We had the good fortune of connecting with Nigel Deane and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Nigel, can you tell us about an impactful book you’ve read and why you liked it or what impact it had on you?
I recently just finished Paulo Freire’s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” for the first time. As an educator, especially doing independent contract work outside of the public and private education systems, I’m in a position where I can help provide some of the tools that students can use to empower themselves, but it takes a lot of experience, reflection, and self-examination to do an effective job. This book really put my role in perspective, and also had me reflecting on my own life and education’s role in it. After reading Freire’s book I’m inspired to seek out more revolutionary pedagogical thinkers and continue evolving as a teacher. I definitely recommend reading it, for anyone interested in social justice! (not just teachers)

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Recently, I’ve been most excited about the thing that got me started as a composer in the first place, namely writing for string orchestra. As a violinist and violist, I’ve been really enjoying creating string sections of myself on recording software and creating complex, organic sonic textures while experimenting with different playing techniques. I started writing for string orchestra my freshman year of high school, when my orchestra directors started a composition competition, and ended up writing a string orchestra piece and having it performed every year, which were some of my most formative experiences as a composer.

I like to write music that develops in a unique way over time, because I think that can have a deep impact on listeners. The biggest challenge I’ve faced in my life has been depression and social anxiety, which were often crippling and kept me from forming any fulfilling social relationships. When those things were at their worst, I would find comfort in music that had this quality of developing in a unique way, with longer forms that were complicated and unpredictable, but somehow felt organic and cohesive. I spent a lot of time digging into certain pieces and trying to understand why they gave me a sense of comfort. After all of this time studying, I’ve developed an intuition of how to accomplish this unpredictable but organic sort of development in my compositions and interpretations of pieces, and now I can write and perform pieces of music that provide me with this same sense of comfort, which has been very exciting for me! I hope that the people listening to my music can experience some semblance of the joy I experience when creating it.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
As things open back up, I’m very excited to once again go to concerts by wasteLAnd music, and to head to Monk Space for the shows there as well. I also have a lot of fond memories of the trails near the Mount Wilson Observatory, and of the Santa Monica beaches on weekday mornings, whenever I want to have a quieter peaceful time outdoors. Food-wise it’s pretty hard to go wrong, especially living in the Echo Park/Silver Lake area, but it’s also really hard to pick a favorite. Some recent food faves have been Woon on Temple Street and Besties Vegan Paradise on Fountain Ave (it’s a little vegan grocery store with products from a lot of smaller businesses, so it’s an awesome place to pick up new things you might not find elsewhere). Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I owe a lot of my success and artistic development to the community of creators at CalArts. On a practical level, the members of this community are great about hooking each other up with gigs and opportunities, out of an awareness that that’s what’s required of us in order to live and thrive despite LA real estate.

On an artistic level, I have been challenged and demanded to find a balance of openness, curiosity, energy, critique, and social awareness, not just in service of my artistic practice, but much more importantly, in service of how I live my life. I think the best part of the community for me is that this challenge never ends. I still find myself in an incredibly dynamic atmosphere full of different opinions, outlooks, and values, and I have to somehow find my own place within all of it.

Website: https://nigeldeane.bandcamp.com/

Instagram: @nigeldeane.93

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3kWOXSLhpM-sZkWPiJWleA

Other: https://moriistringquartet.bandcamp.com/releases

Image Credits
Pete Agraan, Carly Otness, Liz Jernegan Samberg

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.