Electrician about to relase sixth album
Nathan Speir started learning piano when he was 8, and by age 12 he’d completed his first fully written composition, according to his website.
On Monday he will release his sixth album, a two-disc set that begins with ambient chamber music and transitions to a re-interpretation of the tracks in solo piano.
“I look at this album as an emotive novel put to music and summed up on a leaflet, thus the name ‘The Emotive Leaf,’” he said in his press release.
Speir received his bachelor’s degree in music theory and composition from Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2004, and in 2006 he released his first electronic instrumental album.
Originally from Southern California, Speir, 34, and his wife and children live in Winston-Salem. He is a licensed electrician and works as a full-time maintenance electrician at Forsyth Tech Community College.
For more information, click here. His CD is available at CdBaby, iTunes and Amazon.
Q: Describe your music in general and your CD in particular.
Answer: I am a pianist and composer, and I try to avoid the title as a “new age pianist.” “The Emotive Leaf” is a truly heartfelt ambient chamber and solo piano album. I try to produce music, or any art for that matter, with a higher purpose in mind. “The Emotive Leaf” is an ambient piano music diary about introspection and the noetic heart.
Q: What media do you prefer?
Answer: I prefer as much real acoustic instruments as I do electronic instruments.
Q: How did you develop the material for this CD?
Answer: These songs were initially composed over the course of 2013. By 2014, I had enough material to seriously begin recording and producing the way I felt best ... and in a way my resources would allow, at the same time. I did everything at my home studio and digitally recorded, mixed and mastered the album through my computer.
Q: What did you enjoy about this project?
Answer: I was so moved by the initial composition process — that special space of time and feeling during those euphoric moments is arguably the peak of the whole production. I also enjoyed the lessons learned, as usual, from the whole production process. If that wasn’t enough, I was ecstatic to see the physical disc printing 100 percent funded on Kickstarter ... what a blessing!
Q: How have you evolved as a musician?
Answer: I have been learning a lot about studio recording, mixing and mastering. I have to say that those are really arts in themselves. I feel like the way I write and play music has always had an improvisational approach, even after formal music school in college. What continues to evolve is my command over my playing and writing.
Q: Who has influenced you?
Answer: John Tavener, George Winston, Keith Jarret, Pat Metheney, Patrick O’Hearn, Steve Roach, Harold Budd, Carlos Nakai, Chopin and Erik Satie, to name a few music icons that have influenced my music.
Q: What is your biggest challenge?
Answer: My biggest challenge is balancing my time and resources for producing music. I wish it could be full time, but it is not full time for me. Independent artists like me wear all the caps to successfully release professional music for the public ... and keep their day job(s) at the same time.
Q: What does your music do for you?
Answer: It perpetuates my need to create. It teaches me many lessons in life. For heights and depths no words can reach, music is the soul’s own speech.
Q: What do you hope your music does for the listener?
Answer: I hope that my creations enhance the ambience in the listener’s life, and, in doing so, the listener holistically benefits. This kind of music lends to thinking and reflection (aside from relaxation), and I believe that’s a more serious and personal territory for some people. Some don’t like to go there at all. However, I believe that serious things can bring great joy.