Faith in Ailao Mountain – Finding Faith

Faith in Ailao Mountain is the first documentary I’ve written music for. It examines the cost of China’s one-child policy on the caregivers whose job it was to carry out the policy. It is a personal story between the filmmaker, Zhang Ci, and her mother, who was one such caregiver. The documentary is set in the Ailao Mountains in Yunnan Province where many people …

NickFaith in Ailao Mountain – Finding Faith

Ex Machina: How Sound Links A.I. to Atomic Weapons

Have you ever wondered how sound influences your experience of a film? Beyond dialog, loud sound effects, or prominent music, people often don’t pay much attention to sound when watching a film. Instead, they tend to focus on the visual dimension of film: acting, set design, lighting, photography, and so on. But sound is a vitally important tool for the …

NickEx Machina: How Sound Links A.I. to Atomic Weapons

18 Birds in a Winter Sky

This song was inspired by a dream I had in which I was walking through a snowy landscape, alone beneath a dark, foreboding sky. I caught a glimpse of a flock of black feathered birds high above the clouds. As I watched them glide silently through the winter sky, I heard music. At that moment, I woke up with the …

Nick18 Birds in a Winter Sky

Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night

One evening early in 2009 my wife played me a podcast of the actor John Lithgow recorded on the PBS show Bill Moyers Journal. During the show he recited several poems, but I was struck by one in particular – “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” by the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. The poem resonated with me, particularly …

NickDo Not Go Gentle into That Good Night

Resurrection

Resurrection features my music and the soaring, captivating vocals of Akasa. Through her mesmerizing, powerful performance, Akasa lifts the song to an exalted level, her voice working its healing power on the listener. Akasa’s talent is a rare gift, and it is beautifully showcased in this song. About Akasa Akasa is a singer, songwriter, performance artist, and conceptualist of positive-message …

NickResurrection

Soundtrack 2011.11.a

Ableton Live’s capability to treat audio like elastic and sync up sets of tracks together, or allow real-time improvisation using clips of music make it an incredibly popular tool for DJs and remix producers. Although I have used Live in that way, what I love most about Live is its sound design capabilities. Often I’ll just dive in, create rich …

NickSoundtrack 2011.11.a

It’s Real (Intro Cue)

The owner of a coffee shop is quietly serving a line of customers eagerly awaiting their morning cup. Suddenly two menacing figures materialize at the register. The look on their faces means only one thing: something terrible is about to happen. And then one draws a gun. They demand all the money from the register. But there’s something amiss here. …

NickIt’s Real (Intro Cue)