Academy Award® Nominated Composer & Social Activist
J. RALPH (American born, NY; 1975) is a three-time Academy Award® nominated composer, singer/songwriter, producer & social activist from New York City who focuses on creating awareness and change through music and film. His music has sold more than 10 million records worldwide, reaching the No. 1 spot on the Billboard top 100 charts in over 22 countries and has raised significant money for various charities and causes.
Honored by the Smithsonian National Museum of American History for “Innovative and unique contributions to American music”, his professional career began as a teenager and was quickly signed to Atlantic Records by label president Jason Flom in one of the biggest record deals ever granted to a new artist. Following his debut album, J. Ralph has written and produced the music for numerous Grammy Award winning artists, symphony orchestras, The United Nations, The President of The United States, Barack Obama, and more Oscar winning/nominated documentaries than any other composer in the history of the Academy Awards
“Like no other American composer before him, J. Ralph has created in very short order, a stunningly unique body of philanthropically minded musical works” said Dr. John Troutman, curator of culture and arts for the Smithsonian. Mr. Ralph’s work features collaborations with some of the world’s most respected and iconic Artists including Sting, Willie
Nelson, Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Bell, The London Symphony Orchestra, Sia, Norah Jones, Scarlett Johansson, Wu-Tang Clan, KRS-One, Anohni (FKA Antony & The Johnsons), Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Liza Minnelli, Stephen Stills, Youssou Ndour and Salif Keita among many others.
Described by The Hollywood Reporter as the “go-to producer of documentary film scores” and by Indiewire as “Perhaps the best documentary composer working today”, J. Ralph is widely considered by many to have had a profound impact on the medium. Mr. Ralph has helped create some of the most influential documentaries of all time, revealing critically important social issues and culturally defining artists that “along with his partnering filmmakers and musicians, have spurned governments to act and introduced or amplified for millions of people, concerns that have might otherwise fallen under the radar” continued the Smithsonian’s Dr. Troutman.
Over the last decade, J. Ralph has written and produced the music for eight of the Oscar winning/nominated films including MAN ON WIRE (2009), THE COVE (2010) HELL AND BACK AGAIN (2012), CHASING ICE (2013), FINDING VIVIAN MAIER (2015) VIRUNGA (2015), RACING EXTINCTION (2016) and JIM: THE JAMES FOLEY STORY (2017).
Ralph’s most recent work is the original score for the 4-part Emmy® nominated docuseries event, Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics And Men featuring an original song co-written and performed with founding member of the group, Method Man. Prior to that, J. Ralph unveiled the expansive EVOLOCEAN, an aleatoric, performance piece for orchestra, choir and child, exploring species extinction and mankind’s effect on the ocean. Recorded live at Abbey Road Studios with over 150 musicians, EVOLOCEAN is performed by The London Symphony Orchestra, The London Voices Choir and J. Ralph’s six-month-old daughter, Theodora Ralph. As a large scale improvisational, symphonic piece, it is highly unique, as there is no conductor and no traditional sheet music. A clock counting down from six minutes is used as a global time reference and as a representation of the 6th extinction period. Each musician of the orchestra is given the same 4 notated themes and a set of instructions describing the 6 thematic movements that occur at specific times during the performance. The 6 movements of EVOLOCEAN are: (I) – Birth, (II) – Exploration,
(III) – Disruption, (IV) – Revocation, (V) – Extinction, (VI) – Rebirth. The musicians are left to determine where and how they choose to play the themes and how the child and orchestra will react to each other. Before the performance, each musician must choose a number which, unbeknownst to them, is the exact moment they are to stop playing during the piece. As sound and players continue to disappear unpredictably throughout the performance, EVOLOCEAN is sonically “dying” as it is being performed.
The world premiere of EVOLOCEAN was held at The Smithsonian National Museum of American History which declared the work “transformative” and acquired the piece for its permanent collection along with several other of Mr. Ralph’s musical works which the Museum deemed “groundbreaking”. It marks the first time in the 115-year history of the London Symphony Orchestra that an experimental piece like this was ever performed and recorded.
Mr. Ralph’s music encompasses a wide variety of genres and mediums and has been featured in the world’s biggest television events including The Olympics, The World Cup, The Academy Awards, The Super Bowl, The World Series, The Grammys, The Emmys, The Golden Globes, and The NBA playoffs. “He’s one of the most heard artist on the planet” declared Esquire Magazine’s Genius Issue.
Ralph is a fellow of Yale University and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Several of Mr. Ralph’s musical works have been acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington D.C. for inclusion in their permanent collections.