Laurier music grad releases new album

The Jazz Room, Waterloo’s newest music venue, has played host to a wide array of musical genres, contrary to it’s name.  Nick Storring proved an exception to the name at his album release party on Wednesday night, with his brand of experimental music. Armed with a cello, a computer and a plethora of digital gadgets, Nick Storring is a man who really understands sound.

Laurier graduate and experimental composer Nick Storring played to a warmly receptive audience at the album release party, along with local musician Kevin Saltarelli and jazz singer-guitarist THOMAS.

Nick’s portion of the show was by and large a display of improvisation.  While looping ambient whirring clatter with harmonica, subtle synthesizers and percussion falling just short of beat boxing, Nick Storring played an incredible cello.  He ripped sound out of those strings that resembled nothing most had ever heard before.

The audience, while speaking quietly through the opening acts, fell silent for Nick, which is usually the sign of an artist with potent kind of nature; one who can establish a connection with the audience and break the fourth wall.

On Wednesday night however, Nick Storring was not quite that type of artist.

He spent the vast majority of his set strangely isolated behind his computer screen, existing in a little bubble.  For most musical acts, this tactic does not work to keep the audience engaged, but when Nick played, few if any people spoke at all.

Storring could just be the kind of artist who knows what his strengths are, the kind who knows exactly what he is on stage for and no more.  It was an awkward set between songs.

Despite a few minor technical difficulties early in the show, Storring’s music itself was nothing short of brilliant, even if you didn’t get it at all.  Those in attendance are not likely to soon forget the performance. The crowd consisted of many of Laurier’s own music students along with the most avid of local concert goers, art hounds and music geeks.

It is a rare treat to see a crowd so raptured, so attentive towards music they’ve never heard before; music with no hooks, no riffs, no refrains.  Simply sound growing organically at the hands of one baseball cap wearing composer.

Since graduating from Wilfrid Laurier’s music program, Nick has been based out of Toronto, performing with some regularity in Kitchener-Waterloo.

He has acquired plenty of recognition and several awards; most recently, Storring was awarded the Canadian Music Centre’s Toronto Emerging Composer award for his newest release, 2011’s Entracte.

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