Artist Interview: S. Peace Nistades

S. Peace Nistades (b. 1989) is a composer for film, fashion and stage. He has scored numerous films in over six countries worldwide. Among artists he has collaborated are Lisbeth Scott (The Passion of the Christ, Munich), Karen Han (The Hurt Locker, Kung Fu Panda, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End), Gingger Shankar (Charlie Wilson’s War), Jason Charles Miller (Godhead, Diablo III), Mitchell Marlow (Filter), Felicia Day (the Guild, Dragon Age: Redemption) and concert pianist Christopher Janwong McKiggan.

His work has screened in over 30 film festivals worldwide including Cannes Film Festival (France) and can be heard on numerous albums including the classical release Paganimania for Albany Records with reviews stating “the sheer fragile beauty of some passages are miraculous” (Colin Clarke, Fanfare Magazine) and “perfect” (EFilmCritic.com for Dark Woods).

Fall into the Dark is an upcoming album of pieces collected over his first ten years in LA.

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1. How did you get start this project?

Although the beginnings of this project stretch back to 2007 when I first moved to Los Angeles from Thailand to pursue film scoring, it wasn’t until mid-2017 that I decided it would be nice to put together a collection of the personal pieces I’d written over these ten years together into an album.

2. How would you describe your sound?

I’ve worked in a variety of styles and genres over the years on various projects but I would describe my sound in general as a manipulated organic sound. Coming from a classical/instrumental background, I’ve always preferred using raw recordings as my sound sources rather than synths/electronics though I do enjoy layering those in as well.

I love recording traditional instruments in a variety of odd ways, pencils tapping violin strings, bowing a Cumbus (an Iranian banjo) and manipulating those electronically to create interesting grooves, rhythms and colors. On Bieffekterna (Origin), the main pad-like sound that opens the film and runs through it is actually a really really time-stretched piano recording I did.

3. What artists would you say have influenced your style of music?

I’m inspired by a lot of very varied artists. I love Herbert von Karajan and his recordings, particularly of music from the early-late Romantic era. Also Trent Reznor and his singular sonic world. I love Jonsi and his palette of colors and I love Lana Del Rey’s world. I tend to be drawn towards composers and artists who have cultivated a very rich and unique sound-world for their music. James Horner and Tchaikovsky were probably my two earliest influences musically and they still resonate with me to the core today.

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4. Has the rise of YouTube & music streaming helped or hindered you?

Overall I’d say it’s helped in that my music has been able to reach a wider audience than what I think would have been possible without it. Most of my work being in film scores and music for specific projects means that it tends to attract the audience for that film or fashion campaign etc. but not necessarily a wider one. I think algorithms like weekly music recommendations etc. on services like Apple Music and Spotify are great and I personally use them a lot myself to discover new music.

5. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not making music?

I love writing and reading and watching a lot of foreign and independent films. I’m very interested in discovering new voices whether in film, literature or music, that express a culture in a unique and different way from the normal mainstream though I can enjoy that as well. I think we’re in an interesting time where cross-cultural pollination can yield a richer and perhaps more connected point of view in storytelling and in art and it’s been a constant source of inspiration for me particularly because I think it pushes us to really search for our own definitions of who we are, or where we come from and I think that’s very important in any form of art.

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6. What are your future plans musically? Tours?

I’m currently collaborating with concert pianist Christopher McKiggan on a new take on the ‘solo piano album’. It’s been a long process which started about three years ago (I seem to have a knack for projects that gestate over long periods of time) but we’re very close to the final recording stage so that’s what I’m focusing on right now. No tours as of yet, but we’ll see how this ends up.

You can find out more by checking out S. Peace Nistades’ website here.




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