Sound Field

S1 E30 | FULL EPISODE

Nahre Sol: How I Became a Classical Pianist and Youtuber

Nahre Sol is the host of Sound Field but is also known worldwide as a classically trained pianist and composer. As a soloist and chamber musician she has played across North America and Europe, and she teaches piano and music genres on her own YouTube channel. In this interview, she answers viewer submitted questions. She also shows us where she practices and gives us a behind the scenes tour.

AIRED: March 27, 2020 | 0:07:48
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TRANSCRIPT

(light piano music)

- So I was born with a certain name that only

my parents use basically,

that's my legal name.

And then my dad, he's an artist.

He's always liked naming people,

he gifts people names, it's like a blessing.

And he gifted me a name.

And then in school I wanted an American name,

(upbeat piano music)

so I went by Alice,

and that's why I have essentially three names.

My name is Nahre Sol, I'm a pianist composer,

and I like making videos, writing music,

and just making stuff

about music, surrounding music, anything related to music.

(light piano music)

We're gonna go to Manhattan now,

and this is where I practice pretty often,

it's where I can practice on acoustic grand piano.

Okay, my first video was June 2nd, 2017.

(upbeat piano music)

And it was a compilation of what I was practicing

along with shots of my dog,

and stuff outside.

I uploaded it because I was bored,

and I'm a millennial,

and you do stuff like that.

I don't know,

why do people watch (laughs) my videos?

(upbeat piano music)

I can't speak for my viewers,

but maybe part of what's interesting

is that someone from the classical music world

is doing other genres.

Because as a classical musician,

generally speaking, of course there are tons of exceptions,

but generally speaking, classical musicians

are quite insular in terms of what they listen to,

what music they expose themselves to,

what music that they play.

YouTube has changed my life completely.

(laughs) I'm kidding.

Oh, that's a great question,

would I rather listen to music or play music?

I think listen.

I'm obviously really attached to the piano, but

I like music more than I do the piano.

And I like writing more than I do playing.

A lot of times when I'm writing I want to,

there's a certain sound that I wanna hear

that maybe I'll first try to find

on Spotify or YouTube, or somewhere else.

And then other times I just write stuff that comforts me.

A lot of stuff that we go through emotionally

in our daily lives is very complicated.

But even when we're feeling happy or

sad, it's very complicated.

So to create something that matches that,

I think music is helpful

'cause you can create something that is

light and warm, but with an undertone

of something unsettling,

but also hopeful, but kinda pessimistic, but happy.

You know, it's complicated.

So it's just finding a medium

that compliments how you're feeling.

(upbeat piano music)

So when I am here,

I am basically in this room 24/7,

I just got to the bathroom,

and I don't spend any time outside,

I don't use the kitchen at all.

So when I'm here, I'm here.

(upbeat piano music)

This is my keyboard, a CP88,

I really like it.

This is my computer that I do everything on.

Whoops.

This is my camera.

This is my favorite small keyboard.

Is it on?

No, it's not plugged in.

I do a lot of videos on this one,

and I still really like it.

It's cute.

That's the most important thing (laughs)

about it, it's cute.

Wanna show the guitar.

I bought a little guitar.

It's a kid guitar,

'cause I wanna learn guitar.

It's my favorite instrument actually.

(somber piano music)

And I remember my first teacher

didn't really teach me anything.

The only thing I can remember about her

was that she had this giant mole on the back of her neck,

so when she was teaching me,

so you'd be standing, right,

and she's demonstrating.

I was so bored that I would just look at her mole (laughs).

My parents were not typical stage parents.

Is that what they're called?

- Uh-huh. - Yeah.

I didn't practice that much until I went to high school.

So when I first started I would practice

maybe 45 minutes a day, not even an hour

for the longest time.

The simplest I could put it is that

I'm not the most talented,

but I make up for it.

I think what I want to accomplish is rather simple,

I just wanna spread enthusiasm

about music, for music, the love for music.

I think

there's always room for that.

Where this will all lead,

I have no idea, I just know that

I want to keep refining my skills

and get to a place where I'm writing music

that I wanna hear, and that I think can

be a nice addition to the music that's out there.

I think it's an obsession, I just like it.

I feel very comfortable with music.

I feel happy, I know it's cliche, but I feel happy.

Music is kinda like eating,

but you don't need food,

you don't necessarily need food to survive,

you can be plugged into an IV,

or what is it called?

Whatever, the, the little (laughs),

something that provides nutrition for you.

So if I didn't have music,

I think another thing like music

will provide what music provides for me to live (laughs).

Does that make sense?

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