S. Peace Nistades is a composer for film and the stage, creating music for quite an array of content over the years. His latest works being put into a collection of sorts titled "Los Angeles Pieces (2007-2017)". But with more projects in the works, there is no doubt that he will continue to create music following wherever it takes him next. S. Peace Nistades himself discusses his music works and what other plans and projects are in the works!
1. Please tell us about the history of your project?
This project is an accumulation of the past ten years of my life since I moved here to Los Angeles from Thailand to pursue music and film. All the pieces have a personal connection to a time and place over the years and I wanted it to express the kind of wonderful, cock-eyed adventure I've had here so far.
2. What’s the origin of the album title?
In the end I wanted to go with a simple title that could make the album feel like a sort of collection of poems or a photo album, Los Angeles Pieces (2007-2017).
3. Where are you based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local acts you could recommend?
I'm based in Los Angeles but my work takes me (more virtually than physically) to many countries. I've worked with filmmakers and artists in over seven countries and I tend to follow certain music movements rather than specific scenes. For example, the rise in the neo-classical minimalist movement of composers such as Max Richter and Johann Johannsson (he left us too soon, rest in peace) has been a huge inspiration to me. In LA, I love acts like Zane Carney and anything conducted by Gustavo Dudamel or Esa Pekka Salonen with the LA Phil. I had the opportunity a few years back to sit in on a dress rehearsal of Dudamel conducting Mozart's Don Giovanni and that was very special; definitely my favorite of his operas.
4. How would you describe your style?
Many people have described my music as cinematic and I can understand why. The musical grammar that seems most native to me tends to be an eclectic blend of the late romantic style, the golden era of film music with elements of modern pop/rock all mixed in and produced from a studio-production perspective. I love blending organic instruments and sound sources with electronic processing but ending up with something that feels transparent, like it all belongs in that same world. In the end it's about trying to find the harmony (no pun intended) between the choice of musical grammar and the choice of colors and I try my best to find a way for them to co-exist and for the audience to hopefully enjoy the music and not let the placement or juxtaposition of these elements take them out of the experience.
5. What have you released so far and what can someone expect from your works?
Up until this latest album, most of what I've released are various scores for films I've scored and artist collaborations over the years. Because I come from heavy roots in storytelling, particularly in literature and film, I hope that my music, whether it's a score for a film, fashion collection, or a solo album, can carry with it a sense of story and a narrative arc that will propel the audience through.
6. Do you have any new music in the works?
I'm currently working on three different albums; a collaboration with concert pianist Christopher McKiggan on a new take on the "solo piano album", a score album that will exist within the world of filmmaker André Hedetoft's Finns Här Några Snälla Barn and a collection of the past four Emily Daccarett fashion collections I've written music for.
7. How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?
I do enjoy performing but most of my work revolves around the studio and behind the (cinema) screen. I did a show last year for the launch of Emily Daccarett's new fashion collection of music I'd written for that project as well as our other collaborations and that was fun but so far I don't have plans for any upcoming shows or tours yet. But who knows, if the right project comes around I'd love to get back out there. I have a few ideas in mind for a blend of acoustic and electronics on stage so we'll see how that goes.
8. What plans do you have for the future as a band?
Though I don't have a band in the traditional sense, I do have constant collaborators I work with who are like an extended musical family to me and I definitely have a few projects I'm toying with where I'd like to bring everyone back together on a larger scale work.
9. Where can we listen to your music and where can we buy your stuff?
All my music is available on iTunes and Spotify and through my website: www.nistades.com.
10. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?
Music for me has always been the best retainers of emotional memories. I've always kept my emotional diaries within tracks and albums (I think most people do) since I was a child and re-listening to music can put me back completely within that headspace. I find it more direct than re-reading a journal entry or looking through old photographs because as you listen (and I tend to obsessively listen to a song or two at a time), you tend to graft and distill everything around you into it; the way the sun shone on your arm when you heard those first chords, the whisper of the breeze around you when that first violin note rang out, the smell of grass on the hill on a hot summer's day, the sadness and melancholic nostalgia you felt looking out across the lake with its quite shimmer of orange and blue. Re-listening to that piece of music is like the key to unlocking that moment in time and reliving it no matter where you are now in life. It really is one of the most convincing forms of time travel I've yet experienced, in a different way than a great book or film can. So I hope that my music can function in a similar way for people and that they can return to it to relive those memories they had listening to my music as I have listening to the music of others.