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“As Long As There’s Someone Listening”

Lucas DeLisle, Contributor

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Michael Nuzzo is a Senior at Nashoba Regional High School. Some may know of his artist name, Cygnal. Alongside being a producer, Nuzzo also spends time perfecting the art of creative photography. When one looks closely at each album cover, they might notice that each image is chosen and crafted specifically to reflect the mood and timbre of its melody.

In an e-mail interview with Mike, he explained how he got his start. He started with the piano during his kindergarten years and eventually moved on to the saxophone, the guitar, the clarinet, and his current instrument, the tenor saxophone. Out of all these instruments he explained that his go-to would be the guitar for its versatility while playing and singing. Currently, Michael plays tenor sax in the Advanced Jazz Band here at Nashoba. When the curtain closes however, it’s a whole new story.

At Michael’s desk at home sits a Mac computer, a midi keyboard, a microphone, and a pair of headphones. With these four things and the help of the occasional guitar, Mike makes the transformation into a sound-crafting musical wizard who goes by the name of Cygnal.

Michael started producing electronic music the summer before his freshman year at Nashoba.
“I usually start by playing around with a synthesizer until I find a sound or chord progression that sounds interesting. If it has a lot of energy or feels like it is going somewhere, I start recording drum sounds and melodies until there is an idea for a song that I can work with. If I’m lucky, I’ll spend the next day or few days adding different elements and making it longer until I have a finished product. My best songs are usually completed in less than a week. However, this usually doesn’t happen and I currently have a folder of over 100 song ideas that aren’t completed.”
As for the genre of his music, he describes it as “ambient electronic” with elements of “IDM, Acid Jazz, and Downtempo” styles.
“I like to combine electronic and natural sounds. I always try to make electronic sounds that feel “real” even when they’re created by a computer and take sounds that are natural and make them feel more surreal.”

“Ideally” Mike says, “I would love to have a steady job and also make my own music on the side. I don’t plan or hope to become rich or famous but I definitely plan to keep making music so long as there’s someone listening.”

Glide was picked up by a record label not long after its release.

Currently, Mike has applied to UMass Lowell and Berklee College of Music for Lowells’ Sound Recording Technology program and Berklee’s Electronic Production and Design program. He hopes to pursue a career in Video Game Sound Design or Composition.

Michael is planning to release an EP, a collaboration with his classmate Lucas DeLisle, by the end of the school year.

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