Portraiture, Nathan Siler
Portraiture, Nathan Siler's project, just released their debut LP, Real as Ritual last Friday. You can hear the album in its entirety on Spinner's listening party. In celebration of the release, Portraiture is playing a show at Cake Shop, December 12th, 2012.
"Real as Ritual” is an album a decade in the making. The first recordings were made on a four track when Nathan Siler was a sophomore at Oklahoma City University pursuing a degree in Music Composition with a minor in Vocal Performance. The four track was a refuge; a way to blow off steam from the technical demands of 'serious' composition. After two indie rock bands in Oklahoma City and five years as a professional in the NYC Classical Music scene, the tracks were finally released on November 16, 2012. This slow-burn of a journey for the album has resulted in a collection of songs written in a free and experimental structure and then worked and re-worked throughout several musical phases in songwriter, Nathan Siler’s life.
After his first college band, Empty Suits dissolved, Siler took up playing with friend-of-a-friend, Matthew Alvin Brown, Siler’s High School collaborator Jacob Becannen, and fellow OCU Composition Major, Steven Stark. This is the group that fleshed out the Ritual tracks for live performance. That group dissolved as well, and Nathan Siler continued to nurture the tracks as a break from the professional and academic musical projects he was involved in.
Nathan Siler has now lived in New York for five years. After much time supporting, producing, and touring with other renowned indies such as The Lovely Sparrows, Steve Burns and the Struggle, and Brothers NYC, Siler also earns his living as a classical singer. He’s performed at Carnegie Hall with American Symphony Orchestra and the Collegiate Chorale, is a soloist in the acclaimed chamber choir Musica Viva of New York, and he fosters a close relationship with up and coming composers, singing for many premiers of music in the NYC Classical scene.
With Portraiture, any interaction between classical and pop music is unconscious and unintended. However, with such a strong classically trained foundation, “Real as Ritual” is set apart in from most pop albums coming out today with its technically precise performance and execution. Lyrically, the album is constructed upon Siler’s dense but lithe poetry, which at once self-aggrandizes then waxes humble and advocates for emotional intelligence. It resonates with traces of an adolescence informed by Morrissey, a college career obsessed with Shellac, The Weakerthans, the loosey-goosey lyrics of Pavement, and the arpeggios of early Modest Mouse, and rounded out by a career at the heart of the classical scene in NYC.