Hello. I’m Nathanael.
I think the most appropriate place to start would be at the beginning, with my upbringing. I was raised in Gresham, Oregon and from the beginning music was apart of my life. My parents took me to church every Sunday, Sunday night and Wednesday night. I grew up in a Southern Baptist church environment which is where I started singing hymns and listening to artist like Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman and Keith Green. If those names don’t mean anything to you, it’s ok, I didn’t think they would. Growing up in that environment I listened to music that was primarily Christian based. I remember some of my friends letting me borrow their Blink 182 albums and hiding them in my room because it was music with a parental advisory sticker on it. However, I just couldn’t get enough of that style of music, I loved the harshness of the vocals and the raw quality of the electric guitar and the provoking melodies. As I grew up I started to explore different types of music and I cared more about the quality of the music or the emotional impact it had on me personally than whether it was Christian music or not. I currently still listen to hymns and Blink 182 however typically not at the same time. I love the diversity in my taste in music and I wouldn’t change my childhood if I could.
I have found that music tends to find me. Typically when I’m watching TV, Films, Youtube videos ect. I end up stumbling across artists that I wouldn’t have found otherwise. I have a very special relationship with music. It’s been a part of my life for a very long time, even when I was a baby I would crawl over to the piano in my church and push as many piano keys as I could, listening to every sound with amazement.
When I was around 6 years old I was diagnosed with two eye diseases, retinitis pigments and Coats disease. These eye diseases also affect my ability to see at night, so if you ever see me in a dark area and I look like I can’t figure out where I am, that’s why. The lack of eye sight factors in to why I appreciate sound and music at a heightened level. I depend on my ears, more than most people. Since I don’t have full access to the sense of sight, I have to use my other senses to compensate.
I remember the moment that music became significant in my life. I was about 9 years old and I loved the Disney movie Hercules. In the movie, there is a song called “Go The Distance,” this song is the moment that the character realizes that he wants something more for himself and he is willing to go any distance in order to accomplish his goal.
The song starts with piano and vocals and is a casualty of Disney’s magical charm (Alan Menken). However, the moment that always hit the core of my soul was the pure tone of the brass section. It moved me in a way that music had never moved me before and to this day, I still get choked up when I hear that brass section. I’ve included a video of the song so you can enjoy it as well.
I guess at the end of the day, music is and has always been the consistent in my life. In the words of Alen Menken…”I know ev’ry mile, will be worth my while. When I go the distance, I’ll be right where I belong.”