Holly Jones uses her UCO Jazz Lab debut to celebrate a new release

A rare concert date for Holly Jones marks the culmination of an exciting experience for the Edmond-based composer.

Jones makes her UCO Jazz Lab debut 7 p.m. May 25 at 100 E. Fifth St. in Edmond, where she celebrates her March 27 album Storyteller and a newly completed release of orchestral arrangements of Storyteller compositions by Los-Angeles-based movie composer Ludek Drizhal and Czech National Symphony Orchestra. The doors open at 6 p.m.

Her recent uptick in productivity has been a sharp one.

Jones makes her living as a physical therapist. She is always working on new music but was comfortable with allowing everything to fall into place before she released something new. In the last few years, serendipity finally ran its course.

Jones paired with Drizhal to help take her music to the next level. She hopes to use the new, fuller edition of her Storyteller project to open up new avenues for her creativity.

“It’s not that I want to be this recording star,” Jones said. “I want to sell [albums], but really my music lends itself to being in a film. It’s theme music.”

Jones always dreamed of pitching her compositions for use in film, but doing so required a fuller orchestral sound that she could not achieve solely on piano.

She caught a break during a visit to an Arizona vineyard with her husband, where she connected with publicist Ginger Mackenzie.

Mackenzie hosted a wine-tasting event they were attending, and Jones eventually started talking to her about her extensive singer-songwriter background. Mackenzie led her to Drizhal, with whom she had once worked waiting tables in Los Angeles. Drizhal has helped compose music for several film projects, including Starbright, a fantasy film partially shot in Oklahoma and set for release later this year.

“It’s been really incredible because he gets everything about it,” Jones said of working with Drizhal. “It’s wonderful to have someone working with me that really understands the underlying themes and the meaning I’m trying to portray in each of my pieces.”

Drizhal invited Jones to record a selection of album compositions with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra in Prague, Czech Republic. Jones said she is thrilled with the composer’s fleshed-out instrumental vision of her work.

“You don’t just meet those people in Wal-Mart,” she said. “You don’t even meet them when you try to meet them; they just occur.”

Jones has been a musician almost all her life. She was only 9 years old the first time her music teacher asked her to compose something. Making the leap from reading music to scoring original material seemed impossible, and she felt an overwhelming joy when things finally began to click.

Jones can often be found at home, playing her Bösendorfer 225 grand piano.

“I like to sit down [at my piano] and I don’t know what my hands are going to do,” she said. “Inspiration, I believe, should not take any effort.”

She sometimes draws inspiration from physical therapy courses and workshops she attends, applying principles discussed in the lecture to moods and themes in her musical work.

“The art of that and the art of music both work into each other,” she said. “I’ve learned from each and pull from each to make me better in both. … When you extend yourself spiritually, it’s always a wonderful chance to grow.”

Visit hollyjonespiano.com.

Print headline: Inchoate inspiration, Edmond-based composer Holly Jones returns from Europe to celebrate her new releases.