We spend a lot of time looking back at the music of past composers but this time, we’re looking to the present. Composer Nathaniel Stookey recently released an album of his new work called ZIPPERZ and we are absolutely in LOVE with it! Let’s just say, it’s not your standard classical music experience just like Hamilton wasn’t a standard Broadway experience. Scroll down to see why!
After listening to ZIPPERZ for the first time during a previous Red Curtain Addict Episode, (featuring Nathaniel) we just had to know more about the story that inspired its creation. Lucky for us, we got to attend his album release party in San Francisco and had the opportunity to pull him aside for a few questions…
What inspired you to write ZIPPERZ?
A friend of mine, Dan Harder, sent me some of his poems called zipper poems. He named them this because there are two poems on each side of a page that you can read separately or zip together, by alternating lines, to form a whole new poem.
(Here’s an example)
In music, we have something similar called counterpoint where two completely independent musical lines are played at the same time. When they’re combined, the lines fit together to create something that’s bigger than the sum of their parts, which I’ve always thought was one of the coolest things about music. It was hard to resist the temptation to combine Dan’s counterpoint with mine.
What is ZIPPERZ about?
ZIPPERZ tells the story of two singers at a club. Night after night, they put on the same boy-meets-girl routine but one night the chemistry between them starts to feel more real than imagined. Then they go backstage for intermission… We, as the audience, hear their internal dialog with themselves, “Should I ask her out” “Does he like me?” “Should I ask her out?” “Does he do this with all the other girls?” and so on.
When you listen to the album, I guarantee that you’ll laugh out loud! It’s a lot of fun. You’ll have to listen until the end to see if they can overcome their fears and give this romance a shot.
How is this different from your other works?
The guys who mixed ZIPPERZ also work with Childish Gambino so, even though the piece is for full symphony orchestra and can be played 100% live, it sounds more at times like a pop or hip-hop album.
I wrote ZIPPERZ to push the boundaries of what people think of as orchestral music. When you get right down to it, the symphony orchestra is the biggest live band on earth, and there’s literally nothing it can’t do.
ZIPPERZ was designed to be a full musical experience versus a song by song soundtrack because it’s a story. It’s like an audio book set to music and is honestly the perfect album for a commute! The album is 45 minutes from start to finish. You can find it on iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify.
We can’t emphasize enough how much we love Nathaniel’s new album, ZIPPERZ! Let us know what you think in the comments and check out his other projects here.
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