ZJK Featured Pieces


Action Track 1

This track was written and produced for a storytelling podcast.  It utilizes heavy percussion and rhythmic elements as well as very aggressive orchestral effects.  Be sure to check out time marks 1:14 and 2:49.  For more examples of tracks made for this podcast please click here. This podcast is currently having it's premise reworked and will be relaunched soon as which point I will post a link so that the pieces written for it made be heard in context.

An Autumn's Journey

This quirky piece will has a unique and memorable flavor, and remains an example of a sort of sound that I particularly enjoy creating. It utilizes strings, marimba, celesta, bass drum, and triangle brought together.  It is a short piece but be sure to check out the 1:15 and 2:00 mark. 

The Death of a Theme

The death of a theme is a musical exploration through the interaction of two themes with the eventual confrontation and domination of one theme over the other. The over arching construction and ideology behind the piece was developed through the study of Sonata-Allegro form, which uses defined thematic material and often with the idea of two themes “interacting,” as well as the storytelling nature of programmatic works, which incorporate a variety of musical sounds in order to convey certain actions or even a plot.

The piece's debut performance was on May 1, 2011 and performed by the Trinity Community Philharmonic Orchestra. The piece has since been re-edited by the composer.

The first theme is introduced at 0:10.  The second theme is introduced at 1:41. The death begins at 5:30

This recording was mastered by Alex Crain www.alexmcrain.com/

The Discovery

This piece began as a theoretical composition exercise where the piece progresses by continually revealing chords that are further and further away from the initial key, while also continually returning to that same key. As such an exercise it began to remind me of all of the adventure, wonder and awe that humanity has been designed to recognize in all of that which exists. We are small beings, in a place so glorious, that constant discovery is possible.

Be sure to check out time mark 1:35

From First Light to Last: from Sunrise to Star-Rise

From First Light to Last is an experiment in dual simultaneous musical storytelling, dedicated to the life and work of Walter James Bisard. It is built to musically represent both the life of Bisard as well as each day of life for most everyone both being represented by a single theme.

The piece begins with one solitary flute note that gradually moves more and more as each other instrument joins in. These are the very beginnings of morning. As things begin to move, the birds begin their songs in the woodwind's trills and the cold of those first morning moments slowly dissolve away from the shivering string tremolos. The instruments build in individual anticipation until finally they are brought together in one blinding chord, the sunrise. The day has begun. We hear the fragmented beginning of our theme until it is finally awake, put together, and ready to be heard in its full form. It's ready for the day ahead. The theme molds and changes becoming ever busier until fatigue sets in and the stars come out one by one. The cold of the night returns in our shivering string tremolos and everything begins to anticipate the night sky in all its mysterious glory. The theme finds itself in grand celebration over the night sky and a day well spent but the time has come for the theme to once again find rest as the night carries on as the theme winds down.

So much of Bisard's attention and effort were focused to the stars that I thought it only appropriate to have everything build and ultimately point to the starry sky. The piece ends unresolved, because there are still tasks ahead and more life to be lived.

Be sure to check out marks 2:37, 4:38, and 6:24