Jacob Mashak is a composer, conductor and variable instrumentalist (principally trombone, recorder and toy piano) born in Vermont and currently living in Seattle. Among other distinctions, he is recognized for having written the longest, non-repetitive piano piece on record, the 11 hour long Beatus Vir for two pianos, premiered at Boston University in 2008 by Luke Berryman, Molly Wood and the composer.
Other notable works include Vita Nuova for one-mallet marimba, recorded and released on Jane Boxall's album Marimba from Zero to Eight Mallets and premiered with the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble in Montpelier in 2013, Concert for Piano and Wind Orchestra written for the Hugh Keelan and Windham Orchestra, and The Last Tea of Rikyu, an opera for four voices and string quartet on the death of the 16th Century Japanese tea master who most influentially developed tea ceremony into the art it is today. He studied at the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam and Boston University, and his teachers have included: David Heinick, Paul Siskind, Steven Weigt and Martin Amlin, composition; Charles Peltz and Christopher Lanz, conducting; Richie Henzler, recorder; and Tyrone Breuninger, trombone. He has served as the artistic director of the Boston based new music ensemble zradci and assistant conductor of the Windham Orchestra.
Finding the most beautiful things in the world are the result of random processes, his works most often use various machinations of indeterminacy to attempt to achieve the splendor not present after human intervention but only discoverable in the natural world.