As a musician and composer my work forms a unique enhancement to the narrative, the visual, movement, and song. Over the course of my thirty year career I've provided the unspoken context for the expression of film, TV, and theater directors, choreographers, singers, and musicians. 

        The greatest reward has been the relationships I've formed with other creators. I don't often talk about myself but here is what people have said it's like to work with me. 

       "One stop shop" is a phrase often used to describe my studio and my work. I began singing at age 3, piano at age 7, clarinet at 8, guitar at age 15, composing and arranging by age 16, experimenting with what we used to call "multi-track recording" when I was about 18, and began earning a living as a professional musician when I was 25. I haven't stopped any of these pursuits and both my work and relationships have benefitted greatly from this. And I've benefitted tremendously from all the training I've received both in schools and on the job. 


     I am a graduate from Musician's Institute in Hollywood where I studied with Tommy TedescoPaul Gilbert, Les Wise, and Ron Eschete.  I then graduated with a BFA in music composition from CalArts, studying under Arnold Schoenberg  protege Leonard Stein, Mel Powell, and Rand Steiger. And, finally, I received my Masters in Commercial Music Composition from Cal State Los Angeles where I am currently an adjunct professor teaching commercial composition, piano, guitar, production, and mixing. 

      I have performed worldwide as a multi-instrumentalist and singer and have been fortunate to share the stage with Rufus Wainwright, Moira Smiley, Van Dyke Parks, Tracy Bonham, Pato Banton, Billy Zane, Grace Jones, the L.A. Master Chorale,  and Ann Wilson among many others. Clients I've served include MTV, VH1, ABC, CBS, NBC, Universal Cartoons, Badlands Features, and Comedy Central. Most recently I played guitars, clarinet, and hand pan for Sean Penn's latest feature, Flag Day

       What all this experience and training has helped me become is a musician and composer who can provide what is needed very quickly and seamlessly to my clients and collaborators. Since I have been called upon to compose, produce, and perform music of just about every style and across multiple cultures it helps that I genuinely love it all. 

       I comport my work and myself to the project, to the director, and to the sound. I'm happy to have a director sit 3 feet from me and watch every strum, mouse click, and edit. I've had many producing and composing sessions where I'm given verbal direction in real time as I'm composing or arranging. I'm also fine with a completely remote product and notes via email. And if a director needs a song they can't afford I'll compose and produce one that solves the problem for them. 

       I have been asked for and provided musical direction, conducting, playing all the guitar family instruments, bass, percussion, several woodwinds, singing, arranging, composing, music preparation and copying, producing, recording, mixing, suspension of disbelief and critical thinking. And I always look forward to being asked again...

                                              Please enjoy the music on this site! 

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John Ballinger CV