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Rising Stars: Meet Nathan Felix

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nathan Felix.

Hi Nathan, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I grew up in Austin, which greatly shaped my interest in live music, art and D.I.Y culture. My brother took me to my first concert at Stubb’s in 1995 and during the soundcheck, I fell in love with the electric guitar. That moment inspired me to learn guitar and start my journey of playing in bands. I started a band called The Noise Revival with my brother and best friends and over the course of seven years, I went from touring the USA in a van to playing festivals in various countries throughout Europe and Asia. Something was missing, though! I yearned to create a grand cinematic sound, so my brother took me to see my first symphony, a performance of John Corigliano’s Circus Maximus at Bass Concert Hall. From that day I knew I wanted to write a symphony, so I hit the library and taught myself composition.

In 2013, I received an opportunity to record with a symphony in New York and out of that session, I released my first symphony, The Curse the Cross & the Lion, later that year. Since then I’ve expanded into writing operas, producing immersive music events (i.e. six pianos in surround sound, headphone operas, Opera on a Bus, etc) and making experimental film installations. My goal is to craft unique and never-before-seen music experiences, sans proscenium.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Nothing about my journey has been smooth but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love challenges and to be honest, looking back a lot my challenges have been self-imposed! LOL. Like wanting to write for orchestra and opera with no formal training? That is just asking for a struggle! But for me, life is most gratifying when I’m learning and continually growing and if I keep that in mind, it helps me embrace the struggle.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I’m mostly known for being a classical music composer who produces immersive operas and events that activate untraditional spaces relative to most classical music and opera concerts. I self-produced my concerts in warehouse spaces, under bridges, on public transportation, in museums, etc. I also direct and create experimental films and film installations.

I’m most proud of my operas that address issues surrounding marginalized groups and the re-appropriation of borders. My transition into opera has provided a way to tell stories I feel a connection to. I’m equally as proud of my “6-pianos in surround sound” series that focuses on restoring abandoned pianos and donating the pianos to schools in lower-income neighborhoods. The series started as a one-off in my house in Austin and has since been performed in Barcelona, Melbourne, Houston and San Antonio.

How do you think about luck?
Well, in a strange way, it turned out to be a blessing that my band(s) never reached a sustainable amount of high-level success because, in hindsight, it enabled me to pivot into a career as a classical music and opera composer. In fact, while I was in a band, I despised classical music because it went against my ‘punk’ ideals, but now I’m so thankful for a career in composition rather than performing in a band.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Nathan Felix Ashley Bradley Oscar Moreno Deepak Chetty Naysa Moreno

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