Soulful Artist7/14/2020 12:06pm

Creative Collab: Composer Justin Marshall Elias

Recently I had the amazing opportunity to collab with the composer Justin Marshall Elias. When Justin contacted me via Instagram and showed an interest in some of my artwork, I was pleasantly surprised. He offered a collaboration of creating a piece of music to my  design 'Universal Bird'. It's very rare that I get this opportunity with my busy schedule, but I relished at the idea. 

- Listen to 'Universal Bird' here  -

Justin dove straight into the creation without hesitation and we discovered a  commonality in our own personal vision of art, authenticity, and creativity.  I was very impressed at the speed of which he created the  song and the production was even better! The song he created to my piece of art, 'Universal Bird' had a New Age Industrial flair. Oddly enough, it also triggered some  deep buried memories of playing the game Super Metroid when I was a child. (Wow!)

Justin has a diverse creative background and has worked with many creatives on his project 'Music + Art', which you can find on his personal Instagram account.  His vision is rare to find and will spark your creativity if you allow it. I find his music refreshing , emotive, and very atmospheric. Justin is a seasoned creative with an upbeat energy I was very happy to connect with.

Don't believe me? Find out for yourself.

Justin Marshall Elias is a composer known for his minimalist, alien, and atmospheric piano compositions for film and art. With a disciplined approach to music creation and wide-ranging artistic collaborations, he is best known for his scores to the feature “Circle” and short film “Teens Like Phil,” and writes premier music for film makers through Music Vine.

He also has a growing following with his Instagram project “Music+Art”, composing music for numerous up-and-coming visual artists and harnessing the power of social media to promote new art across mediums. From Electronica/IDM to well-constructed soundtracks from composers like Jóhann Jóhannsson, Justin is fascinated by the interplay between sounds and the images they are attached to or conjure up. Strong influences include Electronica artists like Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, Venetian Snares, and Autechre. He is also drawn to more experimental and ambient artists like Machienfabriek, Alaskan Tapes, Chihei Hatakeyama, Plaid, and Monolake for their atmospherically alien sounds and genre-breaking beats and textures.

Born in California, Justin has spent most of his life amidst the quiet beauty of Idaho where he currently lives. A musicologist from an early age, music for Justin has often served as both a creative outlet and as a way to process the challenges of depression, anxiety, and insomnia. He passed many sleepless hours experimenting with new sounds and compositions while studying Sound Design at Montana State University. To stand out amidst the competition of the Los Angeles music scene he would soon be in, Justin challenged himself to refine his creative process, quickly dissecting images and scenes into musical devices.

Writing several songs per day, he would have over a thousand songs composed by the time he moved to southern California to pursue his music career. Before openly composing under his own name, his most common aliases were “Defending the Control,” “I Think We Should See Other Dimensions,” and “Secret Piano,” the last of which is credited with his SoundCloud experiment of composing an album for every letter in the alphabet. Having relocated back to Idaho, Justin’s primary canvas is the incredible variability of the piano, thanks to the infinite source of sounds via MIDI.

He is inspired by the stark power of minimalism, and creates music that is ambient, electronic, and abstract. His music incorporates an experimental edge, playing with the intricate tile-laying of sounds, and he is fascinated by themes and motifs that are teased, revealed, and deconstructed in surprising ways. Justin values the initiative to create, which is what pleases him most about collaborating with fellow artists. He feels that music should be a conduit to the imagination, seekinghis own inspiration from work that is honest, original, and daring. He is happiest when his music is incorporated with other art forms, especially dance, and when it inspires the listener to feel, imagine, and create.

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