Composer Jeff McDonough has always been infatuated and obsessed with music. From his earliest memory, he would sit in front of the stereo speakers and analyze whatever sounds were coming out of them. His film obsession didn’t start until later, when he was 8 or 9 years old.
Born into an academic family, he was fortunate to be exposed to the fine arts from as far back as he can remember, especially music, theater and film. He quickly developed an affinity for Beethoven, hard rock, and Alfred Hitchcock (among many). Wait….. hard rock? That’s not a fine art. No, it’s not, and that’s where the story takes a turn.
After short, uneventful, childhood stints playing viola and trombone, the influence of Jimi Hendrix became too powerful to ignore, and Jeff started playing guitar. At the age of 14, three important things happened in Jeff’s life. He started studying classical guitar and classical music, and he started composing music. He realized immediately that writing music was virtually second nature to him, and where he felt most fulfilled. Soon he was playing in rock bands with his friends, and writing music for them to play. At the age of 19, when many people are immersing themselves in college studies, Jeff moved to Los Angeles at the time of the booming Heavy Metal scene, and played guitar and wrote music in various rock bands. He received an endorsement from Gibson Guitars. Later, he co-wrote with former Judas Priest singer Rob Halford, some songs for Halford’s Industrial music project “Two”. After many years in those rock trenches, Jeff had a complete shift in paradigm. He started scoring to picture. He immersed himself in electronic, Triphop , classical and film music. He wrote the music to a comedy HipHop album with Margaret Cho. He resumed his studies in Orchestral Instrumentation as expounded on by Berlioz, and Orchestration as taught by Rimsky-Korsakov, and changed his focus to music for picture. Film and television composition. Since then he has had the opportunity to compose music for a number of film and television productions, along with other forms of media. He’s proud to have composed the musical score to a number of short art films for the Si Lewen Museum. Nothing to him is as rewarding as scoring to picture and bringing the right emotions to the film or show. “Choosing” he says, “the right instruments and notes from the sonic palette, to help the audience connect deeply to what they are experiencing, is a profoundly fulfilling experience for me. The right music turns good to great, and great to incredible. “
Of course the irony that Jeff now composes most often with his hands on the keyboard, and not the guitar, is not lost on him.
Jeff is a member of ASCAP and the Society of Composers and Lyricists.