Nick Norton (photo by Lindsey Best)
UCSB composition alumnus Nick Norton ‘18 has been appointed to the Music Department faculty at Cal Poly Pomona, where he began teaching courses in music technology and songwriting this August.
“I am already having a blast teaching at Cal Poly Pomona! In Introduction to Music Technology I'm helping students with sampling, synth, and live performance projects in Ableton Live and notation in Sibelius; in Songwriting I've got a number of students who are wonderful musicians and new to writing lyrics and a number who are wonderful poets but entirely new to writing chord progressions and musical structures. Having them in the same room is making for some extremely fruitful and sometimes unpredictable artistic experiences and learning,” said Norton of his new teaching experience.
An active composer and performer, Norton recently received a commission from pianist Mark Robson to write a solo piano piece to commemorate the centenary of composer Claude Debussy’s death. Robson invited Norton and eleven other composers to participate in his Debussy Project by writing short responses to Debussy’s twelve piano études. Norton based his work, Étude avant l’arrêt du temps, on Debussy’s ninth etude in the set, Étude 9 pour les notes repêtées. All twelve original pieces were premiered earlier this month at the Colburn School’s Zipper Hall in Los Angeles by Robson and, in the case of Norton’s piece, pianist Vicki Ray, as well.
A New Classic LA review of Norton’s work noted that “Norton’s response [to Debussy's 9th etude] utilized two pianos (Vicki Ray joined Robson on stage for this) for spacious, overlapping textures that in their freedom managed to capture something of Debussy’s penchant for fleeting sentimentality, that return later as tinted, softly-distorted memories.”
Norton received his PhD in Composition from UC Santa Barbara this summer. Next up on his calendar, a performance of his Slow Earth for guitar and electronics by Giacomo Baldelli at Festival Aperto in Reggio Emilia, Italy on September 29th.
Learn more about Norton at nickwritesmusic.com.
September 20, 2018 - 12:32pm