Tim Nelson is a New England-based film composer, sound designer and multi-instrumentalist session musician/producer. He has since 2007 been a frequent collaborator with award-winning filmmakers/animators the Quay Brothers.
Nelson's film music has been compared to that of Zdeněk Liška, Alan Splet, Bernard Herrmann, Krzysztof Komeda and Toru Takemitsu. After touring nationally as lead guitarist with Heavens to Murgatroid (then on Minneapolis-based Prospective Records), Nelson traded in the busy schedule of live performances to focus on studio work and in addition to appearing on recordings with other artists, has released seven albums on the Nimyonta label (formerly known as Nimbletunes)....
Although he claims to be a virtuoso on exactly zero instruments, Nelson draws upon a widely diverse sonic arsenal. Instruments that he has played on recordings include (but are not limited to) a plethora of guitarlike instruments (fretted, fretless, steel, nylon, electric, acoustic, bass, baritone, resonator, lap & pedal steel, normal & extended range), cello, viola, flutes (boehm, shakuhachi, suling, ocarina, tarka, quena, native american, bansuri, recorders, etc.), circuit-bended things, sitar, tanpura, oud, electrojawari, siamese carcajou, mandola, ukelin, mandolin, bouzouki (a Greek one modified with a sitar-style jawari bridge and a Romanian one strung Celtic-style), theremin, didgeridu, yueh chin, dulcimer, hurdy-gurdy, baglama saz, cura saz, medieval smallpipes, cumbus, pipa, kemence, mellotron, Nellotron, kazooka, organ, vintage analog synths, piano, banjo, swarmandala, the occasional vocal, tseung, door harp, mbira, dumbek, bongo, djembe, zither, drumkit, trumpet, clarinet, cymbals, wind-up toys, shortwave radios, walkie-talkies and microcassettes into electric guitar pickups, bells, chimes and so forth, usually sent through an absurd amount of of circuitry…
Miscellaneous Reviews and Comments:
"Tim Nelson makes strangely wonderful music on wonderfully strange instruments!" - Sean Byrne (The Twin Atlas)
[Tim Nelson's music] "settles like an impermanent dust on useless objects no longer being catalogued by oblivion." - The Quay Brothers
""Through the Weeping Glass" benefits mightily from the explorative and evocative music of composer Timothy Nelson." – Stephen Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Spellbinding…" – Steve Dollar, The Wall Street Journal
"Tim Nelson is always amazing. Always innovative. Always something inspiring." – Marlene Richey
"Tim Nelson is one of the most impressive and creative musicians I've run across in my travels. He is ceasely inventive and has no fear of stepping outside of the box to create something that is brand new and cutting edge... He also has a great knack for innovative electronic and physical techniques to create an astonishing arsenal of sounds for both his artistic projects and his professional studio work." - Rick Walker (producer/composer/multi-instrumentalist)
"Tim Nelson is one of the lucky few who truly sees music in a different light, using a myriad of instrumentation to accurately interpret each song's detailed textures and contours, as a photographer would use different lenses to capture the tiniest details. In that regard, Nelson's work is a macro lens that captures the nectar on a bee's legs after pollination." - Marty England (Pondering Judd)
"Tim uses the entire world for his sonic palette. Not just the musical styles but the very musical instruments themselves. His is ambient music that is interesting and moving, rather than a backdrop for something more important, and contains no dairy products whatsoever. From Akron to Arabia, Africa to Ankor Wat, his music is sometimes synthesis and other times distilate--always a journey. Often it is his very own unique aural species, familiar yet exotic, smooth on the outside and dynamicly complex within. Tim knows what he is doing and does it with enthusiasm, open-mindedness, and an ongoing thirst for new sounds and combinations thereof... Yikes." - Butch Heilshorn (5 Balls of Power, Jim Jones & the Guyanas, BobHouse, Hemicuda, Moonking, PlayHard Records)
"Some think of Tim Nelson as a guitarist, others might say a player of all things with strings. But I hold a different picture of Nelson's main axe: it is a cauldron. Whether in live performance or on the studio floor, he stirs home-grown sound sources into boiling concoctions not entirely of this earth. Dare I say "wizard-like", he wields heat, he moves cold with electronic spells, secret spells, which, in turn, enhance and give lift to every other sound or vision over which these secrets are cast. Such potions would appear not at all out of place as ingredients to the film scores of Mark Isham, Philip Glass, Cliff Martinez, Lisa Gerrard, and Peter Gabriel. To the admiration of the Red Sun Soundroom crew, Tim Nelson is a texturalist first: the music he makes is tactile, felt in the fingertips. Mesh, his recent solo release, brings together on one disc at last several pieces created solely at the hand of the mad-botanist-become-organic-chemist-of-the-sonic-laboratory. He plays beautifully. An assortment of instruments are on the palette: acoustic guitars, cello, various flutes from around the globe, percussion instruments of equally diverse origin. He also plays his playing beautifully; treatments bring these instruments to a new place within the compositions on Mesh, to a place hardly imaginable until heard, disbelieved, then heard again. I enjoy Tim Nelson's recorded efforts as a music-lover second. As a composer, creative recordist, and thief, I afford myself a separate, primary motive for listening: inspiration. When (not if!) you buy this disc, buy a second copy for a friend. I'm telling you they will likely procure two more copies to pass along, and they'll thank you for it." - Peter Koniuto (Red Sun Soundroom)