Voice Notes 2017-2019
Voice Notes 2017-2019 grew out of my desire to seek out dwellings with pianos to stay at while traveling. These pieces, recorded on my iPhone SE, were not recorded with any intentions or aspirations other than to capture an idea, a sound of a piano, or an emotion in the moment. They were attempts at capturing a mood, responding to the weather, or experimenting with a new instrument. The act of recording was almost unconscious. One was recorded for a romantic partner who was living abroad, another to be sent to a friend, most for no reason at all.
It was only in going back over these voice notes on my phone, searching for an audio sample to use in another song, that I discovered the pieces fit together to tell some kind of story. I went into engineer Chris Sorem’s studio with the idea of running the lo-fi recordings through his analog tape machine, keeping it simple but adding some grain. But Chris, being the wizard he is, set me up to perform various effects live to tape. We decided that this live performance, improvised and not discussed, was in a similar haphazard vein as the original recordings. We also liked how it sounded. The final result is an album of iPhone recordings being manipulated in single real time pass.
The last piece of the puzzle for me was rediscovering old video tapes, 8mm and VHS, from my Grandfather’s honeymoon, my father as confused toddler, me as a baby, and me as a 6 year old sitting at a piano. The grain and deterioration of the film reminded me of the rough quality of the music recorded on my iPhone. I decided to pair this found footage with the found audio, creating a work that not only tells the story of the last three years of musical ideas, but also three generations of Greenberg men; post-marital bliss before divorce, childlike wonder, and myself as a young child, captured because someone forgot to hit stop on a camera, improvising with two fingers at a piano for 5 minutes and 15 seconds straight while a loud party swirls around me.
Available 9/04/20 on all streaming services.
Jackson Greenberg is a Philadelphia born and raised, Los Angeles based artist, composer, and producer. Jackson studied music composition at Princeton University and The University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, graduating both programs with honors. After moving to Los Angeles, Jackson’s first job was assisting composer Randy Newman and Jackson’s first original film score was for the Oscar and Emmy-nominated and Emmy Award- winning Documentary Cartel Land. Jackson’s work has been featured heavily in many television series including the acclaimed theme song for the Explained series on Netflix which went viral with over 2 million streams. In addition to having multiple projects at the Sundance film festival over the last decade, in 2017 he was named one of six fellows at the Sundance Institute for Film Composition at George Lucas’ California based Skywalker Ranch. His most recent film work can be seen in AKA Jane Roe, FX Network’s first foray into documentary feature films, two biopics for musicians DMX and Mary J Blige (Amazon), and more.
In addition to his work for multimedia, Jackson’s original music has been performed and recorded by symphonies around the world (First Light, Slovakian National Symphony Orchestra, Ravello records 2020), he’s produced and written for major label recording artists such as Bay Ledges and TOMI, and continues to release his own music through his own label.