Constructing Thought, One Note at a Time
Musically, I am a “synthesist” - someone who is fascinated by all types of music regardless of genre or style, or whether it is narrative or abstract in nature. When I was a kid, I loved jazz and rock and later discovered classical music. But, as a composition student, I was urged by several of my teachers to specialize among my musical activities – to choose between musical theater/rock or concert music. I resisted and instead resolved to synthesize, rather than compartmentalize my creative work. I have composed music for the concert hall (small and large ensembles), and for musical theater, opera, dance, film, jazz, and rock. My thinking is constantly refreshed through collaborations, teaching activities, and new creative projects.
I’m pleased to collaborate once more with my favorite writers/directors/master puppeteers at Evolve Puppets NYC on our new hybrid multi-media piece They Were Called Tress as part of this year’s LaMama’s Jumpstart Workshop. It’s a great start to a beautiful, dark, slightly twisted, and poignant piece about our petroleum & plasticized world bereft of all that is green from the climate change cataclysm and the social unrest that results. The score incorporates the avant-garde, techno-rock, and even a bit of epic James Bond. Really? Yeah. So watch this space for further developments. You can listen to cues HERE.
If you know Percy & Heathcliff, it was inevitable that our two African parrots would become multimedia stars featured in Johanna Siegmann’s glorious new book In Good COMPANY (Notable People with their Pets), available at all your favorite bookstores, and Tracie Hotchner’s delightful and informative podcast series Exotic Pets™ “An African Gray Keeps The Baby At Bay” (Ep. 221) available on all your favorite podcast platforms (Apple, Spotify, Amazon, Audible).
And I have a request: please watch DREAM (it’s just 4 minutes long) and share it WIDELY. I would like it to make a constructive difference for our upcoming midterm elections on November 8th. Democracy and freedom – and all that follows – are on the ballot. We need to “sing that out” loud and clear, and art can help. Thank you. — Joel Phillip Friedman (composer/lyricist). Special thanks for the talents of Alex Gallows (voice) and Scott Thureen (video).
This project was supported by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.