Local composer releases first vocal collaboration

TROY — A local composer has reached a goal four years in the making.

“I’ve tried to work with various other composers and musicians, yet the project itself would either not start, or just not finish, which was if I’m honest, kind of frustrating. I really wanted to finish something with someone. So once we finally finished this song, it just felt fantastic, since it’s been four years of sort-of projects, so to finally have finished something…. That’s probably the most satisfying and rewarding part of that project,” cinematic composer Jon R. Mohr, of Troy, said.

Mohr, who has been composing cinematic and orchestral music since 2016, has always held an appreciation for music. Throughout his childhood and adolescence, he would revisit a small Yamaha keyboard he had and tinker away at the keys. It wasn’t until his junior year of high school, while taking a music appreciation class, that he took a deeper interest in music.

“Something flipped a switch for me, which made me think that composing music is kind of fun. I actually tried to teach myself music theory, which proved to be pretty hard, if you’re teaching it to yourself. I also taught myself how to arrange things from a production setup, so I learned about midi-pidual audio workstations, synthesizers, a little bit. It was a very self-taught process, though I also took a music theory course in my senior year. From then it was pretty much a realization for me of, I think I found the artistic medium that I feel truly fulfilled in,” Mohr said.

To-date, Mohr has released 10 albums, with “Imaginations Precipice” to come out in mid-December of this year. His most recent composition, “Ghost in the Rain,” was born out of what Mohr describes as a haunting piano theme he had come up with and sent to Stamford, England singer Julian Ransom, more popularly known as Jacre. Mohr had found Jacre through Instagram and reached out asking if he would be interested in collaborating on a song together.

“He said that what came to his mind first, was the image of a ghost, literally in the rain — you know, very hazy, and it’s kind of like a mirage, I suppose is a good way to say it,” Mohr said. “We just kind of worked from that and had the song kind of take a meaning of, you’ve lost someone, and you know that you should move on for your health and everything, yet you’ve really struggled to.”

One of the challenges of working on “Ghost in the Rain” was the five-hour time difference between Troy and Stamford; despite this, Mohr and Jacre’s schedules lined up day-to-day and they were able to work cohesively. For Mohr, a personal challenge came with working on a song with more structure — in terms of his instrumental compositions, he feels that they’re looser in structure and have a way of taking him where the song wanted to go. Because “Ghost in the Rain” includes lyrics, it had to follow a strict structure full of verses, pre-choruses, choruses, and a bridge.

“That was something that was totally new for me. Two major factors were, the first chorus has to usually take place at about a minute or so into the track, probably a little more for slow songs, and the general song length should be around three to four and a half (minutes) at most in length. We really kind of had to capsulate the main theme for the song and figure out how to fit that so it feels natural into a three to four-minute song,” Mohr said.

“Ghost in the Rain” can be found on Mohr’s and Jacre’s Spotify, YouTube, and iTunes.