Joseph Fear:

Lots of Sound; a Dash of Fury

About Joseph Fear

Joseph Fear

Joseph Fear (b. 1980) is a composer for new and electronic media currently living in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Joseph began his formal music theory and composition study with Warren Goochat Truman State University. After teaching general music classes for two years at the American–Nicaraguan School in Managua, he returned to the U.S. to study composition at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts with John Howell Morrison and Howard Frazin, graduating with a Masters in Music–Composition in 2005. While at Longy, Joseph also studied piano with Lyubov Shlain, voice with D'Anna Fortunato, and organ with Peter Sykes. Joseph's coursework was diverse, ranging from studying the work of Flemish composers writing in Italy during the Renaissance to exploring the variety of new compositional possibilities computers have made available.

While in the Boston area, Joseph focused primarily on writing for choir. Described as “hauntingly beautiful,” these pieces demonstrate the care Joseph takes to relate his compositional aesthetic to a larger context. Similarly, his instrumental music is influenced by a variety of musical traditions, from Medieval and Renaissance forms to contemporary approaches to harmony, while maintaining an internal unity of form and structure.

Since moving to Minnesota, Joseph has begun to write more music for new and electronic media, including the soundtrack for Tombeaux, an exploration game to be released in 2016. Joseph also currently sings with One Voice Mixed Chorus and its break-out a cappella ensemble, OVation.

Joseph finds the use of interactive elements as part of the compositional process particularly fascinating, particularly in the context of new, computer-driven media. The idea of creating art that is capable of responding to and dialoguing with the audience is for him a refinement of placing art in context, one that empowers the audience not just to observe, but to inhabit beauty that not only enlightens, but also enlivens.

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