Stig Jonas Pettersson. Born and raised in Sweden, S. J. (Stig Jonas) Pettersson first came to Los Angeles in 1979. After a year of studies there, he went back to Sweden to study philosophy at the University of Lund while simultaneously pursuing music at the Institute of Jazz in Malmö.
Stig Jonas Pettersson composer R.I.P.
In 1983 he moved to Los Angeles and enrolled at “MI” (Musicians Institute) in Hollywood studying with such jazz notables as Joe Pass, Lenny Breu and Scott Henderson. During the 80’s he recorded and performed with numerous bands and projects in the Southern California scene in addition to teaching at local music schools. Stig Jonas Pettersson died on August 11th 2018 .
In 1991 Pettersson founded “Manhattan Beach Music & Voice” a music school that has become a fixture in the Los Angeles beach cities. He continues to teach a limited number of students (with several of his students progressing into major music universities such as University of Southern California and UCLA) in piano, guitar, saxophone and music theory, but has moved more and more towards his own music composition and production.
An autodidact of sorts, he privately studied counterpoint, orchestration and orchestral scores by composers as diverse as Bach, Sergey Prokofiev, Michael Nyman, Bernard Herrmann, Kurt Weil, eventually forging his own unique style – a blend of 20th century minimalism with romanticism, classicism, jazz and ethnic influences such as African polyrhythm and Arabic micro tonality.
Resulting from his accomplished perspectives as graphic artist, photographer and writer, Pettersson’s music is often informed by distinct visual components reflective of the ideas, storylines, and/or, dance choreography integral to all stages of composition. Several of his bigger projects can be described as “soundtracks to movies not yet made”. The finished versions of each of his projects include music, dance or film scenarios, and graphic artwork such as covers, posters, designs etc.
Current projects in developments: GAUDÍ – Dancing About Architecture A completed one-act Ballet based on the buildings of the famed Catalan/Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi. The narrative loosely describes a journey towards the funeral of Gaudi wherein each segment is a freestanding episode taking place inside or outside one of his most famous landmarks such as La Sagrada Familia, Casa Milá, Palau and Parque Güell.
The Ballet consists of 13 pieces and is written in a style best described as romantic minimalism and includes a full scenario, design and choreographic notes. The entire ballet can be streamed in flash at
A completed “soundtrack” to a film treatment also by the composer about a young university student who is hired by an older estate owner to catalogue a newly purchased butterfly collection. It is a pre-existentialist period piece set in early 20th century Denmark in the film making style of directors like Peter Greenaway. The score consists of 11 fully orchestrated pieces in a style reminiscent of composers like Michael Nyman and Wim Mertens but with more diverse influences.
Deus Ex Machina Another project based around a loose Tarkovskian storyline about the unexpected forms that divine intervention may take in our lives. There are so far 5 completed pieces. The style is in a slightly more pattern-based form with a nod to the work of composers like Steve Reich, but retains the strong melodic elements characteristic of the composer’s other projects. My Black Heart A “Film Noir” project in the early stages born out a love of film noir movies and the incredible scores of the late Bernard Herrmann.
Blade Runner Resurrection A proposed sequel to the landmark 1982 film by Ridley Scott featuring a stunning score by Vangelis. There are 5 completed pieces so far and the style is electronic music with Arabic, African and baroque gothic influences.
S. J. Pettersson resides in Manhattan Beach California with his son Aloysha and continues work on his music, art and the proposed production of his ballet ” GAUDÍ – Dancing About Architecture” in Barcelona, Spain. His official website can be accessed at www.sjpettersson.com and contains music samples of his current and past work along with artwork and designs for his projects.
- Synopsis and libretto to A DreamPlay
- Här kan du läsa min recension om kammaroperan Ett drömspel
- Romeo et Juliet – balett
- Classical Place about S J Pettersson
- Composers in the world
- Läs mer om SJ Pettersson (In English)