Friend Friday: Nathan Hall

This week I am profiling the prolific composer and visual artist Nathan Hall. For those who have followed this blog for a while, you may recognize his name from last summer when I posted about photographing one of his performances – a wonderful musical, walking tour of Pittsburgh’s Northside. Nathan is recently back from his Fulbright to Iceland and took the time to share what he’s been up to.

Where are you from, where do you live now?

I’m originally from a little town called Gowanda, NY, outside of Buffalo. I am moving to Boulder, Colorado in just a couple days, but I’ve just spent the last year living in Iceland!

How would you classify your work? Would you?

I like to say that I’m a composer and a visual artist, but that sometimes doesn’t encompass everything I like to do. I primarily make music works: recordings, chamber music, pop songs, and performance pieces, but I also would include my sculptural jewelry, design work, collaborations on art projects and other random art pieces in my work as well.

What projects do you have coming up? What does the future hold?

I hope to release my album in just a couple weeks! Possibly a release date around August 21st. I don’t have a lot of projects coming up as I’m sort of in a limbo time- in between researching and gathering all these materials from Iceland, and then going to Boulder to begin my doctorate in composition, and deciding just what to do with all of these recordings, interviews, photos, and memories that I’ve created. I’d like to do more outdoor and site-specific performances, and possibly incorporate electronic music into these pieces as well. We’ll see what happens in the fall–I’m never without ideas brewing!

Nathan recently completed a Fulbright in Iceland. While there  he wrote two choral pieces that were performed. He also recorded new work that will be released as an album late this summer. And he maintained his wonderful blog, Midnight Shoveler, with funny, insightful observations on life in Iceland.

Below is a link for his piece, The Pink Rose, a collaborative performance piece set in the Holavallagarour cemetery. Collaborating with the artist, Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir, a work was composed on her original texts. With stereos placed throughout the cemetery electronic and electro-acoustic music wafted through the space as singers rang handbells and sang parts of melodies, traditional songs, and spoke the names of the deceased. Below is a link to listen to the work (click on the first project, The Pink Rose) as well as an image of Nathan during the performance.

As mentioned earlier, Nathan’s album, The Origin of the Sun and the Moon, comes out soon. In the meantime you can listen to earlier works here:


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