One-man orchestra Nick Storring

Host Josh Thorpe and composer Nick Storring listen to and discuss Storring’s music and others. ‘What a Made-up Mind Can Do’ begins with what one might call noise, improvisation, incidental scratches, ambience, and evolves into strange groove on bass, keyboards, wah guitar, talk box, hand percussion. Super lush and drippy.

We also listen to and discuss several of Storring’s recommendations, including Chik White, Plume Girl, Jason Doell, Helga Myhr, and Elza Soares.

Chik White pairs jaw harp with tape manipulations and ocean sounds; Plume Girl brings Hindustani classical music with experimental electronic music and pop sounds; Jason Doell detunes an already wonky piano; Helga Myhr does strange textural stuff with a hardanger fiddle; and Elza Soares’ gritty voice brings Brazilian samba together with dirty pop and post-punk.

Nick Storing in a room
Nick Storring (Photo: Dwight Storring)

Nick Storring is a Toronto-based composer and multi-instrumentalist. Storring has worked with Audiograft Festival, the Esprit Orchestra, Quatuor Bozzini, Arraymusic, the Penderecki String Quartet, and many more. A music journalist, curator, and promoter, Storring now runs Riparian Media, a PR company dedicated to exploratory music. Nick has a recent album out that uses pianos in unusual ways, but today we’re going to listen to some of his music from a few years ago, as well as a number of works from other artists.

Full Bio:

Nick Storring is a Toronto-based composer and multi-instrumentalist. His varied and idiosyncratic body of work spans delicate chamber compositions to meticulously constructed pieces consisting solely of his own overdubbed instrumental performances.

Having been featured been by Oxford UK’s Audiograft Festival, the Esprit Orchestra, and Quatuor Bozzini, his work has also accompanied films and dance by noted directors (Terrance Odette, Ingrid Veninger) and choreographers including Yvonne Ng, Deepti Gupta, Brandy Leary, and Marie-Josée Chartier. He has been commissioned by the likes of lauded pianist Eve Egoyan, veteran ensembles such as Arraymusic and the Penderecki String Quartet, and presenters like Soundstreams and Montréal’s AKOUSMA Festival. His music for ‘ambient gaming environment’ Tentacle travelled with the project worldwide, including to New York’s MoMA in 2011, In 2022 he was invited to participate in A More Beautiful Journey, an app developed to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Toronto Transit Commission that furnished site-specific music pieces paired with particular Toronto transit routes. In 2023 he was a resident at Stockholm’s EMS, where he composed new work using the feedback-drive string instrument the Halldorophone. Storring is also a past winner of the Canadian Music Centre’s Toronto Emerging Composer Award, and the national Jeux De Temps competition for electroacoustic music.

Storring’s sixth commercial release My Magic Dreams Have Lost Their Spell was released by Orange Milk Records in March 2020 to considerable acclaim, garnering praise in major outlets such as the Wire, Exclaim!, Vice China, and elsewhere. His latest release, Music from Wéi 成为 (2022, Orange Milk Records) was touted by PopMatters as “an affirmation of Nick Storring’s status as one of the most creative and exciting experimental artists working today.”