composer / filmmaker
Jack Gray
All content: Copyright © 2001-2015
by various publishers
Musica gratia artis:
'...around and about the ears like a whirling dervish.'
Originally scored for orchestra, but conductors generally felt that it was too difficult rhythmically (perhaps if I had titled it Le Sacre du Printemps...). No matter - if I may say so myself, there's much more "sizzle and smoke" in this unabashedly synthetic version than would be possible in any orchestral performance. This is 'Music that darts...'. It's one of my favorites because I (like to) think that it comes close to my unattainable goal of true originality.
Two Portraits of A Woman in Love (1st movement)
Subtitled "That first disappointment". Inspired by the ending of the film Against All Odds, which, by focusing solely on a young woman's face, vividly captures the range of emotions she feels as she watches her lover walk away, knowing that she will never see him again. This piece has had a restless history. It was initially intended as the introduction for the first movement of a piano concerto, but when I decided that (1) it was a complete piece in and of itself, and (2) I had no business writing a piano concerto, it became a piece for chamber orchestra. Unable to get a performance, I re-fashioned it for string quartet, and so got one performance. Then I did this version (which is my personal favorite) for "softly synthesized" full orchestra. Finally, I did a version for string orchestra, which is published by GMP Music.
Two Portraits of A Woman in Love (2nd movement)
Subtitled "At last! The real thing!". An emotional counterpoint to the first movement of this piece. Not really romantic in a soft, subtle, or "feminine" way, though - this is more about the ecstacy of it all.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Dixieland from Outer Space
Originally from my doctoral dissertation (a work for orchestra entitled Twenty Minute Waltzes), this piece was subtitled "In the manner of a (somewhat avant-garde) New Orleans-style jazz band". However, years later, I decided that the idea cried out for this fully zany,
synthesized treatment.
Elegy for a Lost Dream
During one particularly dark period in my life, I actually considered giving up on the idea of being a composer, because the world seemed to be relentlessly pushing me away from it. The closer I got to quitting, the clearer this piece became to me. The process of writing it down was an emotional catharsis - there was no introspection or analysis whatsoever. At the time, I thought I was writing a piece about loss, suffering, and sadness, with a bit of resignation at the end. But now, many years older (wiser?), I no longer hear those qualities so strongly. What once seemed to be resignation now sounds like accommodation, serenity, and acceptance; what had previously seemed like grief now sounds like gratitude that dreams exist at all. I think this has happened because I've finally come to terms with the fundamental truth about the really big, "impossible" dreams that we all have: they never really die; they just evolve as we gradually achieve clarity about what we really want, and what we really need.
Commercial Music
Cartoon / Comedy / Novelty
Film Scores
Easy Listening
Musica gratia artis