Monday, July 11, 2016

Playing Catch Up

Good morning music lovers,

I'm not sure if anyone is even out there reading this. I have not kept up on my blog entries for some time. I find that keeping up with social media, whether it be for personal use or self promotion, is astonishingly challenging. Further, being a part of numerous organizations that are trying to establish a social media presence WHILE attempting to keep up with my own is almost impossible. I feel like I have to pay someone else to pretend to be me, which is disingenuous. Rest assured, this is the real Justin Raines unloading a few years worth of information on a single post. Bare with me, please.

I moved to California July 5, 2011. I figured once I graduated with my Masters degree from UNLV, I would leave Las Vegas. The music scene, in my opinion, was dying in the desert, and I knew there was nothing there for me but possibly liver disease. So I moved to LA to live with my brother and to see if I could break into the film music biz.

Well, the first two years were amazingly difficult. I left Vegas with a small amount of cash in savings which helped me get to Redondo Beach, and once there, I applied to work as a caregiver. There is always a need for caregivers no matter where you go. If you have experience, which I did, you can get a job quick and start earning some money. On my off time, I applied to teach every music job I saw posted, but I never received a call back. Not one. It was during a time where all the adjunct and part-time positions got sucked up by the saturated market of doctorate students desperate for work. Well, the care giving also pays about as close to minimum wage as one can get with out actually being minimum wage. That meant working 40 or more a week to get by, which also means a social life is nearly impossible. California is expensive, so you need a lot of money to live, but you need a lot of money to be social, too. It was very hard my first two years and I feel like I developed a lot of negative feelings toward my own life.

However, during those two years, I found a saving grace. A Community band. I joined a local LGBT marching band on tuba that allowed me to make a few friends. This group led to me playing in another LGBT group, this time a concert band. It was small, and not very enthusiastic. I was there for roughly six months, until the director decided to nominate me to take over the group. Happy to say that I have been conducting the group for about 4 years now. The Gay Freedom Band of Los Angeles was my ticket to normalcy in this town!

I have had the luxury of doing some very low, some would say micro, budget films scores. The work is always challenging, and even though i am stuck doing B or C grade film scores, I am doing what I always said I would do. From a young age, I always said i'd be a film composer. Is it glamorous? No. It's pretty stressful, Yet, as tiring as it is I find it is also semi-mindless as well. Very often you are asked to mimic a temp track, some other score the director used to edit the film. It doesn't take a lot to do that. I wasn't allowed to be super creative in my approach or writing, so the whole process is like writing on auto-pilot. Not very good for your self esteem.

So now I am at a crossroads. I want to write more music for stage, and doing so has been a challenge as I feel like the film scores have changed the way I think about music. How do I find my original path? I have so many opportunities coming up, but i feel lost. I feel like I need a creative jolt of energy. Where do I even begin to get back on track?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Music Inquiries

For those of you interested in picking up one of my scores, please send me a message. I will gladly work with you. Right now I have several wind scores:

1. Metropolis - 8 min - $150
2. Fanfare Della Vittoria - 4 min - $80
3. Dreams of Flight - 8:30 - $150
4. Nightmares and Nocturnes - 11 min. - $150

Feel free to check out my list of compositions on the third tab on this page to see what else I have. I can send you music easily via email. All transactions will be handled with Paypal or by mail. I suggest Paypal because you can get the music instantly without waiting for mail delivery, and to avoid printing costs.

Monday, January 23, 2012

2012 is going to be a busy year!

Hello music lovers! This year has been off to an amazing start!!! The Tad Wind Symphony, conducted by my dear friend and mentor Takayoshi (Tad) Suzuki, premiered my new wind piece Metropolis in Tokyo, Japan on January 14th. According to Tad, it was a great success. Just a day later, my Fanfare Della Vittoria was performed by a high school honor band in Chicago, and conducted by my friend Jeff Maleki.

In February, Metropolis will be premiered in Las Vegas, NV by the Desert Springs Wind Ensemble, conducted by Charles Maguire. Tickets are $5, and can be purchased here:

Then off to New Mexico March 12 for the NMSU Symphonic Winds concert featuring both Metropolis and Fanfare Della Vittoria.

In April, Dr. James Shearer will be premiering a piece he commissioned from me for tuba and string quartet. Cauterizing the Soul will be performed along with my other work Two Movements for String Quartet.

It is not set in stone yet, but looks like Metropolis could be under review at UCLA. Patrick Sheridan, tubist extraordinaire and conductor of the UCLA Wind Ensemble is considering it for a concert either in the spring or fall. Keep your fingers crossed.-
There are other commissions in the works including a six-mallet marimba and choir piece, and a rewriting for my Mad Hatter Suite for wind ensemble. that one will see a premiere in Chicago in December, and performed by the St. Xavier University Wind Ensemble. I will keep you posted on dates, times, and keep checking here for recordings and videos. This is going to be an exciting year indeed!!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

New home! California, I am here!

Thank you all for your continued support of my music! As many of you know,I have graduated from UNLV and am now living in LA. Redondo Beach actually. I am three miles from the ocean, and am trying to use the new location to my advantage as far as inspiration goes. Please forgive me for not posting in a long while. School gets hectic, as does moving so I have neglected my blog for a while. But NOW I am back and will post regularly.

I have had many new an interesting opportunities lately. Since I last posted, I have finished scoring the movie "Stealing Las Vegas" which is a film staring Eric Roberts and produced by Roger Corman. I have also scored the film "Hatching Max" for director Mark Medoff. Aside from my film aspirations, I have also made strides in the concert world. I recently complete "Metropolis," a new wind piece for the Tad Wind Symphony in Tokyo, Japan.

I hope nothing but the best for me out here. I am a fighter, and a hard worker and I am determined to allow some of my musical roots to sink in here. I will be posting new recordings, a new bio, and many other new and exciting things on this site in the near future. Keep a close eye out, and I look forward to your future visits. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter if you should choose. Thanks again!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New Beginnings!

Hello everyone. If you haven't noticed, you can view video from my Graduate recital right here to the right of this window. The show was January 30, 2011, and was a great success. Be looking for more video soon from the UNLV Symphonic Winds, the UNLV Wind Orchestra, and the Tad Wind Symphony. SO, now that I am on the verge of graduating, I am left with the dilemma of what comes next. Well, I decided not to go into the doctoral program anywhere because of two reaosn.
1.) I am pretty much done with school and/or school related business.
2.) I already have enough dept with the US Government.
Whatever I decide to do with my future, need to be done now. I was hoping to get an apprenticeship in LA working with TV/Film composers, but I have not the slightest clue how to even begin. I may also continue teaching as an adjunct faculty here at UNLV for a little while to maintain an income. Keep your fingers crossed, and I will do my best. I chose to be a composer and I will never give up.I knew from day one it was going to be a huge endeavor, and I also knew there was a possibility of many struggles. Bring them on! I want to thank the people who support me: My family, friends, fans for all of your support. Cheers!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Been a while...

My apology to my listeners. I have not kept up with my blog for a long while. I have been very busy creating new music for you, as well as teaching and living life. I have created new Choral music, and have two new wind ensemble pieces in the works. I also have been getting my feet wet in the film music world. I just recently completed the score to a new Roger Corman film starring Eric Roberts. I am also hoping to compose the score for a documentary film about the paranormal, and I will let you know how that goes. Keep your eyes here for new music that will be added soon. Contact me via email at for more information and music orders. Have a wonderful visit to my site. Cheers, Justin

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Order the Tad Wind Symphony CD

For those of you who heard my recent NPR Interview, I am posting the link for you to order the CD.

Just copy and paste the URL to your browser. They are not expensive, so please order more than one if you like. They will make great stocking-stuffers. Keep your eye on this site for more information.