D. Jason Smith

D. Jason Smith

BandRockAdult Contemporary

I never write in the same genre twice--sometimes jazz; other times hard rock, other times a string quartet comes out. It’s nothing that I strive for; it's just that what many consider genre I use a compositional element, something to play with to get the idea across. My music is pretty free form.


I grew up in the small town of Hurricane, WV. There I was exposed to the bluegrass my grandfather and his friends played, the classic rock from the radio and classical music played by the West Virginia Symphony, so my earliest influences were Elmer Byrd the banjo man from Turkey Creek, Led Zeppelin, and Beethoven.

The local college was Marshall University in Huntington, WV where I eventually ended up majoring in music composition. Then it was on to Ball State University in Muncie, IN for my masters in composition. Currently, I'm finishing up my doctorate in music theory and composition. In my many years in school I've learned composition, orchestration, form, atonal theory, texture, timbre and to play many instruments. Through it all though, I kept writing rock songs. I'd experiment with sound and style and genre like I would instruments in an orchestra. Then, I'd file them away. Rock songs aren't really accepted in the academic world.

Then in fall of 2004, it finally hit me. Why should I limit myself to just one type of music? Classicalists don't do rock and rockers don't do classical is a rule that is imposed upon me. It's not what I do. It's not what I feel, so I set out to change things.

In the spring of 2005, I put on a show of my music, "He Who Is Me." I alternated "art music" with "pop music" because both are "my music." I had rock songs, a song for mezzo soprano and two classical guitars, a percussion ensemble with dancers, computer music, and a string quartet. While not well attended, it was well received.

It was that small success that continues to drive what I do.


All I Need Is You

Written By: D. Jason Smith

I don't know what this world will bring to us all

I think that we might be headed for a fall

I may not be one who can tell you all I think is true

All that I know is all I need is you

Life in all its grace can leave you swimin' upstream

Life with you has fulfilled all my dreams

When this life gives all I can handle you put me back anew

All that I know is all I need is you

I know when my own mind turns on me

You'll be there to help me see

My world is filled with passion

All these feelings come on crashin'

Down when I have you here with me

I don't know what this life will bring to my day

The winds may blow from these heavy skies of grey

But no matter what this life hands me, I'll find my skies of blue

All that I know is all I need is you


Written By: D. Jason Smith

Con-flicts of old re-turn to fill my head
I don’t know why I try to say the things I wish I said.
Fight-ing with phan-toms made of the mists of my e-go
Right-ing the wrongs I suf-fered so man-y years a-go

Why must I re-live ev-ry in-ci-dent
When my life now is so ver-y dif-fer-ent
Strug-ling with stran-gers who ex-ist in my past
The chas-m of time proves to be not so vast

These thoughts fill my brain

Like the pour-ing rain

But I can't find the drain

No, I can't find the drain

You are all gone a-way, lost to time
What will it take for me to free my mind
I try to re-lease all of the hurt that I know
Drain-ing from me, I can now see, that it goes down slow

And it goes down slow (repeat ad nauseum)
The an-ger you put in-side me

The fear you put in-side me

The lust you put in-side me

The pain you put in-side me

And it goes down slow

Indigo Skies

Written By: D. Jason Smith

indigo skies say it’s time to fly leave behind the fear it’s time to die on the road ahead veer into the thunderhead evidence of life is in the sky sum the value in true allow the broken in you reach for a stitch in time against the meter and rhyme have the end in view bring the world from ordinary under skies and capillaries take your soul from stationary indigo skies say it’s time to fly what we know can never divide alter thinking’s stead never find the path well tread tell the ghosts it’s time to cry just a moment for two enough to kill the blue never out of prime nostalgia rings a chime young until you knew


From song writing demo: "Drain," "All I Need Is You," "Indigo Skies," "Show Me Yours," "Crossroads,"
From performance: "Seed of Doubt," String Quartet No. 1, Spectrum, "Thread of Life," Scattered Thoughts