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Constructing Thought, One Note at a Time

The Angel (from Blake’s Songs of Innocence & of Experience)

My score for Evolve Puppet’s They Were Called Trees (2023)

Sweet Stillness

Dream – words & music by Joel Phillip Friedman (featuring Alex Gallows/vocals, Scott Thureen/video)

Uncle Hokum’s Fiddle for TWO violins (2022)

The Horizon Beyond

“Right In Front Of Our Nose!”

Inferno: Double Concerto for Viola, Cello, and Chamber Orchestra

Home – a hybrid puppetry theater play

One Into One – for soprano & piano


From: All Things Are Set Ablaze (2017)


Uncle Hokum’s Fiddle for solo violin (2013)

Arias with Dance Glitch (2016)

When the World Disintegrates Before Your Eyes for solo viola (2013)

Movable Home (for string orchestra) (2015)

Wine Ring App Launch Video Score

Triptych for solo cello (2013)

Tomorrow Never Knows

Fallings (Workshop Excerpts)


Gravity of Honey

Concerto (In the Form of Variations) for Viola and Orchestra

The Emily Songs

Elastic Band

What the Living Do

Pas de Deux for cello and piano

Red Ice

Personals – I Think You Should Know

Latest News

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.

2 Upcoming Local DC Performances Of My Music

1st April 2024 By Joel Friedman

The Angel for voice and chamber ensemble from William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience

Carol Shaffer, Mezzo-Soprano, and Balance Campaign

Wednesday, April 24, 2024 at 7:30 pm, Ward Hall Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, free

Sweet Stillness for soloists, mixed choir, and ensemble on texts by Barthold Heinrich Brockes and Joel Phillip Friedman

Catholic University Orchestra and Concert Choir, Noel Nascimento, conductor

Saturday, April 27 2024 at 7:30 pm,  The Hartke Theatre 3801 Harewood Rd. NE, Washington, DC, free (reservations suggested)


New vocal setting of Blake’s “The Angel”

7th January 2024 By Joel Friedman

I’ll be our joining our composition students and other Catholic Univeristy faculty writing a joint song cycle setting of excerpts from William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience for talented CUA singers (in my case Carolyn Shaffer) and the awesome ensemble-in-residence Balance Campaign. My friend and colleague Stephen Gorbos and impresario thought up this wonderful project. What was I assigned? The Angel! Mmmm…The song is done and it’s fun. Let’s see where this goes. See you there on April 24, 2024!

New & Timely Song & Video: DREAM

28th September 2022 By Joel Friedman
“The Constitution is worth saving, the rule of law is worth saving, democracy is worth saving, but these things can and will be lost if everyone waits around for someone else.”
–Timothy D. Snyder
We are living in dangerous times — politically and socially — and part of what makes them so dangerous is so many Americans are still unaware…of context, of history. I wrote DREAM and co-created the video, because I believe that music and visuals can offer a novel and powerful way of underscoring what is happening in America, and world-wide in, a clear, concise, yet viscerally compelling way. At just 4 minutes in length, DREAM is not a podcast, not an editorial: we know how powerfully images and music have resonated in past movements. I created DREAM with this in mind. I offer DREAM in that spirit.

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.