Music for Sunsets, the debut full-length record from composer and sound artist Nick Norton, is an ambient electronic voyage that documents Norton’s slow recovery from and acceptance of a life-altering mental health diagnosis in 2020, and also explores artistic methods of interacting with generative technology in friendly, co-creative ways.
Norton was working in live sound and recording when the pandemic hit in 2020. Seeing his musician friends out of work, he put up an online fundraiser with his concert series Equal Sound. It went viral, and while Equal Sound’s Corona Relief Fund distributed over $100,000 to out-of-work musicians, Nick worked himself into a psychotic break that resulted in hospitalization. Doctors diagnosed him with bipolar 1 disorder and, during the manic phase, he ruined his romantic relationship, lost his apartment and business, and spent himself into bankruptcy. After moving in with his mom, the severe depression that normally follows a manic episode set in, eventually returning him to a care facility.
After getting out, Norton started spending his time googling “career change mid 30s” and “longshoreman salary” until stumbling his way into the online certificate program in digital audio post production at Santa Monica College. Before long, an acquaintance hired him to cut sound for a reality show production company, and having to focus on work started to draw him out of his depression.
Norton’s home studio grew alongside his improving mental health. Every new piece of gear, every new library of sounds, and every bit of learning about production necessitated a new musical experiment. The issues would disappear completely whenever he had his head down discovering new sonic worlds to inhabit.
When he had been in inpatient care, one of his therapists had said Norton had to have a project for when he got out, and he always responded “make a record” without believing it. These new pieces became that record. As he wrote Music for Sunsets little by little, it turned into an audio document of his recovery, self-acceptance, and musical discoveries, as well as, eventually, an exploration of his newly found, happier world.
released September 15, 2023
Dedicated to my mom, Lillie, and the people who stuck through.
This is for me, and for you.
Written, performed, recorded, and produced by Nick Norton
Mixing and additional production by Lewis Pesacov at Ahata Sound
Mastered by Andrew Noseworthy
Saxophones on Waiting for Pho by Garrett Wingfield
Violas on Cloud Ritual by Diana Wade
Vocals on Friends by Universed (Cristina Lord)
Graphic design by Traci Larson
Cover photo by Brandon J. Rolle
Cover photo background by a bunch of AI stuff (neat)
Tacos during mixing by Guisados and Sonoratown
Released September 15, 2023, by people places records
Published by Bathysphere Music (ASCAP)
supported by 4 fans who also own “Music for Sunsets”
So much going on in the background as well as the melodies.Like looking at a river-first you see the reflections and water plants on the top, then the fish and other swimmers, then the stones and sand at the bottom. suedances