Nathan Siler is a New York City-based composer, performer, orchestrator and producer. His passions as a musician are equally divided among playing in rock bands, singing classical music in choirs and as a soloist, recording, engineering, and producing for classical, pop, and music theater recordings, and composing original music within the classical idiom. He is a multi-instrumentalist specializing in bass (upright and electric), guitar (acoustic and electric), banjo, balalaika, accordion, and drums.
Siler’s original songs are frequently performed by Portraiture, which began as a guitar pop band. Their two albums “Real as Ritual” and “Cruel Yellow” can be purchased on iTunes, Amazon, or CD Baby, and can be streamed on Spotify. Although Portraiture was created as a mouthpiece for Siler’s original music, the band has evolved into an ensemble with multiple contributors and guest musicians (including composers Shawn Bartels and Warren Loy). Portraiture released their second album in August of 2017 entitled “Cruel Yellow” which is compact, punchy, and maximally produced within the confines of guitar, bass, drums, and percussion. The album was recorded and engineered by Lorenzo Wolff at Restoration Sound in Bushwick, Brooklyn, mixed by Aaron Bastinelli at Converse Rubber Tracks in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and mastered by Garrett Haines at Treelady Studios in Pittsburgh, PA. When Siler asked his acquaintance Tyson Meade (former impresario and singer for bands Chainsaw Kittens and Defenestration) for his thoughts on “Cruel Yellow,” he remarked: “At times, it’s as if lunch at Bergdorf Goodman’s could turn into a Caligula style orgy, fueled by cocaine, champagne and Sweet Jane standing on the corner.”
ENGINEERING, ORCHESTRATION, AND PRODUCTION
He is currently finishing an entire season of original music for a kid-friendly show that stars a bunch of puppets called “Licorice Loft” (Season 1 can be seen on YouTube). “Licorice Loft” is the brainchild of Oryans Bellt and was recently featured in the Channel 101 film festival at UCBeast in The East Village.
In addition, he is orchestrating an engineering the demo album for an upcoming music theater show “17/27/37” by singer/songwriter Margaret Tran.
At the end of 2017, he composed the theme for the podcast “Reverence Road” hosted by Audette Fulbright). In episode 2, Nathan is interviewed about how his spirituality and musical background developed.
Some of his favorite works as a producer/orchestrator or engineer include:
- “Union” by Gottschalk – composed a superimposed barbershop quartet over the piano piece for the BAM show “Jules Verne: From the Earth to the Moon,”
- “A New Kind of Hero” by Caroline Miller (a one-act educational children’s musical about saving the environment),
- Original score for the feature-length film “The Widowers” directed by Jonathan Scott Chinn and written by Richard Lovejoy (available on iTunes and Amazon),
- A thirteen-song suite of orchestrations for symphony commissioned by Grammy award-winning “Kindie-rock” band Sugar Free Allstars (which have been performed at Oklahoma City Philharmonic and Winston-Salem Philharmonic),
- Arrangements, production, and engineering of a musical for young people called “Theo and the Magic Road” by Matthew Alvin Brown, premiered by RocKademy Experiment at Lyric Theater of Oklahoma
- Transcribed every instrumental part of the 1993 Album of the Year “Spilt Milk” by Jellyfish [also for use with the RokAdemy experiment]
For the last eight years, Siler has made a bulk of his living as a classical singer. He made his New York Philharmonic debut in November with Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 5 “Kaddish” conducted by Leonard Slatkin. He frequently performs at Carnegie Hall with American Symphony Orchestra and The Bard Fesival Chorale. He is a member of the chamber choir Musica Viva NY and performs every Sunday at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church (both under the direction of Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez). Siler is an advocate for new music and enjoys singing for recordings with The Composer’s Choir under the direction of Dan Shaw in New Haven, CT, and Harold Rosenbaum’s Virtuoso Singers in NYC. He has performed every summer at the illustrious Bard Summerscape for the last seven years and has been in the opera chorus of a number of rarely performed operas, including “Oresteia” by Sergei Taneyev, “Euryanthe” by Carl Maria von Weber, “The Wreckers” by Dame Ethel Smyth, “Iris” by Pietro Mascagni, and “Dimitrij” by Antonin Dvorak. This year, he will return to perform in the opera “The Demon” by Anton Rubinstein. This March, Nathan will perform in the rarely performed opera “Intolleranza: 1960” by Luigi Nono with the Bard Festival Chorale.
Though classically trained, Siler’s first love was rock and pop music. He began playing bass at the age of 13 and has been in rock bands since 1990. He has toured with renowned indie bands such as The Lovely Sparrows and Steve Burns and The Struggle. He now belongs to the NY progressive metal band Nevereven, for which he plays bass and sings backing vocals. In his spare time, Nathan enjoys watching TV, camping, eating ice cream, exercising, and playing video games (not necessarily simultaneously or in that order).