Joshua D. Peterson



I’ve been writing so much this month, I wasn’t sure if I would have the time to devote to a contest.  A contest with over 5,000 submissions no less.  I pity the intern who has to weed through those.  And I also apologize to that intern for adding to the heap.  

This was a fun exercise in orchestration and sound designing.  Basically, the premise was to use a stem or stems from a composition that Hans Zimmer had written for this contest and… change it.  I heard some fantastic entries that went way outside of the box.  

Here’s my modest crack at it.  I used the Solo Voice Stem in all four tracks and the Percussion Stem in “Four” - because, well, no one does big percussion like Hans Zimmer. 

Check out his original work here: and let me know what you think of my re-imaginings. 

Great project I worked on with director Nathan Presley

What makes your heart beat?

Here is a collection of work from this past month.  Some are variations on a theme.  I’ve had a huge variety of genres, which seems to happen when you span Advertising and Film. (Some of these are sketches and never made it to mix!)  

I have a continual revision process that I go around and around.  This is different than the revision processes while a project is being worked on.  This process kicks in well after I’ve written something, been paid, and forgotten about the project  a few times. 

I always go back to see if I still like what I wrote several years ago.  This helps me to look forward, to assess my writing in the present, and to see if there’s any continuity over the past several years.  To see if I’m developing my voice as a composer or if I’m changing a lot from very contrasting places.  

After writing almost daily for 7 years now, I’m starting to see certain aspects of my writing develop a continuity.  The question now is, do I like it?  The answer is, I don’t know.  There’s so much that I still want to try out. 

 I always tell people that, as a creative, objectivity is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.  Granted, this is easier said than done, but I think approaching creative work from a place of ego will ruin one’s ability to progress.  Just a thought.  

This is an older piece I wrote for a Tenebrae Service.  I like what I did.  It’s very dramatic.  There are things I hear that I would’ve liked more time to finesse, but I think the music has an impact in the right direction.  

This is a piece I did for an advertising agency about a year or two ago.  The point was to create something that was epic and built over several minutes.  I’ve been told this is good music for finishing a long run :)  If you’re learning to compose, notice how I built more elements into the piece as it progresses.  Some very effective pieces of music do this very thing.  You don’t always have to have a great deal of complexity to push ahead an emotion.  

There’s a bit of a southern flare in this piece, as it was for a company in the south of the US.  Thanks to Brice Reheard for the great guitar playing.  

Dear Saint Isaac

I had the privilege of writing string arrangements for an album project my friends Symon and Garth have been working on.  The songs are among the most beautiful and meaningful I’ve ever heard.  Take a moment and listen to their funding video.

As usual, I’m late to the party.  Wow, this is good. 

A Gift

One of the funnest things I get to experience from time to time is seeing someone do what they REALLY love doing.  I don’t know if I’ve ever seen someone as passionately into his world than Ronald Jenkees.  There are so many good performers, so polished and classy.  There is so much good music and art, in its perfect time and nicely wrapped for our aesthetic enjoyment.  And then there are those moments in music and art, film and theater when you are utterly captivated by what someone is doing.  You get a peak into their mind, into their love, into their passion.  What a gift.  I’ll always come back to people like this to pull down some of that transcendent joy and hopefully bring it into what I’m doing.  And if it all goes right, I’ll be one of those people letting others into my world, into my passion, and my experience.  Maybe Ronald doesn’t do it for you.  I’d love to hear who inspires you!

New Website!

Thanks to Max Kutz for the great designs. and Nathan Presley for the beautiful photos

Music for Gaming Platforms

From time to time, I get to work in gaming platforms.  This playlist is a set of cues I put together for an iPad game called “Mr. Pants”.  

Working in gaming platforms is a little different than writing for linear drama like a film or tv show.  You have to always keep in mind the maneuverability, for lack of a better term, of the music.  Is this music the type that you can hear over and over without driving the gamer crazy?  Can it be fluidly transitioned to another cue at a moment’s notice?  Well, that’s the goal.  Hopefully I achieved that in these cues.

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