While in college for art and design, Joel discovered that music was the only medium that could truly capture the way he felt about the world. He began thinking about music visually and sculpting recordings to convey specific feelings, which led him to strings and other orchestral instruments. When first approached to make original score music, it was a natural fit.
Joel is a fan of music that pushes boundaries while still feeling familiar, and believes that authenticity fuels originality. His creative process involves heavy research to find conceptual anchors rather than leaning on genre traditions, which has resulted in a versatile musical voice that’s distinctly his own, but not limited to one style or instrumentation.
Joel most recently wrote the score for JUST MERCY, which features a hip-hop jazz combo and gospel choir alongside orchestral strings. The film premiered at this year's Toronto International Film Festival and will release in theaters in January 2020. He also released two self-produced albums in 2019 titled Smaller and False Klamath.