Words Of Wisdom – we don’t need to be the same to be one
“We don’t need to be the same to be one, is a lyric from our song “Nine Twelve” and it’s so true,” said American pianist and composer Jennifer Thomas about her collaboration video with Jeremy Nelson (Journal Poems) released inline for Independence Day. This passion project came to life in a desolate battlefield scene filmed in golden grasslands off San Francisquito Canyon Road in Santa Clarita. With the strong memory of 9/11 and the unity it sparked, the two performers created this piece to regain that feeling of compassion during this country’s current political unrest with spoken word, orchestral music, patriotic dancers, and even a grand piano. Already with a huge following on YouTube and positive feedback, the five months it took to execute this production has proven to be humbling and rewarding for those involved. “It was awesome working with Jennifer,” Jeremy said, “I had high expectations given her amazing musical repertoire, and still, I couldn’t be happier with what she composed.”
It actually wasn’t until Jennifer was 25 years old that she discovered the beauty in composition. Her musical background took flight at the early age of 5, where her mother taught her and her 3 brothers a thing or two in musical education. Jennifer picked up the violin in addition to playing the piano, which led to hours of practicing before and after school. She later went on to study piano in Idaho, east of her childhood home in the Pacific Northwest, at Brigham Young University. In college, she lived and breathed classical music and later performed as both a soloist and ensemble player in multiple symphony orchestras. After attending a Christmas concert in 2003, Jennifer was inspired by the simple and raw sound; much different than the classical music she was trained on. “I went home that evening and wrote my first original song on the piano, then the following day I wrote another,” she laughed,.“ The muse was hot for about two days and then it left, but it was the beginning of what is now my music career.”
Jennifer is always looking to accompany her music with visual images adding dimension to her artistic expression. In 2012 she released her first music video on YouTube, “Requiem For a Dream”, although her biggest fan base comes from Pandora with over 36 million spins for this song alone. Since then she has posted seven official music videos, gained 10,000 YouTube subscribers, and dabbled in the art of vlogging. Jennifer’s uplifting content for aspiring pianists and composers covers a broad range of topics such as how she tunes her piano, behind the scenes at video shoots and award shows, family trips, and more. “I feel very strongly about promoting women composers and producers, making sure that the world knows we are here; that we can still raise families and have careers as successful musicians,” Jennifer said.
As a wife and mom of three active little boys, Jennifer loves to be in the great outdoors away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. While hiking, camping, and kayaking are amongst her favorite activities, she also enjoys unwinding in front of the TV or traveling with her camera. In her recent visit to France, she explored the countryside, snuck in a 5 a.m. photo shoot in front of the Eiffel Tower, and was invited to Le Chateau Des Moyeux castle to practice on its antique piano.
Earlier in March, Jennifer arranged an instrumental version of the theme song from Beauty and the Beast with cellist Armen Ksajikian, who worked on the film’s original soundtrack. The music video’s release coincided with Disney’s newest live action movie premiere date after being shot in Jennifer’s current abode in Seattle at the historic Paramount Theater.
Not usually one for cover songs, Jennifer is most known for her original works debuted in her four albums. She anticipates this next year to be her best yet; keeping busy with album releases, concert tours, scoring film music, and video shoots, one to be released this fall in conjunction with a 10-year anniversary special edition CD of her first album. Determined to reach a wider audience, she is continuing to push the envelope with her “Classical Crossover” style, a rousing combination of symphonic and cinematic music. “To compose new music—it’s an entire production in itself,” Jennifer said, “I have high hopes that my music will continue to grow and catch on, and eventually will become a very standard musical genre in today’s industry.”
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