Meet Nick

Norton EDIT-6

Nick Norton is—like you—made from materials forged in the cores of stars. He was born in Los Angeles approximately 13.6 billion years after the universe and at least a few hundred thousand after vertebrates developed a system to interpret vibrating air as sound, and has been making music ever since. The LA Times describes his work as crazy, and NewMusicBox referred to his pieces as “visceral sonic haiku.”

At an early age Nick discovered that he got a seriously life-affirming kick out of certain arrangements of sound, so started making some by playing guitar and saxophone in bands. He studied composition in college—a lot of it—and in a whole bunch of garages, studios, apartments, backyards, beaches, mountains, bars, libraries, clubs, restaurants, lakes, forests, glaciers, and deserts.

He’s been really lucky, because he’s had great teachers along the way, including Clarence Barlow, Curtis Roads, Joel Feigin, Andrew Tholl, Lei Liang, Rand Steiger, Chinary Ung, Robert Keeley, Harvey Sollberger, and Michel Merlet. Nick has also worked on pieces with Vicki Ray, Christopher Rountree, Sarah Gibson, Thomas Kotcheff, Justine Aronson, Richard Valitutto, Cristina Valdes, Ashley Walters, Giacomo Baldelli, Brandon Rolle, Anthony Garcia, Marc Evanstein, Sofia Gubaidulina, George Benjamin, Ted Hearne, and Martin Bresnick.

As an armchair political philosopher Nick rejects the distinction between high and low forms of art. He is invested in creating new experiences for listeners from all backgrounds and destroying social barriers to enjoying music. He pursues his mission through his work on behalf of Equal Sound and Bathysphere Music, as well as with his bands Calm Machine, The Newports, and Honest Iago.

A student of Zen Buddhism, Nick enjoys punk rock, cinema, craft beer, sci fi, being in or near the ocean, and Oxford commas.

Norton EDIT-6


Press Quotes

Norton’s pieces are visceral sonic haiku which pair modernist sonorities with clever conceptual underpinnings.


Guitar noise, on a high plane of sophistication, fit to melt steel beams. When it hits you, it hits you HARD.

A Fool In The Forest

Hearing Nick Norton’s crazy piano deconstruction, All the Wrong Notes, was like sticking your head on rattling piano strings as Richard Valittuto banged away.

LA Times

Formidable and powerful, I could easily imagine Mirror Smasher Zero being extended into a much longer minimalist work.... It reminded me, in a very good way, of Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music in its powerful, gyrating, and relentless sonic attack.

New Classic LA

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