Canadian composer Jack Lenz creates music to move the soul while keeping you in your seat.
The renowned composer has carved a niche for himself and his company, Lenz Entertainment, producing music for more than a hundred television programs and feature films.
His work has been nominated for three Gemini awards and he has created music for Canadian television shows like Little Mosque on the Prairie, Due South and Robocop: The Series.
He also created and produced music for Mel Gibson’s 2004 bible epic The Passion of the Christ, a challenging job that took him across the world searching for unique performers and unique sounds.
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One of his favourite pieces from the movie, played as Christ is dying on the cross, was recorded in a tiny Paris hotel room with Armenian musician Levon Minassian playing a duduk, a woodwind instrument invented more than 3,000 years ago, something Lenz says is proof that music transcends both time and place.
Lenz co-wrote the Toronto Blue Jays’ theme song “OK Blue Jays” with Tony Kininec and the song has become a staple anthem for the baseball team.
His favourite work is the kind that forces him to discover the emotional core of a piece of art and express its message through music.
“I want to write about things that are meaningful. I’m a sucker for emotion — if something’s emotional, I love scoring to that to try and find that same emotion in music that you’re seeing on-screen,” Lenz said.
Lenz was born in Eston, Sask., to a father who was a farmer and a mother who was a school teacher.
His mom bought Lenz an old upright piano and encouraged him to learn to play. Lenz fell in love with music and got his first professional music gig touring 200 days per year playing for soft-rock bands Seals and Crofts and later Loggins and Messina.
He later worked as musical director for Canadian artists Anne Murray and Buffy Sainte-Marie. In the early ’90s he decided to start his own music production company doing commercials and advertising music. He quickly branched out to scoring films and television shows as well.
Lenz studied music at the University of Saskatchewan but left before finishing his degree, though he credits the time he spent there with teaching him many of the skills he continues to use professionally.
A practicing Baha’i, Lenz says his faith plays an important role in how he approaches his music.
“I believe you attract confirmations from beyond this world,” Lenz said adding, being able to pursue his love of music as a career is a dream come true.