljana and served as a music teacher/music therapist at a residential treatment facility in New York City.

Jerica Oblak’s orchestral, chamber, and choir pieces have been performed and commissioned by professional and student orchestras, chamber ensembles and vocal groups in Europe, Asia, United States and Mexico. Her national and international composition awards include a First Prize in Chamber Music Composition Competition in Tampa Bay, Florida. She worked with such groups as Slovenian Symphony Orchestra, Cosmos String Quartet, SoundClock, Trio Neos, CMU Contemporary Music Ensemble, Slovenian String Trio and Quartet, Professional Choir of Slovenian RTV, Lumina String Quartet, Ensemble Assisi Musica, Canby Singers, NYU New Music Ensemble, Andrew Kohn, Assia Meshberg, Philip Bashor etc. She has composed several electronic music works and has been an active researcher and educator in the field of music technology. Her pieces were featured at Merken Hall, Contemporary Music Festival in Italy. Aviva Concert, Kosciusko Foundation, Europe-Asia Festival of Modern Music in Kazan, Contemporary Music Festival in Mexico City, Baruch Performing Art Center, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Cankarjev Dom, Slovenian Philharmony, Ars Electronica, World Science and Engineering Society Conference, Equrna, Frederick Loewe Theatre, Electronic Music Foundation Concert, as well as Carnegie Mellon, Ljubljana, Belgrade, Pittsburgh and Yale University.

“Augmentation Matrix” is Dr. Oblak’s micro-tonal/spectral musical theory based on the proportional manipulation of the harmonic series designed with intention to alter a listener’s perception of consonant/dissonant relationships thus creating alternative intervallic hierarchy in favor of new pseudo-octaves. The application of the idea utilizes additive synthesis, stretched harmonic tunings and compositional structuring based on specific inharmonic series. All her recent acoustic and electronic works explore various applications of the system.

Jerica Oblak underscored a number of films, wrote selected music cues for ten TV episodes of Highlander: The Raven, composed incidental music for many theatre plays, including The Seagull, worked on different multimedia projects with various visual artists, including Mojca Oblak, collaborated with various professional choreographers/dancers including Diana Fulga, Zendora Dance Company and Carlisle team at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. For her orchestral underscore to Rossellini’s Santa Brigida she received Trento Cinema Special Mention Award at the International Film Music Competition chaired by Ennio Morricone.

Dr. Oblak’s special theoretical interest lies in the research of film music. She focuses on the contextual analysis of sound-image counterpoint and questions the meanings/values of film music through philosophical and perceptual reframing of our collective audio-visual consciousness. Her Ph.D. dissertation deals with the analysis of nondiegetic film music; a case study applied to the film AlteredStates, a collaboration between Ken Russell and John Corigliano. Her thesis defended at the University of Ljubljana is a general introduction to the theory of film music; a case study applied to Slovenian film.

Dr. Oblak received her Ph.D. in Composition and Theory in 1999 from the University of Pittsburgh where she also completed her M.A. in Composition and Theory (‘93). Her other degrees include Artist Diploma Program in Comp. (‘97), Yale School of Music and two bachelor degrees from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia: B.M. in Composition and Theory (‘91), and B.M. in Music Education (‘90). She studied composition with Marijan Gabrijelcic, Eric Moe, Ezra Laderman and composition/film scoring with Paul Chihara.