About 13.6 billion years after the birth of the universe, Nick Norton’s existence got itself rolling in Santa Monica, California. At some point before then, humans’ auditory complexes had evolved to interpret vibrating air as sound, and, perhaps more importantly, people discovered that they could derive pleasure from certain arrangements of this sound.
Nick got a seriously life-affirming kick out of this, so studied composition (the art of writing unique sets of directions for making air vibrate) in college at UC San Diego, then at L'ecole Normale de Musique de Paris, then in graduate school at King’s College, London.
He’s been really lucky, because he’s had great teachers along the way, including Lei Liang, Robert Keeley, Rand Steiger, Chinary Ung, and Harvey Sollberger. He’s been relatively successful so far too. Nick has received awards and commissions from L’ensemble Portmantô (who also gave him a lifetime appointment as composer-in-residence), the American Composers Forum, ASCAP, Meet the Composer, Worldwide Guitar Connections, the city of Curitiba, WomenSing, the London Contemporary Chamber Orchestra, the Dartington International Summer Festival, and UC San Diego. His music has been performed and workshopped by the Kansas City Chorale, L'ensemble Portmantô, WomenSing, The London Contemporary Chamber Orchestra, EXAUDI, The Stranded Ensemble, Ensemble Progress, New Music Hartford, Lontano, The New York Miniaturist Ensemble, Harvey Sollberger, Ensemble Multiphon, Xelm Ya, William Fried, the UCSD Guitar Ensemble, and others.
In an effort to get right to the music, Nick plays guitar and also toys around with electronics, keyboards, and certain wind and percussion instruments. He usually does this in his two bands, Honest Iago
and Better Looking People With Superior Ideas, but is constantly working on solo material as well. Nick also runs the blog NewClassic.LA
, which covers new music in Los Angeles, and is a vice president of Music to Heal
Nick, who once rode horseback across a lava field in Iceland, has a penchant for using the unexpected in his pieces to keep listeners on their toes. His music has been described as “awesome” and “great” by a bunch of his friends whose opinions he genuinely trusts. Rather than reading what other people think about it, however, he’d prefer you listen to it and decide for yourself. His debut CD, String Quartet No. 1: London, is available at any good record store (or by clicking here
), and with a little searching you can definitely find it online for free.
Pretty much anything else you might want to know is available somewhere on this website, or by calling Nick directly at (805) 341 – 1029
. Please keep in mind that California is on Pacific Time, and that people are sometimes less friendly before they have had their coffee in the morning.