Not many composers can claim to have worked with artists as diverse as Het Nationale Ballet (Dutch National Ballet) and rock band Motley Crue, but Nicholas is one who can. Coming from a family firmly planted in the music world, Nicholas grew up with a classical music training, studying violin and piano, before branching out into the world of rock and funk. Then, wanting to explore more contemporary techniques he forged a path for himself as an electronic music producer. His work now focusses on integrating contemporary ensembles and electronics, using live instrumentation and multi-channel sound installations simultaneously to connect audiences and spaces.
Nicholas Robert Thayer is a London-born, Groningen-based composer and producer, working across neo-classical, electronic, and rock music. He is currently the music director for House of Makers, an Amsterdam based inter-disciplinary performance company doing site specific work pushing the boundaries of what performances can encompass. He has composed original scores for ballet and contemporary dance pieces performed by Het Nationale Ballet (Netherlands), Houston Metropolitan Dance Company (US), and Sydney Dance Company (Australia), and has also worked extensively with the bands Motley Crue, producing the ‘Cruecifly’ segment and doing additional sound design for their ‘All Bad Things...’ tour, and is a touring member of electronic punk-rock band The Bloody Beetroots. This broad approach to his art is reflected in all his work, which is characterised by the drawing together of disparate musical ideas: lightness and darkness, harmony and dissonance, noise and silence.
Club music career
In a career spanning over fifteen years as an electronic artist, Thayer has released over 100 records on a variety of labels, most notably Skrillex’s OWSLA and his own label, NTM. He has remixed for Fall Out Boy, Zedd and MIA, and he has collaborated with artists as disparate as Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee, Amba Shepherd, Mikill Payne, and DJ Yoda. A relentless performer, he has played DJ sets all over the world including internationally renowned clubs Fabric in London and Avalon in Los Angeles, festivals Burning Man, Hard Summer and Ultra in USA, Shambhala in Canada, and Stereosonic and Big Day Out in Australia, as well as MONA’s MOFO Festival in 2015. He now performs as part of the 2017 iteration of electronic punk-rock act The Bloody Beetroots Live.
Thayer was presented with Best Electronic Artist at the 2013 Music Victoria Awards, and his remix of Drumattic Twins’ Feelin’ Kinda Strange with Bass Kleph won Best Remix at Breakspoll 2005. His music has featured on video games for Playstation, the TV show CSI Miami, and TV commercials including Toyota Hilux, and he also worked on Mr Sugar’s song in the acclaimed That Sugar Film.
2015 saw Nicholas’ first commissioned score, writing the music for Sydney Dance Company’s ‘Reign’, choreographed by Daniel Riley from Bangarra Dance Theatre. The work drew heavily on Thayer’s electronic background and also his classical training, using contemporary production techniques as the bridge to fuse the two together. Nicholas and his wife Juliet Burnett (First Soloist with Ballet Vlaanderen and former Senior Artist with The Australian Ballet), and Gabrielle Adamidis, were then commissioned by MONA museum in Hobart to create a film work for the DarkMOFO festival 2016. Titled ‘Letting Blood’, the score further blurs the boundaries between electronic and neo-classical composition and the use of production as a compositional technique and was nominated for 'Best Music For a Short Film' in the 2016 APRA Screen Music Awards. Nicholas was then commissioned by the West Australian Ballet to score a work ‘Megatruh’, a solo work choreographed by Melanie Lane and performed by Juliet Burnett, for their 2016 gala in Jakarta.
In March 2017 Thayer was invited by House Of Makers to be a part of an artistic residency in Ostade A'Dam, Amsterdam, creating a multi-disciplinary work 'We Shall Meet In The Place Where There Is No Darkness' based on themes from Orwell's 1984. He then composed for Ballet Vlandaaren's 'Choreolab' season for a piece entitled 'North' choreographed by Emmi Pennanen, and for Het Nationale Ballet's 'New Moves' season for 'In Limbo' choreographed by Clotilde Tran.
Further collaborations with House Of Makers include 'Love Story', a pas de deux choreographed by Peter Leung, 'Fading Into Grey', a multi discipline installation work for Nederlands Dans Dagen 2017, and music for acclaimed designer Barbara Langedijk's July 2017 showing.
In 2018 Nicholas composed the score for ‘Murmur’, commissioned by Houston Metropolitan Dance company and choreographed by Robbie Moore. The short film ‘of silence’ directed by Sam Asaert and choreographed my Andrew McNicol will premiere at San Francisco Dance Film Festival in October 2018. Thayer also scored the short immersive film ‘Amorra’, performed at De Parade, a touring theatre-arts festival in the Netherlands.
SELECTED COMPOSiTION WORKS
A SYSTEM FLAW, 2018
Original score for contemporary ballet.
Choreographed by Nicola Wills. Performed by Ballet van Vlandaaren.
Original score for immersive film installation.
Performed at De Parade 2018, Netherlands.
Concept by Studio Amorra. Directed by Anouk van Kalmthout, Harm Schut and Joeren Hoogaars.
Original score for contemporary ballet, performed by Het Nationale Ballet. Choreographed by Clotilde Tran.
For string trio and live electronics. Premiered at deSingel, Antwerpen, March 2018.
HORSE BONE, 2018
Sound installation for artist Two One residency at Boab Gallery, Antwerpen.
Original score for contemporary dance work performed by Houston Metropolitan Dance Company. Choreographed by Robbie Moore.
LATE NIGHT TALES, 2018
Original score for short film. Choreographed and directed by Drew Jacoby.
COMING UP FOR AIR, 2018
Original score for short film. Directed by Joeren Hoogaars, Willem Stapel and Anouk van Kalmthout.
Original score for contemporary dance film. Choreography by Peter Leung. Concept by House of Makers. Directed by Bowie Verschuuren.
Original score for immersive dance theatre performance. Concept by House of Makers. Premiered at Ostade A’dam, March 2018.
OF SILENCE, 2017
Original score for contemporary dance film. Choreography Andrew McNicol. Directed by Sam Asaert.
FADING INTO GREY, 2017
Original score (partial) for contemporary dance work performed by House Of Makers, premiered at Nederlands Dans Dagen. Choreography by Peter Leung, text by Sterre Van Rossem
IN LIMBO, 2017
Original score for contemporary ballet performed by Het Nationale Ballet. Choreography by Clotilde Tran.
Original score for contemporary ballet performed by Ballet Vlaandaren. Choreography by Emmi Pennanen
LOVE STORY, 2017
Original score for contemporary ballet performed by House Of Makers at Het Nationale Opera Ballet’s Young Patrons Gala. Choreography by Peter Leung.
Original score for contemporary ballet performed by MOMA Ballet School: Arabesque. Choreography by Virginia Hendrickson
WE SHALL MEET IN THE PLACE WHERE THERE IS NO DARKNESS, 2017
Original score for contemporary interdisciplinary piece, performed by House Of Makers. Choreography by Peter Leung, text by Sterre Van Rossem.
Original score for virtual reality documentary. Directed by Cassie DeColling.
LIMINAL BEINGS, 2016
Original score for short film. Movement and text by Juliet Burnett. Costume and photography by Alice Williamson. Make-up by Michelle DaCillo.
Original score for contemporary ballet solo performed by Juliet Burnett at the West Australian Ballet gala in Jakarta, Indonesia. Choreography by Melanie Lane
LETTING BLOOD, 2016
Original score for short film commissioned by MONA museum, Tasmania, for the DarkMOFO festival. Choreography by Juliet Burnett. Costumes by Gabrielle Adamidis. Directed by Nicholas Robert Thayer, Juliet Burnett and Gabrielle Adamidis
Original score for contemporary dance piece performed by Sydney Dance Company. Choreography by Daniel Riley.
THAT SUGAR FILM, 2015
Original music (co-written) for ‘Mr Sugar’s Song’.
Selected works and features as song writer / producer
AMBA SHEPHERD ‘Fall’ Single (2018) - production, mixing, mastering.
DJ YODA ‘HOME COOKING’ LP (2017).
Producer and mix engineer.
CHARLES JENKINS ‘THE LAST POLAROID’ (2017) LP - co-songwriter on selected tracks and producer for entire album
MOTLEY CRUE ‘THE END’ DVD (2016) - original incidental sound design and arrangement of drum solo
MOTLEY CRUE ‘THE FINAL TOUR’ Live show (2015-2016) - original sound design, arrangement, and composition
NETFLIX ‘HATERS BACK OFF’ trailer (2015) - use of existing composition ‘Middlefingah - Sofi’
MOTLEY CRUE ‘ALL BAD THINGS’ single (2015) - songwriting and production
MONSTER HIGH video game (2015) - original composition and sound design
MADE IN CHELSEA TV Show (2013) - use of existing composition
PLAYSTATION ‘Motor Storm Pacific Rift’ (2008) - use of existing composition ‘Mind Control’
Melbourne Comedy Festival TVC (2006) - original composition
Toyota Hilux ’48 hours to live’ TVC (2005) - use of existing composition
Selected releases under the aliases Nick Thayer and signal:noize
Bad Boy EP (2016)
Fly Shit (with Tommy Lee and Mikill Pane) (2015)
Get Got EP (2015)
Fall Out Boy ‘Light Em Up’ (Nick Thayer Rmx) (2014)
Dominion EP (2014)
M.I.A. ‘Bad Girls’ (Nick Thayer Rmx) (2013)
Worlds Collide EP, OWLSA (2013)
Zedd ‘Clarity’ (Nick Thayer Rmx) (2012)
Like Boom EP, OWSLA (2012)
Just Let It Go LP (2010)
Get Low EP (2017)
Scream (with SBCR) (2016)
Roll Easy EP (2016)
Home EP (2015)