Jay's other stuff

Here's some of Jay's miscellaneous music.

I taught animation classes at HCC.   To help focus the students and give them pacing, I created soundtracks for their projects.  Each soundtrack was based on a different topic, and students were free to interpret them however they wanted.

Caught in a Tornado
Gimme a Break
Bringing Home the Bacon
The Light Dawns
Once Bitten
Lightning Strikes Twice
All Together Now
The Big Picture
Third Time's a Charm
The Harder They Fall
Taking Sides
Tossing and Turning

Five Dimensions of Light
My longtime colleague Justin West created a video for one of his sabbaticals, an exploration of light.  He asked me to create a soundtrack for it and specifically asked that it not be melodic (which was quite a challenge for me).  He also asked that I play a theremin on the third track, and from that experience I realized how difficult it is to play a theremin.  At least I didn't have to worry about being melodic.
Main Title
Five Dimensions

Hampshire and Hampden Canal
A former student of mine had begun a documentary about the Hampshire and Hampden canal system and asked if I could create a soundtrack for it.  Since the footage hadn't been completed, I created tracks that could reflect different moods during the production, which he could then edit as he saw fit.  He also asked for a sort of folk song that he could use in a montage sequence; that's the first track.
Hampshire and Hampden Canal Song
Traveling on the Canal
Heartbreak on the Canal
Tension on the Canal
Hampshire and Hampden Canal Instrumental


In 1978, I was working on a musical based loosely on Edith Sitwell's Facade.  I never finished it (thank goodness).  The songs were generally terrible.  In 1980, I received a letter from Columbine Records asking for song ideas.  If I would send them $395 and a poem, they would produce it as a song on a vinyl record.  The abandoned pieces from Facade were about as close to pop songs as I ever wrote, so I sent Columbine one of those pieces: Lily's Song.  It was a depressing and overwraught piece.  I had performed it in a style resembling desperate constipation.  The song was sent off almost as a joke; I figured there was no way they would accept it.

To my suprise, I received a prompt response praising the work and telling me it had a lot of potential.  So I forked over the money and waited.  Several months later, the recording arrived packaged as The Now Sounds of Today.  It contained over a dozen other terrible pieces that had been meticulously produced and arranged.  Naturally, I went straight for my own tune, which was performed by John Muir (the same guy who sang the theme song to the old TV series The Love Boat).

I was shocked!  They had taken my miserable tune and turned it into ... a slickly produced miserable tune.  It was still basically my song, but the arranger had taken bits and pieces of the original and constructed a hook, verse and refrain.  It was now an actual song instead of a dirge.  That was the best $395 that I had spent, a valuable lesson in songwriting.

Decades later, I recounted the incident for an article that Dots founder Craig Kurtz wrote (under the pseudonym Barry Stoller) for the online journal Perfect Sound Forever.

Craig wrote another article for Perfect Sound Forever about Terry Knight, the songwriter and producer in the 1960s.  He asked me to do a cover of one of Knight's songs.  I chose Lonely Life.

In 1996, I was hired by my friend Dave Anderson to create an animated logo with a soundtrack that could be used as a splash screen for products from Dave's new company, InterACT.

Back around the turn of the millennium, there used to be a terrific PC program for notation and sequencing, Midisoft Studio. As an experiment, I composed a piece with it and intercut clips from the old album The Great White North featuring Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas as Bob & Doug McKenzie.  The result was Donuts.

In 2016, I was asked by another Dave to write new intro music for a locally produced show called Chess Chat.  He also asked me to create a video intro to go along with it. You can view the episodes here.

I needed mellow music to accompany a slide show I created of the Three County Fair, so I whipped together Fair Thee Well using some Brian Daly piano loops plus some instrumental noodling.

Return to Jay's music