Nicholas Frances Chase

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Nicholas Frances Chase (born Nebeil Mahayni, 1966 in Roseburg, Oregon) is an Arab-American composer and performer.

Chase received a B.A. in German Area Studies from University of Oregon in 1993 and studied music composition at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) with Stephen Mosko, Morton Subotnick, Bunita Marcus, and Mary Jane Leach, receiving his M.F.A. in 2000. At CalArts he studied Hindustani Classical Music with Rajeev Taranath and Arabic Classical Music with Dr. Ziad Bunni.[1]

His compositional style references popular music forms such as techno, electronica, ambient, and noise music,[2] and frequently integrates interactive signal processing and electronic sound material with acoustic instrumentation.[3] He has written original music for various ensembles including the California EAR Unit,[4] the Long Beach Opera,[5] and the Philadelphia Classical Symphony.[6]


Chase performs using a laptop and DJ turntables and is known to integrate video projection into performance.[7] In 2008 he began performing his own compositions for solo piano, giving concerts in Europe and the US.

Visual Work[edit]

Chase has directed short films, usually with a strong musical element.[8] In 2008 he created video projections for an event affiliated with the Whitney Biennial. His musical scores are known for their graphical presentation and have been recognized as works of visual art.[9]


In 2000, the same year he received his M.F.A., Chase was awarded CalArts' President's Alumni Achievement Award.[10] He was nominated for the Alpert Award in Music in 2003. In 2011 Chase received a Composer Fellowship from Other Minds Festival in San Francisco, the inaugural year of the Composer Fellow program.[11][12]

Selected Works[edit]

  • e1>3ktr=Δ (Opera, 2000)
  • Sp!t (2000)
  • Tw!tch (2000)
  • Rugosa Rose (2001)
  • OPUS (2002)
  • 22 (Opera, 2003)
  • Woad for Indigo (2004)
  • 11 Ideas (Film, 2005)
  • Seventh Sense (2005)
  • Ouistitis (2007)
  • Considering Light (2008)
  • Ngoma Lungdundu (Voice That Thunders) (2008)
  • Songs of the Thirsty Sword (2008)
  • Blue Sky Over Buchenwald (Sound Track, 2008)
  • Street Mix No. 1 (2010)
  • Gin Blossoms & Broccoli Boutonnières (2011)
  • Solifuge (2011)
  • Bone Totem Dog (2011)
  • Bhajan (2012)
  • Voluptuous (2012)
  • Bone Strung (2012)

Partial Discography[edit]

  • Songs About Edgar Allan Poe (Bright Green Records, USA 1995)
  • Collaborations (DVD, STV/Unit Records, Switzerland 2006)


  1. ^ "Nicholas Chase website". Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  2. ^ Chase, Nicholas Frances (17 July 2004). Wild at Heart. Interview with Kalvos and Damian. p. Program 476. Kalvos and Damian. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  3. ^ Woodard, Joseph. "EAR Unit's Toughness and Tranquility". LA Times. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  4. ^ Rich, Alan. "When Fa Joins Mi...". LA Weekly. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  5. ^ "Long Beach Opera". Long Beach Opera. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  6. ^ Burwasser, Peter. "All About Andy". Philadelphia City Paper. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  7. ^ Green, Jo-Anne. "Multi-Media at REDCAT (LA)". Networked Music Review. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  8. ^ Chase, Nicholas Frances (6 June 2010). TVFilm Season 2: In Depth Interview with Nicholas Chase. (Interview). TVFilm. WMHT TV. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  9. ^ Chase, Nicholas (April 2010). 7th Sense. Shifter Magazine. pp. 136–144. 
  10. ^ "CalArts Greets Alumni With Homecoming Gala". Daily News. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  11. ^ "Other Minds Festival 16: Composer Fellowship Concert". 2 March 2011. 
  12. ^ Dalton, Joseph. "Nicholas Chase at Other Minds". My Big Gay Ears. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 

External links[edit]