Portraiture, Nathan Siler's solo project 10 years in the making, is releasing his debut LP, "Real as Ritual," November 16, 2012.
Siler is a seasoned performer in the NYC classical scene as well as a former touring member of The Lovely Sparrows, Steve Burns and the Struggle, Brothers NYC, and The Fellowship Students.
"Real as Ritual” is an album a decade in the making. The first recordings were made on a four track when Nathan Siler was a sophomore at Oklahoma City University pursuing a degree in Music Composition with a minor in Vocal Performance. The four track was a refuge; a way to blow off steam from the technical demands of 'serious' composition. After two indie rock bands in Oklahoma City and five years as a professional in the NYC Classical Music scene, the tracks are finally poised to be released on November 16, 2012. This slow-burn of a journey for the album has resulted in a collection of songs written in a free and experimental structure and then worked and re-worked throughout several musical phases in songwriter, Nathan Siler’s life.
After his first college band, Empty Suits, dissolved, Siler took up playing with friend-of-a-friend, Matthew Alvin Brown along with Siler’s High School collaborators Jacob Becannen and Sam Caire. When Caire left the group, fellow OCU Composition Major, Steven Stark, took over. This is the group that became known as The Fellowship Students, who fleshed out the Ritual tracks for live performance in addition to being featured on "Real as Ritual." Mark Vollertsen, a high school friend and multi-instrumentalist (who later joined The Fellowship Students on keyboards) is also featured on the album.
The Fellowship Students had a prodigious career in the Oklahoma City music scene playing a host of shows featuring their original music, acting as the house band for Mix Tape Club tribute shows (David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin), and taking on theatrical projects such as the Oklahoma City premiers of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” “Rainbow Around the Sun,” and “King GuitArthur and the Drüggs.” Nathan Siler continued to nurture the tracks during this time and his much anticipated solo project is ready to be made public.
Nathan Siler has now lived in New York for five years. After much time supporting, producing, and touring with other renowned indies such as The Lovely Sparrows, Steve Burns and the Struggle, and Brothers NYC, Siler also earns his living as a classical singer. He’s performed at Carnegie Hall with American Symphony Orchestra and the Collegiate Chorale, is a soloist in the acclaimed chamber choir Musica Viva of New York, and he fosters a close relationship with up and coming composers, singing for many premiers of music in the NYC Classical scene.
With Portraiture, any interaction between classical and pop music is unconscious and unintended. However, with such a strong classically trained foundation, “Real as Ritual” is set apart in from most pop albums coming out today with its technically precise performance and execution. Lyrically, the album is constructed upon Siler’s dense but lithe poetry, which at once self-aggrandizes then waxes humble and advocates for emotional intelligence. It resonates with traces of an adolescence informed by Morrissey, a college career obsessed with Shellac and Aphex Twin, the obtuse lyrics of Pavement, the jangly guitars of XTC and Gang of Four, and rounded out by a career at the heart of the classical scene in NYC.