“Whether it’s the personal soundtracks that play in a daily rotation in our minds, the inspiring musical number in that YouTube ad, or the captivation of experiencing your favorite musicians on stage or through your iPod, music impacts and influences each of our lives.”
My name’s John Kiernan, I’m a composer and guitarist. I was born in Queens, NY and have since moved around the country, finally having landed in New Jersey with my wife (who holds a Master’s in Piano Performance) and my dog, DaVinci (who also plays piano, true story). My work has been described as as the sit down session of guitar virtuosos Steve Vai, Eddie Van Halen and Andy James with composer Hans Zimmer (I’d say this is accurate)! My compositional and guitar influences include Akira Yamaoka, Nobou Uematsu, Guthrie Govan, Daniele Gottardo, John Petrucci, Austin Wintory, and Tuomas Holopainen (to name a few).
As a guitarist, I perform my original music and session guitar for various projects (domestically and internationally), perform in a variety of theater productions, and am the resident guitarist for the Montclair Gamer Symphony Orchestra (guess what kind of music we play!).
Since the release of my first solo album “Of Oceans” in 2013, I’ve had the honor of sharing the stage with some incredible artists such as Slash from Guns N’ Roses, Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators, Gus G, Angel Vivaldi and have been invited to perform at The NAMM Show in Anaheim, California and MusikMesse in Shanghai, China. I am currently working on my next release, “Horizons”, which will feature internationally acclaimed cellist Tina Guo and will showcase the incorporation of orchestral and digital instrumentation. My theater performances have taken me through the Tri-State area in the productions Aida, HairSpray and Carrie (more to come!). I am a multi-instrumentalist and am proficient in electric guitar, acoustic guitar, classical guitar, ukulele and electric bass guitar.
My entry into the world of composer and sound designer was sparked by a simple question from a good friend of mine in 2008: “Hey, movies have music…how do films get music for them?” It was an innocent question, but became the catalyst which opened the floodgates for my musical path. I have worked closely with game developers and directors alike on some fantastic projects (many of which have won awards, see the “Awards” tab under the “Music” header!). My mission statement is simple: your vision and project are unique and I aim to create the most immersive experience for each project. PS: For my full credits, see the “Credits” tab under the “Music” header!
For video games, I am the composer and sound designer for the recently released In Battery We Trust and the upcoming Sleepwalker. My film work has seen me as the composer and music director for a variety of short and full length films such as Silent Hill: The Promise, Star Crossed Lovers, Cut To Pieces and One Last Kiss. I have worked closely with many marketing firms and production houses to create audio branded content, having created music for eSOZO IT firm, FOX Pennsylvania, and Medieval Times to name a few and am also the composer for the web series InGame.
As a teacher at my wife and I’s music school The Piano Workshop at Bergen County, I cover the modern music industry pillars such as performance, stylistic versatility, technology and modern business practices of the music industry. From the age of ten years old, I’ve followed a musical direction that demands musical expression, technical virtuosity and modern and fun teaching methodologies that I impart upon my students.
If you’ve made it this far in my bio, I truly appreciate you reading about my work, my life, and my passion for music. I hope that you enjoy what you see and hear of my work. Perhaps Roy Ayers put it best: “The true beauty of music is that it connects people. It carries a message, and we, the musicians, are the messengers.”
Hope all is well!