I wrote this song to try to capture the sound of early Chet Atkins instrumentals that I love so much. I’ve always loved this style of guitar playing and decided to write a song of my own to capture some of the elements of this style. I used my beloved Gretsch 6120 to record the main guitar part.
1. Casa Batlo
This song was inspired by a building I saw in Barcelona, Spain that was designed by the architect Antoni Gaudi in 1877. His buildings are works of art that seem to be from another time and place. It moved me to see this one lit up at night. I had this feeling stuck in my head for weeks after seeing it, and wrote this song to capture that feeling. I used Ukulele, Classical Guitar, Bass, and Strings for the arrangement.
1. Real Drama Queens
I wrote this song as a possible theme song for a reality TV show about a group of women friends who stir up a lot of drama from week-to-week, hence the title of the song. I combined elements 60s dance music along with more modern grooves to give it more pizzazz
I wrote this guitar instrumental after being inspired by the music of Harry Nilsson. I used my French-made Duponte Selmer-style guitar for the melody on this track to provide a more melancholy sound.
1. The Lonely Parade
1. Invasion of Mayberry
I’ve always loved the music used for various TV Shows and movies of the 1960′s, especially the music for sci-fi, spy movies, and comedies. I was trying to capture the sound of those shows I loved as a kid, doing my best to imitate my favorite session musicians of LA’s famous Wrecking Crew. I imagined that I’d been given the assignment to write a theme for a Don Knotts movie where he was cast as a CSI-style investigator for a UFO landing that has just occurred in Mayberry. This is what came out of my self-imposed assignment. Being a member of a surf band, I also wanted to incorporate some of those guitar sounds as well just, to add to the retro vibe. I used Baritone Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass, and orchestral parts to fill out the sound. This song was a 2nd place Winner in the 2013 International Songwriting Competition.
1. Attic Treasures
I wrote this song to depict the feeling longing you get when you explore an old attic and find keepsakes or old photos that remind you of people from your past that are no longer with you. I wanted to capture that emotion in music. I used acoustic guitar, sparse piano melody, and a string quartet for this piece.
I wrote this song to capture the way it feels when you see the sun come up in the morning and know that anything is possible with good coffee and determination. I used guitar, Ukulele, lapsteel, bass, drums, cellos, and my daughter Audrey provided the great vocal parts to help add the finishing touch to the song that I was looking for.
1. The Desert
Being an Arizona resident for most of my life, I’ve spent a lot of time in the desert. I wanted to write a piece to capture the feeling of the harshness and beauty of the desert, but add an element of excitement also. To combine these elements I came up with this piece, where it opens as a stark, atmospheric soundscape but then moves into a groove-oriented action piece. If there were an action-movie made in the Arizona desert, this might make a good track for the opening scene as they endure the desert heat, then get chased by bad guys.
1. Park Bench
I wrote this song to capture the vibe of an elderly couple sitting on a park bench. I was going for an innocent, sentimental sort of vibe that might be used as background soundtrack for a scene in a movie, or a TV ad. To capture this sentimental, old-fashioned vibe, I made use of my favorite quirky-sounding instrument the Dobro, along with my favorite innocent-sounding rhythm instrument, the Ukulele, to add a bounce to the accompaniment. I used the Dobro in the same way that a slide trombone might be used in a song like this, to add that old-time kind of southern sound to the piece.
1. Gator Alley
2. Swamp Romp
Here are some rural southern theme music examples that I’ve created for reality-TV-show opportunities based on this setting. I used elements of Country, Blues, as well as more modern grooves that are common with the music used in these kinds of shows.
1. Desert Island Chillin - Cue
2. Desert Island Adventure - Cue
Here are some Desert Island Theme Music cues I’m working on for a publisher for a potential opportunity with a reality TV show.
1. Give Me Park Avenue (Holiday version)
This is a re-orchestrated holiday version of my song “Give Me Park Avenue”. I created this version of the song to add more sparkle to enhance the holiday mood. I was going for that retro orchestral holiday instrumental sound that you might hear in TV ads or retail stores to put people in a festive mood. See my blog article about composing this song: Composing Christmas Instrumental Music (note: the photo on the right was taken in December 2010 in Berlin, Germany when I was there for a business trip)
1. Winter Twilight
I started this song ideas as a simple experiment with a guitar part and vocal melody behind it, but the song took on a new life as I started writing orchestral parts to go with the guitar and vocal part. As the song developed it sounded like a Winter theme, so I re-titled it, even though I wrote it the midst of the Arizona summer heat, probably wishing for cooler weather.
1. Space Age Man Cave - Space Age Man Cave
I wrote this song as a tribute to the genre known as “Space Age Pop”, made famous by composers such as Henry Mancini and Juan Garcia Esquivel in the late 50’s and early 60’s. This style of music was used in so much of the TV and film of the 60s for shows like “The Pink Panther”, “I Dream of Jeanie” and lots of others. I had a lot of fun working on this tune, but it really tested my skills in coming up with interesting horn parts that sounded authentic. I still love listening to these composers for inspiration
1. The Lost Dutchman Trail - The Lost Dutchman Trail composed and recorded by Jim Pfeifer 2013 All Rights Reserved
I wrote this song as a self-imposed assignment to write a piece of music in the style of a spaghetti western films of the 1960s. I’ve always loved that music! This piece is the result of a few months work on the song ideas and arrangement I came up with. Not only did I have to spend some time working up my my whistling technique, I also called on my friend John Ryan to play the harmonica part to get that old-west vibe that I was going for. He nailed it. The real Lost Dutchman Trail is not far from where I live in Arizona. This song is an attempt to capture some of the magic and beauty I see in those picturesque Superstition Mountains.