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Conversations with Jordi Nus

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jordi Nus.

Jordi, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
My relationship with music started when I was very young. Even though no one in my family was a musician, when I was four years old, I asked for a violin as my Christmas gift. My mom went to every possible store trying to find a violin toy (this was in 1992 and we lived in a really small village in Spain so you can imagine how challenging that was…!) and she finally ended up in a music store. They told her they didn’t have any “plastic” or toy violins but they showed her some tiny Chinese violins that were very affordable. Lucky for me, she got me one and that’s how it all started! From there, I never stopped playing music even though there were many moments that I thought about quitting. After graduating from the Lleida Conservatory in Violin performance, I decided to focus on writing music and two years later, I was admitted at the Superior Music School of Barcelona Bachelors’ program in Composition. During my last summer before graduation, I took a solo trip around France for a month. With nothing planned besides my starting point, I spent a lot of time in the streets of little villages in the French Bretagne busking and playing music. That experience made me realized I wanted to either travel or to live abroad and, two years later, I moved to New York to pursue a Master’s degree in Film Scoring in NYU. After almost six years in NY, me and my partner (who is originally from LA) decided to move to California to start a new life together in the West Coast, so we bought a used cargo van, we packed everything and we drove all the way from NY to California for a whole week!

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Not at all…! My teen years were really intense because my music studies required a lot of dedication, there were many moments I thought about quitting music but my mother always pushed me to keep going. It wasn’t until I was 19 that I decided I wanted to be a professional musician and that changed my mindset quite a bit. Moving to NY wasn’t easy either, I experienced all the NY challenges: bed bugs, rat infestations, floods, landlord issues… I think I completed all the checklist! But I guess it is the love/hate feeling we all have with this city, it’s such a rollercoaster to live there! Being so for away from my family was also tough sometimes, but I was very lucky to meet and to be surrounded by really good friends who became my second family. Last but not least there are all the visa and legal challenges that all immigrants face. I am in a privileged situation because I started as a student and I was able to then stay as an established artist, however the uncertainty we deal every time we need to renew our visa can be really challenging. Your whole life is pending for months on an administrative decision made in, most of the time, less than 40 minutes.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a composer and violinist. I write music either for films, concerts, theatre… The more diverse the better! These past few years, I’ve been more focused on music for film but I am happy that I’ve been able to still work on concert music every now and then. One of the projects I am more proud of is a piece I wrote on my early twenties. It was a 40 minutes “cantata” (similar to a musical but in concert format) for choir and symphonic orchestra. The project involved over 600 people and I wrote the music, lyrics and story of the whole piece so it was a very personal and fulfilling project, particularly considering that it was early on my composition career. I think something that sets me apart from other composers is the fact that I am a multi-instrumentalist and I can record with many different instruments. Most of the composers working on films rely a lot on samples and sound libraries, which might work great on some situations, but when you are able to record yourself, you can achieve more unique and creative sounds.

What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
I think perseverance and honesty. Unless you are an overnight pop/rock star, music is a really long term career and you have to be patient. Another characteristic that helped me get where I am is getting used to work under pressure and under tight deadlines. When you work on a film, decisions are made until the very last minute so you need to get used to work around the clock and to adjust whatever is needed to make the music work for the project.

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Image Credits

Alba Navarro, Claudia Prat

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