It's a Soundcheck first today as we chat to S. Peace Nistades, a man who is not only a seriously talented musician, but also a renowned composer for film, fashion and beyond.
With work that spans countries, genres and media, Nistades is a unique talent who can simultaneously transcend and convey emotion with a flourish of musical and technical brilliance.
His film work reads like a film nerd's dream, including recent work on 'The Greatest Showman', 'Justice League' and 'Home Again', but his collaborative work is just merely scratching the surface of this sublimely gifted artist. It's his compositions that truly stand out amongst the Hollywood glitz and glamour, with his original works and performances taking an ethereal quality that continuously explore the depths of human existence and experience.
With a whole wide world of creativity to conquer in 2018, it's a great pleasure to share a tiny insight into the world of S. Peace Nistades as he chats past, present and future and his other huge passion outside of the music world.
NAME: S. Peace Nistades.
LOCATION: Los Angeles, USA
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF: I'm primarily a film composer though I also work on solo albums and collaborate with artists in various styles and genres. I recently released a song, 'Fall into the Dark', which I co-wrote with singer-songwriter Terra Naomi and currently working on a new take on the solo piano album with concert pianist Christopher McKiggan.
WHAT'S YOUR MOST RECENT PERSONAL PROJECT BEEN? Los Angeles Pieces (2007-2017)
HOW DID THIS PROJECT COME TO BE? As you can probably guess from the title, this is a collection of personal pieces over these past ten years in LA since I moved here from Thailand in 2007. In a way, it's a kind of musical photo album of the adventures I've had and the different personal moments for me. Of course, as is the nature of standalone music (with no lyrics and no integration with drama, opera, film etc.) I get to keep the specifics of these experiences to myself and hopefully the audience can connect to it on a purely emotional level.
WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR INFLUENCES? All sorts. My all-time favorite composer is Beethoven mainly for the arc of his musical life and the fact thathe is one of the only composers to have pretty much shifted a whole era in music from the classical to theromantic period. I can't think of anyone else alive or dead who has been that instrumental in this major away. I love the conductor Herbert von Karajan. I love Trent Reznor. I love Max Richter and Lana Del Rey.
DESCRIBE YOUR BAND IN THREE WORDS: Nostalgic. Romanticism. Journey.
WHAT'S THE MOST MEMORABLE CONCERT YOU'VE PLAYED SO FAR AND WHY? The last concert I ever performed as a concert pianist was of Rachmaninov's Prelude Op. 23 No. 4 in D back in 2007. That was a memorable one for me. It was at a convention of Southeast Asian young musicians and apparently no pianist from Thailand had been selected before me so that was a huge honor.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE SONG OF YOURS? Hm that's a tricky one. Probably 'Journey East' from this album because it charts the journey of a young boy growing up in the countryside who dreams of the big city and a new life, gets that chance to do so and through his adventures realizes where home really is and eventually returns home but as a new man, a man all his own and out of the shadow of his childhood influences. It's also about the relationship between a father and son which is important to me. Essentially it's my own musical 'Great Expectations' set in Asia.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON RIGHT NOW? ANY NEW THINGS ON THE HORIZON? Apart from the piano album I mentioned earlier, I'm also working on an album of music that will exist in the world of André Hedetoft's upcoming feature film 'Finns Här Några Snälla Barn' as well as an album compilation of the four Emily Daccarett fashion collections I've written music for over the years.
IF YOU WEREN'T PLAYING MUSIC, WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU BE DOING? Writing. Writing was one of my first loves and over the years I've continued to write poetry and short stories from time to time, particularly when a major event happens in my life that inspires me to. Writing can communicate in a very specific way that music can never quite do, and vice versa, music has an emotional directness all its own. I love the two for its distinctive possibilities in communication. I'm currently working on my first novel which is a gargantuan but very personal endeavor for me.
CATS OR DOGS? Hm I love both, but probably dogs? I love the companionship one can have with a dog.
WOULD S. PEACE NISTADES SURVIVE A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE? I've never really thought about it. Probably for a little while then I may end up dead. The big question for me if that were to happen would be, why live?
AND FINALLY, WHAT'S THE GREATEST SONG OF ALL TIME AND WHY? Well the most personal piece of music (of all time) for me is the Adaghietto from Mahler's FifthSymphony. I first heard it in (or it first registered to me significantly) Visconti's film of Thomas Mann's 'Death in Venice' and maybe it because I loved both the novella and the film so much but it was the first time I felt a piece of music really truly represent me, deep down. I've never come across another piece of music quite this close to who I am.
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BY TIANA SPETER