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J. Ralph Poster

Biography

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J. Ralph (American born; 1975) is an Academy Award® nominated composer, social activist, producer and singer/songwriter from New York City. He is the founder of the internationally award winning music production company The Rumor Mill, and has written and produced the music for numerous Grammy winning artists, Orchestras, The President of The United States, and the more Oscar winning/nominated documentaries then any other composer in history of the Academy Awards.

Considered by many to have had a profound impact on the documentary medium, J. Ralph has helped elevate the experience of what it feels like to watch a documentary through his scores. The Hollywood reporter called him the "go to producer of documentary scores" J. Ralph and over the last 7 years J. Ralph has written and produced the music for 6 Oscar winning/nominated documentaries including Finding Vivan Maier, Virunga, The Cove, Man On Wire, Hell And Back Again, and Chasing Ice. In the 85 year history of the Academy Awards, J. Ralph's song "Before My Time", performed by Scarlett Johansson and Joshua Bell from Chasing Ice, is one of only four songs from a documentary ever to be nominated for an Oscar.

His professional career began at 22 with his signing to 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 23, 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 Philharmonic and Czech Philharmonic. 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 of the limited edition.

J. Ralph believes the orchestra is the ultimate medium, boundless in philosophy and universal in scope. He continues to focus on documentaries where he can raise critical awareness, money and change through the films and the music.Other notable work is the music for Jean Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child which he did along with Adam Horovitz and Michael Diamond of The Beastie Boys, and the score for Marilyn Minter's installation 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, and Cecily Brown.

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. Over their ten year history they have scored over 1000 television commercials and created an expansive catalog featuring thousands of songs and scores. Internationally recognized, they have won every major top honor and award including the Cannes Lion, Clio, AICP, LIAA, The One Show and a Grandy. Their music has been featured in the biggest television events of the world including the Olympics, the Academy Awards, the Super Bowl, the Grammys, the Emmys, the Golden Globes, The NBA playoffs, and the World Series.

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 8 of that same year.

On September 21, 2011 J. Ralph was honored with the request to score United States President Barack Obama's Open Government Partnership Presentation which the president personally delivered to 50 heads of state from around the world.

His most recent works are the Sundance Film Festival's award-winning documentary "Chasing Ice" for which he wrote and produced the score and the Academy Award nominated song "Before My Time" performed by Scarlett Johansson and Joshua Bell. In the entire history of the Oscars, "Before My Time" is one of only three songs ever nominated for an Academy Award from a documentary. Other recent projects include the score to the experimental film "Maladies" starring James Franco, Catherine Keener, David Straithern, and Alan Cumming as well as the score/soundtrack album for the autism documentary Wretches & Jabberers by Academy Award winning-director Gerradine Wurzburg. Recorded in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and London, J. Ralph wrote and produced 20 original songs featuring collaborations with Antony (of Antony and the Johnsons), Devendra Banhart, Paul Brady, Bonnie Bramlett, Vashti Bunyan, Martin Carthy, Judy Collins, Lila Downs, Vincent Gallo, David Garza, Ben Harper, Scarlett Johansson, Nic Jones, Norah Jones, Leah Siegel, Carly Simon, Steven Stills, Ben Taylor, and Bob Weir.

In 2012 the reggae singer Matisyahu covered J. Ralph's song "One Million Miles Away" which was produced in collaboration with Oscar winning actor Adrian Brody.

J. Ralph is a fellow of Yale University and the only composer ever to win two consecutive AICP awards. His scores are included in the Museum of Modern Art's Permanent Collection of Film and Media in New York City.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Charles Riggens

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