Storm Nilson - Artist Statement

Keven Brennan Every musician needs a car. When I went to a dealership and mentioned I was a musician, the look I received from the shylock in the plaid suit was one of unassailable disappointment. To remedy the discomfort my announcement caused, I added that I was a Jazz musician. At that point his disappointment graduated to all-out despair. Jazz musician? What the hell is that? An anachronism, perhaps, but certainly not a serious customer.

Where does this musician belong? What utility does he serve? What compels me to do this thing?

My relationship with music began at a very young age. Growing up in Southeast Alaska aboard my parents’ research vessel, I had the great fortune of a childhood filled with incredible natural beauty. These two elements, music and nature, came to play a central role in shaping the person I grew up to be, and their connection always seemed quite natural. I have always strived to create music that represents what is important to me. My history, my endearment to beauty in all forms, my addiction to the ecstasy of the musical moment, and my relationships with other like-minded artists are the driving forces behind my own creative process.

I strive to create music that enriches my connection to the world around me, and helps me see the world more in color. I don’t strive for mystique, or any other such enigmatic artistic qualification. I play to show my true self, to give as honest a representation as possible of who I really am.

Music is a language different from all others. It’s a creative code which when utilized effectively has incredible potential to lift up and inspire us all beyond our creative barriers. What a great thing to discover this secret! This process is right in front of us, ready to embrace anyone, fans and artists alike. I believe this unifying force connects us all, and addresses head on, the basic need to consider and express what it is to be oneself.

To me, music represents a triumph of humanism—a celebration of humanity’s capacity for empathy, love, and solidarity. It is the invaluable tool with which we realize and express the sum of our experience. This is the universal utility of art. However, looking at the world around us, it is not hard to understand why my fellow “bad bet” car loan candidates and I feel so alienated and marginalized. In a world of ever-increasing corporate power and influence resulting in the commoditization of all things everywhere, there seems to be less and less room in society for those who strive to create things for which there is no material value. My goal with music, aside from realizing the tremendous personal satisfaction it provides, is to, in my own small way, be part of a countervailing philosophy, one asserting that everyone has a tremendous capacity for experiencing passion.

Considering what makes me tick as an artist is a challenge. It requires me to separate my artistic impulse from others— those which beg no explanation, like the need to be social, or why I like dogs so much. I try not to compartmentalize. Everything is musical to me and my music is a distilled offering of the story of my life.