Jarring Sounds was formed in 2011 out of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as a result of mutual artistic interests. Comprised of mezzo-soprano Danielle Sampson and Adam Cockerham, who plays guitar, lute, & theorbo, the duo is committed to the repertoire of early European songs of the 16th and 17th centuries, as well as contemporary classical works of the 20th and 21st centuries. The small ensemble setting of a single voice and instrument allows for flexible creative interpretation not possible in a larger setting.
“Jarring Sounds” may have a modern connotation, which resonates with their affinity for contemporary compositions. The line is in fact taken directly from the lyrics in John Dowland’s (1563-1626) lute ayre “In Darkness Let Me Dwell,” one of the first collaborations between Sampson and Cockerham. The name’s link to both early and recent works exemplifies the duo’s artistic mission.