Composer and pianist Joseph Seif has released two classical piano sonatas and additional works. The two EPs, Piano Sonata No. 1 and Piano Sonata No. 2, are now streaming on Spotify, Tidal, Amazon Music, Google Play, and most available services. The combined works will be released digitally, and as an LP on vinyl, titled Works for Solo Piano, Vol. 1, in early 2020.
Seif’s compositions blend the classical hallmarks of the Late Romantic era with more modern cues from composers such as Nils Frahm, Max Richter, and Yann Tiersen. His playing is demanding, intricate, and deeply influenced by the likes of Sergei Rachmaninoff, Gustav Mahler, and Franz Liszt. His sound can be described as atmospheric and highly textured — an attempt to create new tonal tapestries that interweave a soaring, ornate, romantic sensibility with a modern, cinematic haze.
“My intent is to combine the emotive nature and technical intricacies of Late Romantic classical music with tactile, atmospheric styling that is both painterly and organic in feel,” says Seif. “Though many of my influences are modern, I am not a minimalist in my approach. I compose from my heart, at the very edge of my technical ability, and with a sense of great urgency.”
With Works for Solo Piano, Vol. 1, Seif returns to his first love, the piano. Raised in multiple countries and now firmly rooted in California, Seif was a classically trained pianist prior to shifting into the visual arts to become an accomplished professional cinematographer and celebrity photographer (josephseif.com). He plans to perform the sonatas in multiple cities in 2020, while simultaneously promoting his recently published fine art photography book, ONWARD.
ABOUT JOSEPH SEIF
Joseph Seif is a composer and pianist, as well as a professional cinematographer and photographer. As a visual artist, he has lensed campaigns for Levi’s, Mercedes-Benz, Visa, Airbnb, and many others, and his images have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and Forbes — having photographed the likes of Sir Richard Branson, Sean Penn, Sting, Metallica, and many other high-profile subjects.
In the summer of 2019, while experiencing a creative burnout, Seif drove up the California coast intending to do some landscape photography, when he began to hear the first sonata in his head. He describes it as such: “The landscape seemed to howl and twist, and memories of childhood, distant lands, and people lost all hummed in unison. The cameras never came out of their bag. I came home and started writing the score. I worked late into the night, for weeks. When it was finished, I immediately booked a studio and an engineer, and recorded it in a matter of days.” His second sonata quickly followed, and was completed in December 2019. He lives and works in Los Angeles and San Francisco, where he is currently composing his third sonata.