Tag Archives: compositions

Sometimes to Destroy, One Must First Create Part 1 (2014) for Mobius Trio

Sometimes to Destroy, One Must First Create Part 1 (2014) 9 min.
for three electric guitars. Composed by Nick Vasallo.

Performed at Cal Poly Pomona Recital Hall, March 14, 2014.
Audio recorded by William Wright-Hooks.
Video Directed by Gabriel Zuniga.

Performed by Mobius Trio
Robert Nance, Mason Fish, and Matthew Holmes-Linder.

Program Notes
Composed from January 30th-February 2nd 2014. In this piece I wanted to dissect and destroy recent motifs that have appeared in my writing.

Dark Matter I. Time Began with an Explosion (2010) for Mobius Trio

Dark Matter
I. Time Began with an Explosion (2010)
 5 min.
for three electric guitars.

Performed at Cal Poly Pomona Recital Hall, March 14, 2014.
Audio recorded by William Wright-Hooks.
Video Directed by Gabriel Zuniga.

Performed by Mobius Trio
Robert Nance, Mason Fish, and Matthew Holmes-Linder.

Program Notes
The birth of the universe. Dark matter is undetectable, but whose presence can be inferred from gravitational effects on visible matter. I thought of writing this piece when I learned the Japanese concept of ma, which means “the silence between the sounds.”

ELEMENTS OF METAL: I. Collapsing Obsidian Sun (2009) for string quartet

ELEMENTS OF METAL: I. Collapsing Obsidian Sun (2009) 7 min.
for string quartet

Performed by Friction Quartet
Kevin Rogers – violin
Otis Harriel – violin
Clio Tilton – viola
Doug Machiz – cello

Filmed and edited by Taylor Rankin.
Audio recording by Zach Miley.

Recorded at San Francisco Conservatory of Music September 1, 2013.

Program Notes:
Coming from a Metal background I tend to gravitate towards aural effects that evoke the same sensations I feel when listening to it. I knew that the three string players that were going to perform this piece are virtuosos and this is what inspired me to write something that “shreds.” At the same time, I wanted to pay tribute to the three Metal bands that I am closest to: Antagony, All Shall Perish and Hacksaw to the Throat. I found three distinct musical trademarks from each band and used recombinant techniques to form the piece. The title comes from the opening lines to Hacksaw to the Throat’s “Cascading Down.” I listened to the song repeatedly when I composed “Collapsing Obsidian Sun,” and my friend (fellow UCSC graduate student [in Math] who composed it) even showed me how to play it on guitar. Its a musical setting to lyrics about what would happen to the Earth if the Sun became a supernova.

Pages from Vasallo - Elements of Metal p1

Elements of Metal (2009)
for string quartet
Full Score (Digital)
$70.00





ELEMENTS OF METAL: II. Omnes Perituri (2011) for string quartet

ELEMENTS OF METAL: II. Omnes Perituri (2011) 6 min.
for string quartet

Performed by Friction Quartet
Kevin Rogers – violin
Otis Harriel – violin
Clio Tilton – viola
Doug Machiz – cello

Filmed and edited by Taylor Rankin.
Audio recording by Zach Miley.
Recorded at San Francisco Conservatory of Music September 1, 2013.

Program Notes
I have never written a purely string ensemble or string quartet piece. Though after requests from the resident ensembles at SUNY and UCSC I began to hear the same requests: “Make it fun to play and Metal.” Knowing that I was in Death Metal band since a teenager and all of my music in some sense has strong Metal aesthetics, they weren’t asking me to go out on a limb. My goal with this piece was to satisfy their requests but also create a work that was challenging to listen to (despite it not being technically demanding). “Omnes Perituri” translates to “All Shall Perish” – a prominent band in the extreme metal scene for whom this work was originally written.