J. Ralph- American born, New York, 1975. Has no formal training and does not read or write a single note of music. A self-taught composer, songwriter and producer from New York City, his professional career began at 22 with the signing to the prestigious Atlantic Records by label president Jason Flom in what was one of the biggest record deals ever granted to a new artist. J. Ralph's debut album Music To Mauzner By took over a year to record virtually by himself and was released on February 23rd 1999 under the nome de plume, SPY. A musical Rorschach test, it was sonic blender of rock, hip-hop, mariachi, electronic, blue eyed soul, funk, and classical. Notable music critic Charles M. Young proclaimed the album "truly an important debut."
Weeks after the release, amidst critical acclaim and MTV billing him the next big thing in pop music, J. Ralph disappeared into a self-imposed exile. He took refuge in an abandoned vaudeville theater in lower Manhattan, where he constructed a sonic laboratory and carried out a full-scale excavation of what he calls "the orchestra's universal language." Five years later he emerged with, The Illusionary Movements of Geraldine & Nazu; an orchestral memoir recorded with a 75-piece orchestra, featuring players from the New York and Czech Philharmonics. Master film composer Carter Burwell arranged and conducted the first two chapters "Untitled 17" and "Where the Day Takes You". Released in an unprecedented artist direct deal with Barnes and Noble, the store sold every single copy.
Drawing no distinction between art and commerce, J. Ralph is the founder and creative director of scoring collective, The Rumor Mill. The production company creates scores, songs and musical identities for films, artists, and brands. The Rumor Mill is considered by many an authority of innovative, authentic music and counts many of the fortune 500 companies as its clients. Over their ten-year history they have created an expansive catalog featuring thousands of songs and scores which they own and control 100%. Internationally recognized, they have won every top honor and award including the Cannes Lion, AICP, Clio, LIAA, The One Show and a Grandy. Their music has been featured in the biggest television advertising events in the world including The Olympics, The Academy Awards, The Super Bowl, The Grammys, The Emmys, and The World Series.
J. Ralph believes the orchestra is the ultimate medium boundless in philosophy and universal in scope. He has scored the last two Academy Award winning documentaries The Cove (about the dolphin captures in Japan) and Man On Wire (Philippe Petit's 1974 illegal tight rope walk between the Twin Towers), the music for Jean Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child which he did along with Adam Horovitz and Michael Diamond of The Beastie Boys, & the score for Marilyn Minter's instillation Green Pink Caviar on exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and featured in the Destricted film series along with Matthew Barney, Richard Prince, Gaspar Noe, Larry Clark, & Cecily Brown.
In 2008, his fascination with acoustic instruments and live performers continued when J. Ralph was commissioned to write the opening fanfare for Columbus Ohio's Pro-musica Orchestra. His resulting, Fanfare for the Uncommon Eli & Mr. Greene, had its world premiere at the State Theater on November 8th of that same year.
His most recent works are the war documentary Hell and Back Again for which he wrote the score, sound design and end title song performed by Willie Nelson and the score/soundtrack album for the autism documentary Wretches & Jabberers by Academy Award® winning director Gerardine Wurzburg. Recorded in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, & London, J. Ralph wrote and produced 20 songs featuring Collaborations with Antony, Devendra Banhart, Paul Brady, Bonnie Bramlett, Vashti Bunyan, Martin Carthy, Judy Collins, Lila Downs, Vincent Gallo, David Garza, Ben Harper, Scarlett Johannson, Nic Jones, Norah Jones, Leah Siegel, Carly Simon, Stephen Stills, Ben Taylor, & Bob Weir.
J. Ralph is a fellow of Yale University and the only composer ever to win two consecutive A.I.C.P. awards. His scores are included in the Museum of Modern Art's Permanent Collection of Film and Media in New York City.