We were lucky to catch up with Nathan Felix recently and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Nathan, thanks for joining us today. Can you talk to us about a project that’s meant a lot to you?
My 6-Piano Project has been the most meaningful project to date for me because of the donation component that benefits the community and the unique artistic presentation. The impetus behind the 6-Piano Project was to bring contemporary classical music to new and underserved listeners, while creating concrete benefits for local schools and community programs.
Here is how it works. I collect and restore pianos via Craigslist or by donation – converting pianos considered “trash” into “treasures.” The restored pianos are used in a night of performances by local artists, concluding with my six piano compositions. These works are specifically written for six pianos in which the audience sits in the middle of the performance space with each piano strategically positioned along the walls, creating a surround-sound experience. Following the event, the restored pianos are donated to local schools and community groups to support music education.
I first introduced the 6-Piano Project in the Rundberg, an underserved neighborhood in North Austin, TX, in November of 2015. The project drew local and national attention, and a short film documenting the event was later featured on PBS NewsHour. The 6-Piano Project has since been commissioned in San Antonio, Barcelona, Melbourne, Houston and Orlando.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
Grew up in Austin. Self-taught guitarist. Rejected from music school. So I started a band. Got signed. Toured the world. Got bored. One day after a band fight, I discovered classical music. I taught myself how to read and write music. Wrote my first symphony. Since then, I’ve been on this path that has evolved from scoring films to writing opera, to now presenting classical music in unique ways such as a ‘silent’ opera, 6-pianos in surround sound, an opera on a bus and more! It only interests me if it’s exciting, experimental and pushing boundaries.
Let’s talk about resilience next – do you have a story you can share with us?
The overall theme of my story revolves around being self-taught. It started with guitar. In 2013, after seven years of touring and playing in a band I decided to give it up to pursue classical music so I taught myself how to read and write music by going to the library. The “classical music” world wasn’t very inviting so I continued to grind and carve out space on my own for my career. I’ve created my own path with a little luck, determination and ingenuity. In 2018, I wanted to start writing opera and I followed the same blueprint I established way back in 2013.
Is there mission driving your creative journey?
To create truly unique experiences in opera and classical music while telling minority stories.
- Website: www.Electrochestral.com
- Instagram: @NathanNoise
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/thenoiserevival
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/njfelix/
- Twitter: @NathanNoisew
- Youtube: www.YouTube.com/NathanFelixTV
- Other: Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0ytAbJV6r3ZLBLyqjRWfOQ?si=pf6w3mlTT5ScxgcVao4HpA