Magnum Nadal is a Masters student in Composition. After attending BCCM for an undergraduate composition degree, Magnum held the program in such high regard that he decided to return to CSULB for his post-baccalaureate degree. He credits BCCM faculty for many of his successes and opportunities.
Magnum enjoys “wearing several hats” while composing and is comfortable writing and performing in a variety of settings. Many of his works are based in multimedia interactions and merging interdisciplinary art. Recent compositions for multimedia include works for the Zotfest Film Festival, student animations, dance collaborations, video installations, professional game composing, and sound design for commercial releases (credits include the Android app game Stack Attack and The Last Arrow, which features music and sound by several BCCM composers with a projected release at the end of April 2015).
His compositions for music performance spaces and concert halls include premieres and readings by ensembles such as the VEDA Quartet, the SoCal Brass Consortium, the 4 piece Cincinatti-based ensemble Conundrum, The Definiens Project, Choral Arts Initiative, the Robin Cox Ensemble, and our very own Dr. John Barcellona. His recent writing forays include blending of unlike styles and conceptual art pieces.
As a multi-instrumentalist and singer, he has had the honor of performing at Carnegie Hall, the 53rd Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, Steamers Fullerton, the Banff Rocky Mountain Festival, Kimball Arts Festival, and Star Wars In Concert, as well as performances with the roots/rock reggae group Better Chemistry and artists such as Pato Banton. He is active as part of an avant-garde/hip hop-EDM fusion duo with DJ “Thatz” Yanit, as well as a jazz pianist and educator.
Why did you choose composition?
Rather than simply interpret the works of others, I decided to take it on myself to create works of my own. I found the composition instructors at CSULB more than facilitating in helping me reach my goals.
What were your first musical influences?
I was a busy, hyper child. My parents found that a cassette player would calm me. I played my dad’s Elvis tapes, over and over, rewinding and re-listening. As a family, we frequently went to the movies thus the scores of John Williams and Jerry Goldsmith were influential. Also, my first classical piano teacher was a female jazz player—so I got both sides.
How did you come to BCCM?
Through word of mouth, really. My professors, Bruce Rogers, director of choral studies and Robert Bowen, director of Music Theory at Mt. San Antonio College encouraged me to apply to CSULB.
What kind of music do you listen to?
... trip hop... It has similarities to orchestral music both in coloring and visceral spacing. There is a sonic space for every sound to live in.
Who do you admire, from the past or present, artistically?
Right now I have been watching the performances and reading the works of Gil Scot Heron. His strong social activism was reflected in his poetry and music. His concerts brought about political awareness. I would like to do the same—with my own music.
What is “fun” to you?
Crafting. I enjoy making things. And sculpting, which I have recently taken up again. Many compositions include and or/require 3-D elements for complete expression.