jralph_big.jpgThe Basics
Age and occupation. How long have you lived here, where did you come from, and where do you live now?
28, composer/explorer. Lived in NYC for 13 years, from Long Island, now on LES.

Three for You
1. Even as a musician with no formal training, you were able to compose the opera "M", a wildly passionate and sweeping hommage to your late mother. For the novice classical fan, what was it like producing the album with the New York Film Harmonic and Clinton Street Orchestras?
Ahh, questions culled directly from the bio page. Any time you work with 70 people all focusing and concentrating on one thought, you experience a metaphysical moment beyond description. It is a magical feeling to hear an idea preserved in such a timeless and expressive medium. People are energy and sound is movement. In my opinion the orchestra is the most direct, intimate, and organic medium for musical thought expression.

2. "M" was eventually picked for a Volvo ad campaign which in turn led to an offer from Volkswagen to re-create the same music magic in a Super Bowl spot with the resulting song, "One Million Miles Away." How do you balance your artistic and commercial efforts?
They are one in the same. People do not hire me to write music for them. They pay me to take time out of my day to write music for myself that they would like to use. They pay me to stop and think of an idea or two. If they don't use what I have written I still get paid. I think our process produces a more authentic composition in this regard. We live in a very ephemeral time. Commercials are quick moments that people can respond to without thinking about it.

3. You live in one of the more interesting spaces in New York, an old movie theater on the Lower East Side. What's the background and current condition of it?
It is one of the oldest theaters in NYC. It was a vaudeville theater at the turn of the century. After that it was turned into a silent movie theater.

Proust-Krucoff Questionnaire
Please share a personal (and hopefully interesting) NYC taxi story.
When I had no money we all tried to run away once. Everyone broke out but I was in the middle. I started to run but he cornered me. He was screaming and tried to stab me with a screwdriver. My friend Mauzner came running back and drop kicked him. I tip cabbies real well now. Sorry man.

Time travel question: What era, day or event in New York's history would you like to re-live?
Wax and Spy around '95.

9pm on a Wednesday - what are you doing?
Is it Wed again already?

What's your New York motto?
Put on a pair of flip-flops and walk around like its your backyard.

Just after midnight on a Saturday - what are you doing?
I don't pay attention to time or days. It's just one big weekend.

What's the most expensive thing in your wardrobe?
Tailored suits

Where do you summer?
Dude I'm from Long Island. We don't "summer" where I'm from.

What was your best dining experience in NYC?
Saigon Grill

Just how much do you really love New York?
Enough to move to L.A. and then come back.

What happened the last time you went to L.A.?
I stayed there for two months and looked for a Spanish house to buy. The only people who don't like L.A. are people who A) failed at what they were trying to do out there, B) hang out at the standard for their whole trip. It is really a cool place. It's NY with a beach and sunny weather all the time. Don't panic it's organic.

If you could change one thing about New York, what would it be?
24 hour movie theaters. No taxis.

The End of The World is finally happening. What are you going to do with your last 24 hours in NYC?
Go to the 24 more hours store on Delancey that's open 24 hours and buy 24 more hours.


More info on J. Ralph at jralph.com and TheRumorMill.com.