Technology and Emotion: An avant-garde spark for conference attendees

In collaboration with the French Conseil des Rédacteurs Techniques, John composed and performed original violin music for an independent experimental short film presentation for the “What” Learning Days 2020 conference in Montpelier, France. The film featured a montage of art, dance, images, music, and public transportation announcements, as a disruptor to fire up international conference attendees of multiple languages. The purpose of the presentation was to spark new ideas and perspectives among attendees of their respective industries. 

The experimental short film


Somniferious – Creating a fantasy dream world

Somniferious: Part 1 and Somniferious: Part 2 – Innovative Music CD Project featuring Original Music, Cover Art, Medieval Byzantine Chant Melodies and Arrangements for Acoustic Violin, Voice, and Electronic Sounds

What do you get when you combine medieval Byzantine chant, a violin, wild imagination, a dream state, innovative sound engineering, and the unlikely creative collaboration between a concert violinist, Grammy nominated composer and arranger, and a world-class digital artist photographer? A photo-musical creation called Somniferious.

The idea for this album came to John in 2007 and took seven years before culminating in a two-part CD collection. John met Justin Lassen, who, with his creative vision and artistic mastery, took the idea and transformed it, propelling it upward to an entirely different level. Along the way, Justin and John connected with the brilliant digital artist photographer, Renee Robyn, who added to an essential visual element to the project with her mysterious, evocative cover art.    

At its core, the music is based on ancient Byzantine chant. The transportive quality of the melodies, played by the solo acoustic violin, is the musical epicenter. Framed around it is an exquisitely rich, seductive soundscape conceived and designed by Justin. Together these musical offerings take one on a journey through inner space, drawing the listener into strange worlds and other dimensions, to the universe called “Somniferious.”

Listen to Somniferious

Leading music from the heart at a regional opera company

Opera in the Heights is a regional, professional opera company. It exists to provide a stage for emerging opera performers and to bring affordable opera to the Greater Houston Area. As Concertmaster at Opera in the Heights, John was the leader of the first violin section and the instrument-playing leader of the orchestra, the second-most significant leader after the conductor. 

While serving in this role, he was named to the Houston Press “100 Creatives 2014” list of top creatives in Houston. Read more about his story and this honor in the Houston Press or in the Opera in the Heights blog