Jonathan Zalben

Pearl Harbor


Jonathan Zalben 's music for film, theater, and television has been shown at Slamdance, SXSW, Tribeca, LA Film Festival, New York International Fringe Festival, and Chicago SketchFest. His orchestral works have been performed by the Juilliard Pre-College Orchestra and the New York University Orchestra. Zalben holds a U.S. patent for a muffler design.

The Great Wars is based on the three attacks on America that precipitated war: Lusitania, Pearl Harbor, and WTC. Images from the events are processed through custom computer software responding to the original music score by Jonathan Zalben. Layered in the background is Woodrow Wilson's Armistice Day Speech, the oldest surviving recording of a radio broadcast. Excerpts also include FDNY radio communications from 9/11, a WWII war bond film and Roosevelt's War Address on December 7, 1941. Each movement is the length of the date on which the event happened (Lusitania is 5 minutes and 7 seconds, Pearl Harbor is 12 minutes and seven seconds, and WTC is 9 minutes and 11 seconds long). The work began as a performance piece using live instruments and real-time computer filtering of the video in response to the audio. Currently, the piece also exists as a linear film available on DVD.