Jeffrey creates film music in a variety of styles ranging from symphonic to ambient and electronic to minimalist.
Winner (Best Composer) and Winner (Best Soundtrack) in the 2021 Los Angeles Motion Picture Festival, Winner (Diamond Award) for Best Original Score at the 2021 Albuquerque Mindfield Film Festival, Winner (3rd Place) in the 2020 Academy of Scoring Arts (ASA) Short Liszt Op. 2 Two Hour Composing Challenge, Winner of the 2019 Akademia Music Award for Best Song (Ambient/Instrumental), Nominee in the 2017 American Songwriting Awards in the Instrumental category, Winner of the 2016 Akademia Music Award for Best Ambient/Instrumental Song, Winner of the 2015 Akademia Music Award for Best Instrumental/Acoustic Song, Winner of the 2013, 2012, and 2006 Best of State Awards for Original Music Composition, Winner of the Silver Medal in the 2011 Park City Film Music Festival, Winner of the Jury Choice Gold Medal for Excellence in the 2004 Park City Film Music Festival, and Semi-Finalist in the 2004 Moondance International Film Festival filmscoring competition, Jeffrey Gold's works have premiered at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Centres in Cardiff, Wales and in Piccadilly, London, on television in the U.K., on PBS television in the U.S., on the radio and at international film festivals.
In 2005 he was invited to participate in the 19th Annual Sundance Institute Independent Producers Conference and the 3rd Annual Sundance Institute Theatre Program/Johnny Mercer Foundation Masterclass with composers and performers Melissa Manchester, Jimmy Webb, Michael Rupert, Margaret Whiting, Charles Strouse, Billy Stritch, and Don Rebic. He has had additional masterclasses with Academy award winner Hans Zimmer, film composer/orchestrator/arranger Conrad Pope (Star Wars, Munich, Memoirs of a Geisha), two-time Emmy award-winning film composer/arranger Hummie Mann (Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Year of the Comet), Academy award nominee Danny Elfman, multiple Grammy and Oscar-winning musical theatre lyricist and composer Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin, Wicked), film composer Reuven Herman (Star Wars Rebels, Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Grammy Award-winning songwriter Diane Warren, award-winning film composer Douglas Romayne (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), award-winning film composer & Sundance Institute alumnus Vincent Gillioz, and Clio award-winning guitar virtuoso Vince Lauria.
Among his influences are film composing legends John Williams, Ennio Morricone, Hans Zimmer, Thomas Newman, Harry Gregson-Williams, Alan Silvestri, John Barry, Georges Delerue, Vangelis, and Peter Gabriel and classical composers such as Holst, Barber, Elgar, and Satie—to name a limited few. His musical mentor is film composer Reuven Herman.
Educated at Cambridge University, University of Utah, and Westminster College, he is a lifetime member of the Cambridge University Film & Television Society (CFTV), a full member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Producers (ASCAP) since 1999, a full member of the Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL), and a member of the Academy of Scoring Arts (ASA).
"Jeff is a talented individual and a great guy as well. Easy to work with, very flexible and knowledgeable. Work with this guy, you won't regret it!"
—Hummie Mann, two-time Grammy Award winning Film Composer (Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Year of the Comet)
"Jeffrey is a highly competent and talented musician with a wide dynamic range. Very reliable and prompt. His music brought my film to life, composed under a very tight deadline."
—Alkesh Vaja, Writer (Monk, Love Sonia)
"I have had the opportunity to listen to the ... "Elegy: Adagio for Strings" by Jeffrey Gold. This short piece, in the tradition of Barber and Vaughan-Williams is effective and compelling. Mr. Gold's use of rich string sonorities and evocative voice-leading, creating well-timed and poignant dissonances, conveys a mood of simultaneous despair and hope."
—Gerald Elias, Associate Concertmaster of the Utah Symphony and First Violin of the Abramyan String Quartet, United States
"Low-frequency synth bass stabs and staccato keys offer a hip new vocabulary for the ambient instrumental genre."
—The Akademia, October 2016
"With an ethereal feel and thought-provoking melodic riffs, Jeffrey Gold has created a piece that excites the senses and the imagination."
—The Akademia, March 2015
"With a love for rich string arrangements, Jeffrey Gold imbues his scores with classical Romanticism along the modern edge. The ability to make subtle changes parallel the emotions, reserved in sentimentality, marks Gold's work for film."
—Editors, music.download.com, March 2004
"Abby Singer has...a distinctive visual style, sharp editing and a stirring score."
—Tim Cooper, UK Guardian Observer, September 21, 2003
—Australia HQ media & culture magazine, Issue 100, November/December 2003
"Jeffrey Gold's musical contribution to our historical documentary,
Promontory, was subtle yet wonderfully effective. I was terribly
impressed with his deft touch at enhancing dramatic passages. He was an
excellent partner in the creative process."
—Ken Verdoia, Documentary Film Producer, Salt Lake City, Utah
"The piece is an exquisite adagio, that is, a slow, progressive sustainment in music. The rich unification of strings propelled at a gradual pace intensely personifies the depth and profoundness of harmony embedded within. The resonance of the strings wafting and weaving to produce a graceful melody is truly impeccable. The sheer beauty of the sound is stunning in the way it conglomerates within the listener's mind."
"Such a masterful fusion of the strings and the sounds they create is not easily accomplished by just any mere person. Jeffrey Gold harnesses a very powerful skill in making such a depth-filled sonority. Most people today want something with 'hooks', but this is something far beyond the norm in today's music. It takes skill to create such a piece as this, a lulling and enchantingly beautiful sustained melody. All notes are prolonged to the right moment, and the sounds these notes emit are truly vivid. The production is nearly immaculate and its overall structure and composition are just about faultless. There is not much more I can think of to say, other than that this piece is amazingly well-done. It deserves all the praise it gets."
—Hunter Hansen, Music Reviewer, Gods of Music.
Jeffrey Gold's music represents the result that every musician should strive
for. It influences the listener in a most powerful way. My favorite
composition is "Elegy: Adagio for Strings", in which the deep sound of the
strings makes you forget where you are, taking you deeper and deeper. This
composition is made with lots of talent, professionalism and taste. This is
how a person with a big soul plays. Jeffrey Gold is one of my favorite
—Dean Korso, Composer, St. Petersburg, Russia
"Merci pour vos musiques pleines de sensibilite. Un plaisir pour les oreilles. Une inspiration pour les artistes. Un depart formidable pour les cours de relaxation. Merci de nous emmener faire un tour sur votre planete." [Translation: "Thank you for your sensitive music. A pleasure for the ears. An inspiration for artists. A terrific beginning down a relaxing path. Thank you for taking us on a tour of your world."]
"Listening to [the Elegy] makes me reflective and introspective. I think the reason is that for me, the sustained and powerfully slow tempo (adagio) corrals together the various desperate cries of each plaintive and isolated phrase of feeling to generate a force of emotion one can only get from searching out the hidden, lonely places within one's own psyche and staring them full in the face."
—Jack Newman, Unites States
"Just a short note to tell you of my gratitude for being able to download and enjoy such an incredible, inspiring, and truly magnificent work. It has filled many hours of appreciation for the quality and enjoyment of this true symphony for the ears."
Echoes of Kerberos Composer
Producer: Steve Brock, Los Angeles (2021)
*WINNER (Europa Platinum Awards, Best Composer) - 2021 LA Sci-Fi Film Festival
*WINNER (Best U.S. Short Film) - 2021 Channel Islands International Film Awards
*WINNER (Best U.S. Film) - 2021 Pacific Beach International Film Festival
*WINNER (Best Composer) - 2021 Santa Monica Short Film Festival
*WINNER (Best Music) - 2021 Rosarito International Film Festival
*WINNER (Best Original Score) - 2021 Canadian Cinematography Awards
*WINNER (Best Short Score) - 2021 Fantastic Indie Festival of Los Angeles
*WINNER Grand Jury Prize Gold 2021 (Short Film Best Writer) - 2021 Los Angeles Motion Picture Festival
*WINNER Grand Jury Prize Gold 2021 (Short Film Best Screenplay) - 2021 Los Angeles Motion Picture Festival
*WINNER Grand Jury Prize Gold 2021 (Short Film Best Soundtrack) - 2021 Los Angeles Motion Picture Festival
*WINNER Grand Jury Prize Gold 2021 (Short Film Best Composer) - 2021 Los Angeles Motion Picture Festival
*WINNER Grand Jury Prize Gold 2021 (Short Film Best Drama) - 2021 Los Angeles Motion Picture Festival
*WINNER Grand Jury Prize Gold 2021 (Short Film Best Director) - 2021 Los Angeles Motion Picture Festival
*WINNER Grand Jury Prize Gold 2021 (Short Film Best Actor) - 2021 Los Angeles Motion Picture Festival
*WINNER Grand Jury Prize Silver 2021 (Short Film Best Actress) - 2021 Los Angeles Motion Picture Festival
*WINNER (Best Short) - 2021 Cult Valley Global Cinefest
*WINNER (Diamond Award, Best Original Score) - 2021 Albuquerque Mindfield Film Festival
*WINNER (Gold Award, Best Actor) - 2021 Albuquerque Mindfield Film Festival
*WINNER (Diamond Award, Best Actress) - 2021 Albuquerque Mindfield Film Festival
*WINNER (Platinum Award, Best Supporting Actress) - 2021 Albuquerque Mindfield Film Festival
*WINNER (Bronze Award, Best Short Film) - 2021 Albuquerque Mindfield Film Festival
*WINNER (Best Film Noir) - 2021 Bridge Fest
*WINNER (Best Actor) - 2021 IndieX Film Fest
*WINNER (Best Supporting Actor) - 2021 IndieX Film Fest
*WINNER (Outstanding Achievement Award, Original Screenplay) - 2021 IndieX Film Fest
*WINNER (Outstanding Achievement Award, Film Noir Short) - 2021 IndieX Film Fest
FINALIST - 2021 One Reeler Short Film Competition
SEMI-FINALIST - 2021 The Oaks International Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION - 2021 Hollywood Boulevard Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION - 2021 CIFT Festival of Toronto
OFFICIAL SELECTION - 2021 Phoenix Monthly Short Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION - 2021 Acting Awards Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION - 2021 Chambal International Film Festival
We Can Do Better America, Ep. 4 (PSA) Composer
Producers: Donald Watson, Dominic Oliver, and Kaenan Oliver, Los Angeles (2020)
The Wasteland, Season 3 Episode 5 Composer
Director: David Beatty, Los Angeles (2020)
Life is Ruff Composer
Producer: Paige Powell-Revis, Nonagon, Los Angeles (2020)
Writer: Steve Ronaldson
Storyboards: Izzy Holder
Animator: Marc Leitzel
Voice Actors: Pilar Uribe, Larissa Gallagher, Christie Cate
Editor: Paul Latza
*WINNER - First Place, The Creators Society: 2020 Creator's Jam Animation Competition
*WINNER - Best Production, The Creators Society: 2020 Creator's Jam Animation Competition
Director: Kofi Boakye, Los Angeles (2019)
I've Said And Done Things That No-One Will Ever Remember (Episode: Government Secrets) Composer
Director: Eric Kochmer, Los Angeles (2018)
Director: Tehana Weeks, Los Angeles (2018)
*WINNER - Best Song, "Soon, I Promise" 2019 Akademia Music Awards (Ambient/Instrumental)
*REMI WINNER - 53rd Annual Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival (2020)
We Can Do Better America, Ep. 1,2,3 (PSA) Composer
Director: Curtis Bechdholt, Los Angeles (2018)
Producers: Donald Watson, Dominic Oliver, and Kaenan Oliver
Tony & Louise Composer
Director: Curtis Bechdholt, Los Angeles (2017)
Nowhere Fast: The Forgotten Story of Approach Control Producer, Writer, Composer (Temp Score)
Director: R. R. Williams, Los Angeles (2013)
*WINNER - Gold Remi Award, 2013 WorldFest Houston
Dyke Executive Producer
Director: Nicholas West (2012)
In the Company of Friends Composer
Director: Thom Jensen, Salt Lake City (2011)
*WINNER - Audience Choice: Silver Medal for Excellence - 2011 Park City Film Music Festival
Message from Mother Earth (VI) Composer
Director: Gabriel Lakey (2009)
Message from Mother Earth (III) 2012 Composer
Director: Gabriel Lakey (2009)
Moab Film Festival
*Winner - 2009 Moab Film Festival
Director: Jason Painter (2009)
48 Hour Film Festival
*WINNER - Audience Choice Award - 2009 48 Hour Film Festival
Pigweed Philosopher: The Untethered Zen of Kimball Johnson Executive Producer & Music Supervisor
Director: Gabriel Lakey (2009)
2009 Moab Film Festival
2009 Port Townsend Film Festival
2009 London Independent Film Festival
2009 Park City Film Music Festival
*WINNER - Best Documentary (Foreign) - 2009 London Independent Film Festival
*WINNER - Best Documentary (Foreign) - 2009 Toronto Independent Film Festival
*WINNER - Director's Choice: Gold Medal for Excellence - 2009 Park City Film Music Festival
*WINNER - 2009 Moab International Film Festival (cinematography)
Hoot in the Hole: The Story of the Jackson Hole Hootenanny Sound Editor
Director: Juliet Sonnenberg, Atlanta (2007)
2008 Vail Film Festival
2008 Big Bear Lake Film Festival
2008 Appalachian Film Festival
2008 Park City Film Music Festival
*WINNER - Silver Medal: Excellence in a Music Documentary - 2008 Park City Film Music Festival
Eritrea: Living in a Border War Composer
Director: Mario DeAngelis (2006)
The Teacher Composer
Director: Nathan Rollins, New York (2006)
Long Distance Composer
Director: Shu-Ling Hsieh, Milwaukee (2005)
*WINNER - Festival Award, Best Gay Short, 2005 New York City Short Film Festival
*NOMINEE - Audience Choice Award, Best Gay Short, 2005 New York City Short Film Festival
Abby Singer Composer
Director: R. R. Williams, Los Angeles (2003)
2005 Napa Sonoma Wine Country Film Festival
2005 MassBay Film Festival
2004 Park City Film Music Festival
2003 New Orleans Media Experience
*WINNER - Independent Spirit Award - 2005 MassBay Film Festival
*WINNER - Director's Choice: Gold Medal for Excellence - 2004 Park City Film Music Festival
*WINNER - Fleur de Lis Award - Best Feature Film - 2003 New Orleans Media Experience
*WINNER - Fleur de Lis Award - Best Independent Film - 2003 New Orleans Media Experience
Edge Running Composer
Director: R. R. Williams (2002)
Proteus Point Composer (contributing)
Director: Michael J. Cox (2002)
The Racketeers Composer (Theme)
Director: Geoff Hansen (2002)
Promontory Composer (Main Contributing)
Director: Ken Verdoia, KUED (PBS) (2002)
Director: Charles Bird (2002)
Children of the Wind Composer
Director/Producer: Jeffrey Gold, U.K. (1997)
Director: Alkesh Vaja, U.K. (1997)
Isles in the Midst of the Great Green Sea Composer
Director: Jeffrey Gold (1995)
Growing up, Jeffrey was surrounded by classical music because his father was a baritone in the U.S. Army Fourth Army Choir
that traveled all over western and eastern Europe, had studied with major choral directors John Rutter and Robert Shaw, and was a section leader with conductor Maurice Abravanel. Of all the classical music that was played in the household, Jeffrey
particularly remembers Gustav Holst's Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity (Die Planeten, Op. 32) and Sir Edward
Elgar's Variation IX (Adagio) "Nimrod" from the Enigma Variations. When living in Heidelberg, Germany, he played the
recorder, but lost interest due to the rigid
music pedagogy. Later, his mother took him to no more than three piano lessons before he quit, again citing the German pedantic teaching style as antithetical to the pleasure of playing music (for example, students were not allowed to touch the
black keys in beginner exercises). Years later, while in the seventh grade in Bangor, Maine, Jeffrey sang in a choir that performed another favorite, Gabriel
Fauré's Requiem, Op. 48. He would not pick up music again until he was in his early
Jeffrey's career as a film composer started in 1996 when he scored the music to his own
short film, a documentary called Isles in the Midst of the Great Green Sea,
filmed at the University of Utah by interviewing anthropologist and
archaeologist Richard Lyon Daly. Unbeknownst to the fledgling filmmaker, the very
same subject had been interviewed twenty years earlier by cult
director Trent Harris (Rubin & Ed, Plan 10). That score was later released
as Aegean: 1628 B.C. Later, he created temp music for a graduate film called Proteus Point directed by Michael J. Cox and created a minimalist score for a short film called Edge Running.
While attending Cambridge University, Jeffrey was asked to score the
short film, Monk, a film directed by writer/director Alkesh Vaja. The
film premiered at the Bafta Centre in Cymru, Cardiff, Wales and at the Sir Run Run
Shaw Theatre of the BAFTA Centre in Piccadilly, London. Later he scored the
music to a documentary short he wrote and produced called Children of the
Wind, which served as an informational video for the Cambridge University
Gliding Club. He interviewed at the prestigious London International Film
School (now London Film School), possibly with director Mike Leigh, and was
immediately accepted, but was unable to attend for financial reasons.
After his return to the States, he became involved in a number of independent films in 2002, including Reach directed by Charles Bird, and created music for a feature film, The Racketeers, directed by the late Geoff Hansen. He also was the main contributing composer for the KUED (PBS) production of Promontory directed by Senior Producer Ken Verdoia. In 2003 he became involved as composer and associate producer in the feature film Abby Singer which went on to win the Fleur de Lis awards for Best Feature Film and Best Independent Film at the 2003 New Orleans Media Experience film festival. Subsequently, the score won the Jury Choice: Gold Medal for Excellence in the category of Original Music for a Feature Film at the 2004 Park City Film Music Festival, and was also a Semi-Finalist in the 2004 Moondance International Film Festival filmscoring competition. The film also went on to garner the Independent Spirit Award at the 2005 MassBay Film Festival. In 2006, he created music for a graduate film, Long Distance, directed by filmmaker Shu-Ling Hsieh, scored a short film called The Teacher directed by writer/director Nathan Rollins, and contributed music to a documentary called Eritrea: Living in a Border War produced by Mario DeAngelis. Later that year he won the Best of State Gold Medal for Original Music Composition.
Working on a number of projects in the intervening years, Jeffrey was the executive producer and music supervisor of the documentary, Pigweed Philosopher: The Untethered Zen of Kimball Johnson, directed by documentary filmmaker Gabriel Lakey. The documentary won numerous awards, including Winner of Best Feature Documentary (International) at the 2009 London Independent Film Festival, Winner of the Director's Choice: Gold Medal for Excellence at the 2009 Park City Film Music Festival, Winner of Best Feature Documentary (International) at the 2009 Toronto Independent Film Festival, and Winner in the 2009 Moab International Film Festival. In 2009, he contributed music to a short film called Given, which won the Audience Award at the 48 Hour Film Festival in 2009. Starting in 2010 through 2012, he was a writer and a producer on and created temp music for the feature musical, Nowhere Fast: The Forgotten Story of Approach Control, which won the Gold Remi Award at the 2013 WorldFest Houston. In 2011, he won the Audience Choice Silver Medal for Excellence in the category of Original Music in a Short Film for In the Company of Friends, directed by writer/director Thom Jensen, and created music for The Journey to Homeland directed by NY filmmaker Manuela Senatore. In 2012, he contributed music to the short documentaries Message from Mother Earth (III) and Message from Mother Earth (VI) working again with documentary filmmaker Gabriel Lakey, and later that year won the 2012 Best of State Gold Medal for Original Music Composition.
He won the Best of State Gold Medal for Original Music Composition again in 2013. His Elegy: Adagio for Strings was profiled in the book The Adagio of Samuel Barber (CMS Sourcebooks in American Music) by author Wayne C. Wentzel published in 2014. In 2015, he won the Akademia Music Award for Best Instrumental/Acoustic Song, and in 2016 he won the Akademia Music Award for Best Ambient/Instrumental Song. In 2017, he was a Nominee in the American Songwriting Awards for Saudade: Goodbye to All Goodbyes in the Instrumental Category. He finished the score to the film, Tony & Louise, directed by Curtis Bechdholt, in 2017. In 2018, he composed the score to the PSA, We Can Do Better, America directed by Curtis Bechdholt, and the award-winning score to Coin directed by Tehana Weeks, and the score to Valleyheart, directed by Kofi Boakye. He is curently working on the score for the monologue, The Clerk, written by the composer, and preparing for a number of future projects.
As a playwright and screenwriter, Jeffrey Gold was a member of the Playwright's Group for more than three seasons under dramaturg Mike Dorrell (BBC's Soldier, Soldier, Pictures of a Floating World) and playwright-in-residence Julie Jensen (Two-Headed, Last Lists of My Mad Mother, Wait!) through the auspices of the Salt Lake Acting Company (which premiered Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning Angels in America). His plays IN THE PURSUIT OF SVETLA, HORST AND GRABEN IN THE CONTEXT OF THE UNFINISHED MAN, FITCH TODD, PERCOLATION THEORY, DEDEKIND, HORST AND GRABEN AT THE CHATEAU GODOT (Winner–Strawberry, NYC), EXECUTION AT PARADAIS ISLAND, DISPLACEMENT: A FISH IN WATER STORY, FAIR SHAKE, FUTURE PERFECT (affectionately known as "The Russian Play"), COLD NIGHT FOR A DIVA, and PURCHASE have garnered numerous awards, readings, and productions. FAIR SHAKE was selected for the 2013 Smith & Kraus anthology The Best Ten-Minute Plays. He has won over 85 awards and recognitions in playwriting and screenwriting, and was an Artist-in-Residence at the Entrada Institute. Jeffrey has pitched to Beth Swofford (CAA), Rob Kenneally (CAA), Christopher Lockhart (William Morris Endeavor), Mark Johnson at Gran Via Productions (Breaking Bad), Barrie M. Osborne (Lord of the Rings), Chris Kuser at Dreamworks Animation (MegaMind), Janet Wu (Moana) at Netflix, Jordan Horowitz (La La Land) at Original Headquarters, and others.
I'm a filmmaker and would like to use Jeffrey Gold's music? How do I go about getting the music?
It depends on if you want to use extant music for needledrop—in which case you can download the music from iTunes, or Apple Music, and a whole host of music venues (if MP3 versions will suffice)—or have him create original music for your film project. In both cases we would recommend you contacting Jeffrey Gold directly to acquire higher resolution formats of the music (AIFF, WAV) or communicate more details about your project. Either way, we will be delighted to hear from you.
Who are your favorite classical composers?
Among many classical composers, my sensibilities (in no particular order) are Holst, Barber, Elgar, Beethoven, Boellmann, Widor, Bach, Vierne, Copland, Mahler, Debussy, Satie, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Sibelius, and more recently, Glass, Lauridsen, Tavener, and Richter.
Who are your favorite film composers?
Among film composers, my sensibilities (again, in no particular order) include Williams, Morricone, Rota, Delerue, Zimmer, Gregson-Williams, Newman, Barry, Gabriel, Evangelos Papathanassiou (Vangelis), Preisner, Conti, Silvestri, Mann, Rona, and many others, including many film composers I count as friends and acquaintances. There are several pieces of music by any one of them I wish I was talented enough to have written.
Which famous film composers have you met?
I have met Thomas Newman, Hans Zimmer, Harry Gregson-Williams, Hummie Mann, Conrad Pope, Jeff Beal, Graeme Revell, Michael Kamen, and Jerry Goldsmith. On my bucket list: John Williams and Ennio Morricone (sadly, no longer possible).
What is your first aesthetic memory?
The tailfin of a Boeing 727 at the Frankfurt airport (then West Germany) when I was six years old. What caught my attention was later identified as that happy union between form and function; interestingly enough, Steve Jobs had his own variation which holds true for me: form and emotion. I still think about it whenever I think of the aeronautical engineer/designer who thought outside the box. "Why not put the horizontal stabilizers on the top of the vertical stabilizer?" The idea may have evolved from the desire to move the engines off the wings and instead place them somewhere on the fuselage—itself an act of thinking outside the box. What I remember is how majestic and unique that tailfin looked—at age six. It still inspires me today.
What is your first musical memory?
I believe it was Gustav Holst's Jupiter from Die Planeten, from the kinetic opening to the resigned, majestic adagio. Second to that would be Elgar's Nimrod (probably my favorite piece of music ever).
Did Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings influence your own Elegy: Adagio for Strings?
Undoubtedly. Anyone who hears Barber's Adagio for Strings instantly recognizes it as an inspired piece. It rests safely in the pantheon of great adagios: Elgar's Nimrod, the adagio movement within Holst's Jupiter, Fauré's In Paradisum, and Albinoni's Adagio, among my favorites, and many others. As a composer, one instinctively knows Barber did not labor endlessly on this piece. I imagine it was written in one sitting; the genesis of a composition as lightning illuminating a city—attributed to Mozart—immediately comes to mind. Barber's adagio is a piece of great depth, of great emotion. Although Elegy: Adagio for Strings was not an attempt to mimic Barber, I was aware of it as I was writing this inspired piece—over which I had minimal control—I definitely turned to Barber for permission to have the two (or five) strange, unexpected silences in the piece (here, I can't help but think of Aaron Copland's discussion on silence, the anticipation arising from the natural break between two performances of music). No doubt, Barber might have inspired me subconsciously in other ways. Barber's adagio is truly iconic—it is impossible not to ponder its influence on any new pieces—knowing that every composer is aware of this profound lament. His piece speaks to something universal: tragic loss or fragile/hopeless love, or finite life itself—on a personal level (perhaps it should be heard only privately)—whereas my piece sounds much more epic (in a personal, non-grandiose way): collective grieving captured in three movements: death, an imagined ascension, and acceptance.
What is your musical philosophy?
At the risk of sounding academic, my philosophy of music, if you can call it that, is predicated on the marriage of visual
music and emotional music, the former
of which tends to be more shapeless or
ethereal, and the latter, which tends to
be rooted in melody or leitmotif. This
tends to create a confluence of seemingly
disparate elements into what I call
visual emotions. Additionally, rather
than emphasize one unitary emotion, I
try to construct my music by running multiple
(competing or neighboring) emotional
threads through a temporal section of a
composition, which allows the viewers
or listeners to choose for themselves the
proportions of the simultaneous emotions
(rather than foist it on them), especially
if the emotional threads are emotional
neighbors; e.g., sadness and melancholy.
But all of this is merely a reflective and unreliable summary
of what for me is totally an instinctive creative process based on emotion, not cognition.
What are the lyrics to When You're a Millionaire?
Lyrics by Paul Luscher & Jeffrey Gold
Music by Jeffrey Gold & Paul Luscher
Stepped down from the café
into the street
where you were standing
waiting for me
So I'm a Millionaire
does anyone really care?
and who can you trust?
when you're a millionaire
you can be anything
Too little time
it's taken me where
I'm walking alone again
but you're so beautiful
and I know where to go
This was your world
came home a roaming soul
let's you know what to do
and you let me cry for once
here in your darkness
who can you trust?
It's a willing fool
When you're a millionaire
does anyone really care?
Breaking your heart
Saying I love
Just to make love again
Take you and drink your life
Mirror your glistening eyes
Slipshod smiles in a magazine
Back-lit love on the silver screen
Grasping at mist from a rainy day
The limo door slams and they drive away
Not sure I felt what you said to me
Gargoyle eyes never let me see
You caught me in a state of grace
When you turned your head and saw my face
For the last time
You stand in the street
you can say you don't wait
and the victory's yours again
You stand alone
no one takes the growing fear
no one takes you home
no one is unhappy
you're on your own again
It's not for all
'cause I need you here
will you say anything?
give up on everything?