James Greiner is a classical composer, pianist, singer, songwriter, teacher, and author.
James Greiner’s first endeavored to write short stories when he was six. At seven, he began to play on a small keyboard that his parents bought for him. He wrote his first pop song the same year. After begging his parents to purchase an acoustic piano, he began taking piano lessons when he was eleven. Greiner began sketching his first classical piano ideas a year later.
In the sixth grade, James Greiner was one of the winners of a nationwide Haiku contest for a poem he wrote titled, “Buds in the Springtime.”
Greiner attended Baldwin Wallace University. While at Baldwin Wallace, Greiner studied harmony with James Feldman and music composition with Loris Chobanian. Greiner wrote one piano composition while at Baldwin Wallace College’s Music Conservatory, an atonal piece titled, “Two Opposites.” During his college years, he began writing pop music. “My private composition lessons with Loris Chobanian would mainly feature classical music songs that I was working on, but I would also bring Loris pop songs. Even from the beginning of my songwriting career, I had an interest in writing both classical and pop music,” Greiner recalls.
In late 2006, Greiner formed the pop musical group Below Jupiter and began to use the pseudonym Joshua Emmet. Below Jupiter released three albums, Step Into Home Act I, (2007), Step into Home Act II, (2009), and Sonorous Dithyrambs, (2012). Reviews for Below Jupiter’s albums were generally positive: “The well-crafted melodic songs and dramatic elements really grab the listener,” said Peter Chakerian of Cool Cleveland.com on July 2, 2008, and Radar Music Review claimed “Below Jupiter will reinvent what you think of piano rock.”
In 2012, still using the pseudonym of Joshua Emmet, Greiner released his first book, Celestial Kings and Queens. The book is a semi-autobiographical account of Greiner’s life in which he elucidates on art and philosophy. Reviews for Celestial Kings and Queens were generally positive. “It is immediately evident that Emmet is a highly intellectual, well read, thoughtful creative person that the world seems to be lacking these days,” said Lauren Cannavino of Luxury Reading.
Celestial Kings and Queens is also the place where the document, “The Constitution of the Individual,” first appeared. The document promotes individual sovereignty, freedom, equality, nonviolence, and true democracy. “The Constitution of the Individual” is more of an artistic statement than a political one,” Greiner says.
In 2010 Greiner founded his own business called Northwoods Music, a music lesson studio located in the Cleveland suburb of North Olmsted, Ohio. The lesson studio has a unique business structure. There is no CEO of Northwoods Music, and all the employees have the freedom to develop their own teaching programs.
Future plans (2018 and beyond)
In 2018, Greiner plans to release his first classical music album titled, Keep on Desiring. The album will feature three new classical piano songs: “Piano Sonata in E flat Minor,” an eleven-minute piece composed in 2015; “Fantasy in A flat Minor,” an eighteen-minute piece composed in 2016; and “Dance in E Minor,” a five-minute piece set to be released in June, 2018.
In early 2019, Greiner plans to release his debut solo indie rock album. The album will feature Greiner on drums, bass, keyboards, guitar, and vocals. The album is called The Highest Road.
Greiner is also working on a second edition of his book, Celestial Kings and Queens. Its release is planned for late 2018.