Original Cinematic Music for Contemporary Pianist Ian Jones: Developing a New Paradigm of Cinematic Music Without Cinema

Timothy Blinko (Artist), Ian Jones (Performer)

Research output: Non-textual formComposition


The Oxford Handbook of Cinematic Listening (Cenciarelli,2021) is a major recent publication featuring 'scholars from musicology, film studies and literary studies, ethnomusicology and sound studies, media and communications and psychology' (Cenciarelli,2021). It interrogates 'how cinematic listening is constantly being redefined in relation to shifting historical, spatial, textual and theoretical frameworks.' (ibid.)

Since the origin of film, cinematic music has developed as a recognisable and distinct art-form, typically richer in drama and emotion than conventional concert music.

This research process experiments with the concept of liberating 'cinematic listening' (ibid.) as a mode of listening from cinema uniquely to bring cinematic music into the concert hall, but without pre-existing links to, or reference to film.

Two new works 'Japanese Dreams' and 'Solace' were commissioned in 2022 by pianist Ian Jones. Ian Jones is one of the UK's leading contemporary pianists. He performs and broadcasts all over the world as a Steinway Artist, while his Chopin album received great critical acclaim with Gramophone praising his ability to “transform passages often treated as superficial rhetoric into something thoughtful and communing” and BBC Music describing his playing as having 'a lyrical elegance and unselfconscious purity of expression.' http://www.garyparkes.com/ianjones.html.

Both new works, 'Japanese Dreams' and 'Solace' are highly cinematic in their soundworlds; however, they were composed without reference to motion pictures or film. 'Japanese Dreams' draws influences from a range of Japanese composers associated with Studio Ghibli, principally Hisaishi. Their music was written for the complex and often dark and surreal animations produced by Studio Ghibli. 'Japanese Dreams' draws on Blinko's experience in writing for cinema and is written to be highly cinematic, but without reference to motion picture. It also draws new combinations of Japanese modes and scales together with Western cinematic harmonies and structures into a novel soundworld to further redefine 'cinematic listening' (Cenciarelli,2021).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusIn preparation - 2022


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