Jonas Jurkūnas (b. 1978) started his music career by taking classes in jazz guitar. Eventually he studied composition with Prof. Vytautas Barkauskas at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre and continued his master’s studies with Dr. Rimantas Janeliauskas. From 2002 to 2003, he took a course in the electro-acoustic and instrumental composition at the National Conservatory of Dance and Music in Lyon, France, his tutors being Denis Lorrain and Robert Pascal. He also took a number of additional master classes in composition, lead by Louis Andriessen, Meredith Monk, and the Bang On A Can group.
As a composer, Jonas has presented his works at a number of festivals of academic and jazz music in Lithuania, France, Italy, Holland and the United States. Since 2008 he has been a member of the Diissc Orchestra, a Lithuanian ensemble dedicated to electronic music. Their debut album, D.O., featuring Jonas’ composition Call Estella, was awarded by the Lithuanian Composers Union as the best recording of the electro-acoustic music in 2008. In 2017 formed Electronic Music Trio, together with Martynas Bialobžeskis and Andrius Šiurys.
Jonas is a composer keen of discovering and exploiting very different layers of musical creativity, from academic to pop and incidental music. Genre-wise, his creative portfolio includes chamber and orchestral pieces as well as electronic multimedia projects.
Stylistically, his music finds itself in the neighbourhood with minimalism and the aesthetics of new tonality. Very often he uses simple sound patterns, pulsating with rhythms, as his creative start-up while searching for new or already forgotten timbres and expressions. In his soundtracks for short movies, certain reminiscences with the American composer, Thomas Newman, can be traced. On the other hand, in his chamber and orchestral pieces one would probably detect bits of the Bang On A Can legacy or the transformations of the Michael Nyman’s minimalism.
Jonas often employs bristling rhythms charged with rock-like energy and combined with a nearly aggressive sound of instruments. These are the minimalistic strategies which the composer weaves into his music together with experimental or club-style electronics, ambient stylistics, as well as elements of jazz, pop or even romantic music.