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my favorite reviews. part 3.

back to iTunes.

five-star reviews are weird for me...i have a hard time rating anything five stars (especially my own music) so when someone rates my music five-stars, my first instinct is to say, "uh huh. right." but at the same time, i'm incredibly honored that someone would even take time to 1. listen to my music and 2. take time to sit down and even rate/review it. that baffles me.

here are five-star reviews from iTunes that were really cool to read.


review on epic music ii

review on epic music ii

dear Dragon arrow [insert emoji] [insert emoji]: wow. thank you. it's interesting you say that...that's what i really tried to do differently on this album...i tried to tell stories through the music, instead of just looping epic drums and brass and stuff. so yay, success! thank you so much for listening!


review on epic music i

review on epic music i

review on epic music ii

review on epic music ii

dear XxDarKnight666xX: thanks for the double review - means the world to me! just between you and me - you said "thank u for all you[r] hard work" - i wanted to say that i really appreciate that. i was eighteen working on epic music i...and nineteen working on epic music ii...and no one knew what i was doing. i spent so much time alone working away at those albums (which i still feel are mediocre...but that's ok) and it was a lot of hard work. a lot of experimenting, a lot of failures, a lot of alone time. so - thank you. means a lot.


review on epic music i

review on epic music i

dear Azambo: well. thank you. i guess you said it all. if anything, thanks for your support!


review on true colors

review on true colors

dear Htdudfhtvighufighyy: (wow. what a user name!) it's your lucky day - i do read! and thank you for the kind words, truly honored. really appreciate people like you. you've been a fan since epic music i? WOW. now that's dedication! :)


review on epic music i

review on epic music i

dear I like Ethan: ahh i love it! you listen to my music, you feel, you create - my life is complete. thank you for listening - keep on writing! (ps - write me a screenplay and i'll do the score! deal?)


ok. i'm done reviewing my own reviews. i'm going to move onto something else now.

thanks for listening,

jonathan maiocco

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my favorite reviews. part 2.

i've been frantically scanning the interwebbernet for the most intense, most response-worthy reviews. and now, ladies and gentlemen, we have our results.

this time, i turned to the massive rabbit hole that we've all fallen down - youtube.

my third-party distribution companies (CDBaby and DistroKid) automatically put my music up on YouTube. i've never been a big youtuber, but apparently, people use it to listen to music.

here are some reviews that i felt compelled to reply to.


stellar review on epic music ii, Greatest Story Never Told

stellar review on epic music ii, Greatest Story Never Told

Dear Unironic Irony - first, i love your user name. it perfectly describes my sense of humor. umm, i would LOVE my music to be the soundtrack of your life! seriously, i'd be honored to. just let me know if there's any music that's missing or that you might need.


a review on epic music ii, Gun Control

a review on epic music ii, Gun Control

Dear Creative Planet Entertainment - AHH! i love it! is that a screenplay offer? i'm totally in. so creepy. i love it. hit me up when you're ready to make the film!


review on epic music i, As the World Ends

review on epic music i, As the World Ends

Dear Le Bailey III - thanks man. 'preciate it. i'd like to think the same thing...but it doesn't. so maybe one day. but hey, thanks for listening! you're the real MVP.


review on epic music, Superhero

review on epic music, Superhero

Dear Justin Chavez - (first, how do you say your last name? genuinely interested.) thanks man - really appreciate it. i'd like to think the same thing, but honestly, i don't know. but i mean hey - the present is pretty bright already! thanks for listening.....


review on epic music i, Swords of the Six

review on epic music i, Swords of the Six

Dear Ninja - i've always wanted to talk to a real ninja. and to know a ninja listens to my music - wow. so glad you like it! and as for the third album - you and me both sista. i've got a couple of ideas that i'm playing with...but who knows.


you know, i'm always amazed at the number of people who listen to my music. no, it's not a lot, it really isn't...but somehow, they find it, listen to it, and some genuinely like it. and anytime i get a message or a review...it makes my day. most days, i don't live for the affirmation or acceptance of humanity. but it sure is terribly convenient when someone enjoys what you enjoy doing.

and that's it for today. i gotta go write now.

thanks for listening,

jonathan maiocco

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my favorite reviews. part 1.

as an artist, i need to keep track of how my music is received (and in some cases, not received). for a long time, i associated my acceptance with the acceptance of my art – if you like my music, you like me; if you don’t like my music, you don’t like me. (note – this is a terrible way to live. don’t try it.) i eventually got over myself and started writing music for me. and if other people liked it, that was terribly convenient.

that being said - every now and then, i’ll go to iTunes and/or Amazon to see how my music is doing and what people think of it. the reviews make me laugh. some are so genuine, others not so much…it’s really a crap shoot.

so i've decided to blog about my favorite (and not so favorite) reviews. (let's be real - i'm scrambling for ideas to blog about. bear with me. but is anyone actually reading this? that's the real question here...)

without further ado...here are my favorite reviews. part 1.

let's meander our way to a little online music store called iTunes. here, we can find the first album i wrote called epic music. fortunately or unfortunately, i was eighteen when i wrote the album. personally, i'm not a big fan of it...it's not mixed well, it needs some upgraded sound libraries...but, i'm still proud of it. kind of like the crazy uncle in every family i have a love/hate relationship with it. here are some reviews for that album.


dear gun gun bot kid,

i totally agree with you. if you want real epic music, look up Two Steps from Hell. they are the staple of epic cinematic music. but hey, i'm glad you like gut and glory! thanks for the five stars.


dear [ODTD]SHIELD,

...really, i don't know what to say. like, seriously, i have no words. i'm happy for you though. you should definitely keep doing you're thing. let me know how that works out.


dear mr katrowski,

to be perfectly honest with you, i would give epic music four stars at well. (well, maybe three and a half, if iTunes would let me.) so thank you. and yes, Hans Zimmer is pretty great. do you know him? would love to meet him. if you could arrange an introduction, that'd be great. just let me know.


dear cowlicktenstein,

first...your username. what? is it like, frankenstein meets cow? seriously, i'm curious. second...were you just really bored on January 13th, 2015? cause you reviewed all of my music that day. all of it. i'm perfectly confused and honored. but in all seriousness - thanks. not even my mom has reviewed my music. you've gone above and beyond. i appreciate the magnificent adjectives, the (collective) fifteen stars, and the glowing reviews you've stamped my work with. if i ever need a hype man, i'll definitely give you a call.


that's it for today. if anyone cares, i'm off working on my next EP...

thanks for listening,

jonathan maiocco

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just another failed relationship

first and for most, this EP is kind of a joke. but only kind of. let me explain.

over the past year, i had three potential jobs open up: writing epic trailer music for a high class studio in Europe, writing songs for a studio in Nashville, and producing pop music for a label in ATL. all were very real, very professional, and very lucrative opportunities. i worked on a trial basis for each one, and things were going well. but one way or another, none of them worked out.

why? well, to be perfectly honest - i gave up. i’m almost ashamed to say this, but by the end of each trial basis, i couldn’t bring myself to follow through.

i would always start out so strong. i would deliver good material, they would ask for more, and i would work more, and then, without fail, i would hit a wall, hate what i was doing, and give up.

what am i doing? i would ask myself. these are DREAM jobs, AMAZING people to work with…literally opportunities of a life time! what’s wrong with me?! maybe i’m not good enough i wondered. maybe this is all a mistake…maybe i should never have done music.

fast forward to the end of april. this is going to sound crazy, but here we go - i was driving to Athens to visit a friend. i had all of these questions swirling in my mind, and while driving, i saw a lottery sign that said $330 million. “wow, that’s a lot of money,” i thought. i stopped to fill up my tank. i went inside the gas station, and before i knew what i was doing, i bought a lottery ticket.

for the rest of the drive, i held that ticket and asked myself the question: what would i do if i won the lottery?

i know, i know. it sounds stupid. but please, think about it. what that question is really asking is this: if money wasn’t a factor, what would you do? if you had everything (financially) you could ever want or need, what would your life look like?

i realized that so much of what i was doing was driven by money, which defined success for me. all of those jobs? i was in it for the money, for the connections. did i enjoy it? no. because i was in it for the completely wrong reasons. my motives of financial stability (safety) killed my creativity. whoops.

i took a hiatus. i started giving myself the freedom to dream. i started asking myself the question what do i want to do? forget money. forget being realistic. forget caution. what do i want to do?

and i realized: i want to create for me. i want to create things that i want to create. i want to write the music that i want to write. (that might sound selfish. but bear with me.)

the thing is, money isn’t an issue for me right now. i have a part time job. i get royalty checks each month. i’ve never not been able to eat. i’ve always had a place to sleep. no, i’m not living a glamorous stardom life. but if i could, would i? ehh, probably not. i have everything i could possibly need. so if money isn’t an issue now…why not do the things i’m dreaming of doing?

i decided to live like i’d won the lottery…minus the money. instead of always looking ahead to some mythical destination of stability to finally start “living”, i started living in the present. and you know what? ever since i saw that stupid billboard, my perspective has completely changed. my mindset changed from i have to i get to. i get to do music. this is a privilege, not an obligation. nothing kills creativity like obligation.

i started dreaming for myself. not for reaching stability. not for social normality. but for me. and i discovered the craziest thing - under those conditions, that’s when i create my favorite work. 

through my failed job possibilities, i did learn one thing - i love singing and song-writing. specifically, writing the songs, singing them myself, and producing them. when i do that…i feel like i’m doing what i’m supposed to do.

so i gave myself a challenge. write a pop music EP. “what’s all pop music about?” failed relationships. sweet. let’s go.

i started at the end of may, right after i had finished the music for catalyst, the film i had been working on. i started writing the songs, producing them…and it was slow. it was time consuming. it was all new territory for me. i almost quit multiple times, per usual. but i didn’t. i finished just another failed relationship at the end of october, and then spent the next two months pitching it to music professionals, for feedback and advice.

throughout the process of working on it, i was waiting for someone to stop me. to say that i shouldn’t or that i couldn’t. i almost wanted someone to sit me down and say, “jon, what are you doing? you’re wasting your time. go get a real job. stop this nonsense.” but no one did. 

and now? the EP is done. it’s released. no, it’s not perfect, but it’s a starting point. no, it’s not in the top 40, but guess what? that wasn’t the point of doing it.

this EP is kind of a joke. but only kind of. let me explain.

this is the start of me learning to dream for myself. not trying to conform. not trying to play it safe. but to enjoy what i do.

the point of music is enjoying it. and that’s it. and that’s what i intend to do from now on. enjoy it.

thanks for listening,

jonathan maiocco

ps - i'm half way through my next EP...and i'm loving it.

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catalyst

so pumped to share this.

at my graduate recital, while i was in the lounge talking to people after the concert, a guy walked up to me and said, "hey. i'm andrew. i'm doing a film. you wanna do the music?"

months later, he came to my house and walked me through the story, showing me stills from the film he had just shot. it's called Catalyst. it's his first film out of school. and i don't mean like, indie feature. i mean full blown thriller. like, people's automatic reaction when they see it is, "wow, it's like a real movie." (which, by the way, is the best/worst backhanded compliment that can be given. but thanks for that.)

this past april and may, we sat down and did the score. working on the film was such a great experience, but i think the best part for me was getting to know andrew. andrew is confident in what he does, knows what he wants and doesn't want, and at the same time, isn't in the least bit arrogant. he's just all around one of the best people you'll ever meet. and his determination to do what he loves is contagious.

the cast and crew got to have a private showing. super fun.

the cast and crew got to have a private showing. super fun.

here's (some of) the soundtrack.

so yeah. that's one for the books. :)

thanks for listening,

Jonathan Maiocco

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breaking silence

it's been about a year since i've publicly released anything. i never stopped working, but i took a break from sharing. i needed time to find my voice, without the pressure of having to live up to the "expectations" i created in my head.

i also needed time to rediscover my love for music. i pressured myself to make a career out of music so much that i completely lost any desire for it. it's unfortunate, because i know i'm not the only one. so many people i know have gotten burned out by these unspoken expectations. it's a weird balance of passion and practicality. i want to do music...but i also need to make a living. but if i do music only to make a living, then i get burned out. ugh.

so i only have one goal in mind with moving forward - to enjoy it. every second of it. because if I don't enjoy what i'm doing, then it's not worth it.

in the silence, i've been working on my production skills. i've been writing a lot of songs. i've been teaching lessons at a studio down the street. i did an indie film score a couple of months back. i also had a couple of cool work opportunities. all fun things. and now...i'm ready to start releasing what i've been doing.

to be perfectly honest, i'm a little nervous. i'm heading in a new direction. uncharted territory. and i don't know if people (if you) will like it. it's taken a year for me to decide if i was going to go this new direction. i kept looking for the approval of others, people to tell me yes, this is good, keep going. and people did say that. but people also told me it wasn't good, and that i shouldn't. ultimately, i had to decide for myself - do i think this is good? do i enjoy this? do i want to do this?

the answer is yes.

i'm going to start singing and releasing original songs. yes, i'll keep doing instrumental work. i'll never get away from that. but i love singing and songwriting. so...that's what i'm going to do.

i'm going to first release some covers. then i'll release the originals. here's my first one.

i hope you enjoy it, and i'm excited to move forward on this new journey.

thanks for listening,

jonathan maiocco

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BKX 4275

february 26th, 2015, i gave my graduate composition recital at georgia state university.

for those of you who are not familiar with music school, it is typically required for students to hold recitals/concerts in their chosen area of study - all of my performance focused friends had to give recitals on their primary instrument (cello, clarinet, etc.) for me, since i was in music composition, i had to give an hour-long concert of music that i wrote while in graduate school.

i don't typically post the concert music i write - but i would like to share a piece from this concert. it's called BKX 4275. i commuted to georgia state for about four years - it is about a forty minute/hour-and-a-half drive, depending on traffic. i found myself stuck in atlanta traffic all the time, surrounded by cars, just thinking to myself "busy people going places." i wanted to capture the feelings i had while commuting: the stopping and starting of traffic, the many different sounds (and horns), and the rhythm people eventually fall into when on the interstate. bkx 4275 is my license plate number.

i have to give credit to my amazing performers and friends - robert holley (soprano sax), joseph clark (alto sax), jared le doux (tenor sax), and caleb dias (baritone sax). they really did an amazing job!

also, here is a video of the piece for the world premiere, which was january 17th, 2015.

thanks for listening,

jonathan maiocco

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"so now what?"

that is the question i keep on getting. i just graduated from georgia state university with a masters in music composition. i guess that makes people assume that i should have some grand plan from here on out or something? but truth be told i haven't even bought a display case for the diploma yet.

"so now what?" this question can be received with fear or it can be received with life. i want to receive it with life. i'm not going to live in the fear of the unknown and uncertainty. i'm going to embrace it.

"so what now?" i work. i travel. i play. i write. i learn. i surf. i get inspired. i breathe. i live. just did a lot of traveling. took some pictures.

"so now what?" i am producing several artists right now, and that's been awesome. i love working and collaborating with people.  i am talking to some directors right now about their films. i am networking. so sure, there's a plan. but it's a little mundane. mundane can be discouraging. but it's the mundane that forms who we are. so mundane is essential.

in the georgia state university school of music news letter, i was asked to write about my musical journey, what it was like to be at gsu, and what's next. here's a link to that article. i also got featured on their website:

i just produced isaac austin's first single, daydreamers. isaac austin is a rapper, so this was definitely an experiment for me. daydreamers is unlike anything else i've produced before. but rap and epic music (i feel like) are kind of similar - you know, the intensity, emotional builds, etc. here's the link to daydreamers on itunes. here it is on my soundcloud:

i also just released my film score to matt dickstein's debut short-film, numbers. matt and i have been friends for a couple of years, and always talked about collaborating - so when he first showed me the script, i was all in. the film is super emotional (and a little dark), with a little redemption at the end. here are the two cues from the film:

"so now what?" i don't stop. i keep going.

thanks for listening,

jonathan maiocco

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