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Nick Norton

Los Angeles, CA            

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 at UC San Diego, then at L’ecole Normale de Musique de Paris, then in graduate school at King’s College, London and UC Santa Barbara—and in a whole bunch of garages, studios, apartments, backyards, beaches, mountains, bars, libraries, clubs, restaurants, basements, forests, and deserts.

He’s been really lucky, because he’s had great teachers along the way, including Clarence Barlow, Curtis Roads, Andrew Tholl, Joel Feigin, Lei Liang, Robert Keeley, Rand Steiger, Chinary Ung, Harvey Sollberger, and Michel Merlet. He has also worked with George Benjamin and Sofia Gubaidulina.

Nick rejects the distinction between high and low forms of art, and is interested in creating new experiences for listeners from all backgrounds and destroying social barriers to enjoying music. He has a Chewbacca bobble head on his desk and SPENT WAY TOO MUCH MONEY ON a Han Solo to go with it. He enjoys craft beer, sci fi, being in or near the ocean, and Oxford commas.

Blue Hour

A chamber ballet commissioned for the 40th anniversary of Joffrey Texas and choreographed by Katie Cooper of Avant Chamber Ballet.

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On Geology

A bit of my solo music for guitar and electronics, with video projections by my partner Kelly McGillicuddy.

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Broken River Variations

There’s a version of this piece for large orchestra that has yet to be performed. Drop me a line.

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NewMusicBox Articles

Articles December 2 2014 | By Nick Norton
Why I Make Music

When Nick Norton tells people he's a composer, the conversation usually turns to the music itself. The one question that no one ever seems to ask, however, is “why?”

Articles November 20 2014 | By Nick Norton
The Art of Doubting Myself

If I write music that both satisfies and excites me, and is music that I want to hear, and I’m being honest about all of that, then I’m good. Anything...

Articles November 13 2014 | By Nick Norton
Listen To Music, Dammit!

Listening to and trying to understand as much music as possible, even music that you don’t enjoy, is an incredibly important part of becoming a better and better musician. Knowing,...

See more of Nick Norton's articles on NewMusicBox.