J. Searle Music

Bringing the future of music into view

Creating an ever-changing presentation of multi-media whose purpose is to suspend disbelief for as long as possible by changing and amalgamating the artistic medium is my main focus as an artist. This is why optical illusions, virtual reality, projections, costumes, scenery, and lighting have become such an interest.

Musically, I challenge traits that we identify as high and low brow by combining elements, lyrics and music that are not often easily identified in singular works. For instance: in “How to Move, What to Wear” a song written from a woman’s perspective with a modern “sexy” R&B pallet, has nothing to do with sex or attraction whatsoever. The song is about finding the courage to leave a controlling relationship. In my cover of “Folsom Prison Blues” – a song sacred in the white american, blue collar, rebel songbook; my choices to change the time signature, key, melody, and form in combination with a voice reminiscent of Michael Jackson, creates an emotional and cognitive dissonance that is intense to say the least. 

I equate it with an upside down crucifix in that, the only real way to understand the power a symbol holds over our identity and the culture at large is to invert, distort, or destroy it. Pulling all of these elements together, I am reminded of the outbursts during the creation of Opera whose opponents and suppressors thought that multiple forms of art should not come together. We are of course far from that, but within performance art we have come to expect one thing or another: A hip-hop show or a symphony. Let’s go to the circus or to the ballet.

To broaden the scope of performance and to expose the segregation of entertainment and aesthetic, I create a cohesive stage for multiple disciplines and schools of thought to work together.  Only by divorcing my own identity from that of one whose is aesthetically based, I learn with pleasure the techniques that create anything I please which allows me the freedom to make combinations that would not have otherwise been thought of by an artist whose identity is based in a rigid set of aesthetics.  This challenges the modern America we live in on many levels whose ever-evolving idea of hip is driven by a constant rotating wheel of markets catered towards class, sex appeal, race, and generational tribalism.

I do this time and time again by effectively communicating a broad set of musical and visual ideas corresponding to a wide array of genres (whether it be written notation, recorded samples, rhythmic & stylistic language, etc.) in combination with an uncanny ability to organize a large pool of diverse talent that fuses artistic worlds together.