Following a string of recent commercial work for Nissan, MSNBC, Audi, Lexus and Sprint, Emmy Award-winning composer Jonathan Elias has released the long-awaited sequel to his critically acclaimed Prayer Cycle album with the innovative and genre-spanning Prayer Cycle 2: Path to Zero. The latest in a series of experiential and diverse albums, this latest work brings to light the intense social and moral implications of nuclear weapons, with all proceeds to benefit nuclear disarmament charity Global Zero.
"This is a legacy project," stated Elias. "You try to write a few things in your lifetime that you can pass down to your kids. I see what kind of world we're leaving behind for them. It seems obvious that if we allow the continuing proliferation of nuclear weapons, there soon won't be much of a world to live in."
Prayer Cycle 2: Path to Zero is a complete six-track song cycle retracing J. Robert Oppenheimer's path of discovery in unlocking the secrets of the atomic bomb. The album features orchestral work, electronic music, rock shades and both sung and spoken-word performances from an eclectic group of contributors who span multiple genres and coalesce to create an infinitely varied and moving piece. Robert Downey Jr., Sting and wife Trudie Styler, lead singer Alexander Ebert from Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Sinead O' Connor, System of a Down's Serj Tankian, Korn's Jonathan Davis, and, posthumously, Doors frontman Jim Morrison make appearances on the album.
To create a cohesive and moving story from these disparate voices, Elias started by crafting symphonic pieces, then brought in the voices of celebrated world singers such as Salif Keita and Rahat Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. He then flew around the globe to capture the celebrity voices, either singing a duet with the world singers or, in the case of Robert Downey Jr. or Sting, a voiceover.
Elias learned about Global Zero through Amnesty International, whom he has collaborated with for many years. "When I realized that Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu, and Queen Noor were board members, I realized I'd found the right place," he noted.
While Elias conceived of and executed the album as a charitable endeavor, it is equally a moving piece of art from someone who has posted a strong influence on the musical scene for decades. "As strong as the charity element is here, I'm also doing this to grow as an artist," noted Elias. "Getting into a room with so many musical legends and creating together feeds my artistic side, while my advertising work helps me fuel the latest developments in pop culture. It's really the perfect balance, and I feel that the variety pushes me to continue creating interesting and inspiring work."
The album already launched on iTunes and will land on NPR radio next week. Jonathan is hardly the only talent at Elias ripping out fresh work, however. Composer David Wittman recently composed and starred in the viral video Whole Foods Parking Lot, a humorous romp through a Los Angeles food store as told by Prius-driving hip-hop artist DJ Dave, who recently opened for Too Short. The video has already received well over two million hits on YouTube.
About Elias Arts
Elias Arts is devoted to music composition, strategy and production. The company has employed the emotional strength of music and sound to launch, grow and reposition the most recognized brands and companies worldwide. Elias Arts has worked with well over half of the Fortune 1000 companies, and has also helped turn numerous startups into everyday brand names. Among the clients Elias Arts has worked with are AOL, Mastercard, Sony, Columbia Pictures, Nike, Apple, Coca-Cola, AT&T, Ebay, Honda, Intel, Visa, Yahoo, Universal Studios, Microsoft, McDonalds, ESPN and General Motors, to name just a few.
With offices in Santa Monica and New York City, global resources and a renowned roster of gifted composers, producers, and marketers, the mission of Elias Arts is to constantly strive for creative excellence and distinction through the art of music and sound design. The company is the recipient of over 700 major industry awards from around the world.
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