WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT MARK NICHOLS and some of the things he's done:
- "Mark Nichols is one of the most gifted theater artists I have come across. His music is infectious and his lyrics often brilliant."~Chris Petit, Whitman College Drama Professor
- Excellent "How to Survive the Apocalypse: A Burning Opera" article
- "I had the distinct pleasure of performing in a reading of Joe Bean at the Zipper Theater in New York City in 2008. As a Broadway performer (Spamalot, The Story of My Life, Company, Man of La Mancha, Jane Eyre), acting teacher at CAP21 at NYU, private voice teacher, and father of three I have to be very selective about projects like reading, as my free time is very limited. Upon hearing the first three minutes of Joe Bean I knew I had to be a part of it and to get on this composer's go-to list as quickly as possible. I then went to his website, listened to some of his other work, and was astounded at how prolific and gifted this writer is. Mark's writing is like none I have heard. Joe Bean, for example, infuses many different styles, from rock, to rap, to gospel, to Broadway, and he is remarkably adept at speaking in all of these languages. His ability to wield these skills in a cohesive, spontaneous, and honest way without ever showing off, is what makes his storytelling so immediate, surprising and unique. Everyone involved in the Joe Bean reading could tell they were part of something extraordinary and new and attacked the material with an abandon that I have rarely experienced in my career. The musical theater desperately needs composers like Mark. He is a rare talent and a generous, genuine, humble, and hungry man. My hope is that he will continue to find teachers and collaborators to fan the flames of his seemingly endless creativity. He would be an incredible asset to your program and would inspire all those who have the good fortune to experience his music." Bradley Dean, NY Equity Actor
- "The absolute best part of the movie was the awesome original score/music by Mark Nichols."~IDBM user comment, re: feature film Farewell to Harry
- It’s hard enough to describe an event as personal, massive, contradictory, multi-faceted, and ever-changing as Burning Man (believe me, I’ve tried), much less distill it down into a cohesive musical. But the geniuses behind this show have done the damn near impossible with their soon-to-be roadshow"~San Fransico Bay Guardian (re: How to Survive the Apocalypse
- Farewell to Harry won the following awards:
1) Houston International Film Festival: Silver Remy Award~Best First Feature Film; 2) Independent Spirit Awards: Semi-Finalist~Someone to Watch; 3) Philadelphia Film Festival: Runner-up for Best Feature; 4) Seattle International Film Festivall: Special Jury Award~Best Film
- The lush orchestrations (courtesy of Mark Nichols, who did the same for the Jeremy Enigk album), gloomy lyrical bent and generally more somber sound of this long-running Seattle band's latest import album have been aptly compared to Nick Cave's gothic roots music. It's ridiculous these talented folks are without a U.S. record deal. Don Yates, KEXP, Seattle re: The Walkabout's, Devil's Road
- “Easily the best Seattle feature I have ever seen!” ~Helen Loveridge, Executive Director, Seattle International Film Festival, re: A Relative Thing
- A Relative Thing Awards: Runner up for Best Picture, 2006 Sedona International Film Festival; Nomination for Best Picture, 2005 International Family Film Festival; Copper Wing Award for Best Ensemble, 2005 Phoenix Film Festival; Finalist for Best Cinematography, 2005 Ashland International Film Festival; Finalist for New American Cinema Juried Competition
2004 Seattle International Film Festival
- "..saw it, loved it. it was filled with the joy of discovery, that heartpounding throb of physical, mental and spiritual first experiences." ~BLOG by Peter L. Jacobsen, regarding How to Survive the Apocalypse
- “This play is both engrossing musical theater in its own right and a piece of art that truly captures the feel of the event and the Zeitgeist of its attendees" ~SFBay Guardian reviewer Steve Jones on How to Survive the Apocalypse.
- "Art project of the year!" ~Backlash Magazine regarding Little Boy Goes to Hell
- "..with hypnotic string arrangements by noted Seattle composer Mark Nichols, a perfect foil to Paal Flaata´s expressive voice"--review of Midnight Choirs award-winning, Amsterdam Stranded
- "At last Seattle has a rock-opera to do itself proud." ~Goldmine Magazine re: Little Boy Goes to Hell
- Seattle Times article on Mark and Little Boy Goes to Hell from 1998
- End of the Icon, Mark's first full movie-score featured Brian T. Finney and Erik Roberts & received awards at the Chicago and Denver film festivals, and was regarded by the Director of The American Film Institute as... "The Best film to come out of AFI in years!"
- Robert Altman to End of the Icon editor, Liza McDonald: "Who did that soundtrack? I want him!"
- "Rich, complicated melodies, harmonies that call to your soul..delightful, playful - lyrics that are slam puzzle poetry - lyrics that you want to read…We know what is going to happen, so it's not necessarily the story that compels, but how it unfolds, and the art-visions with which it is told." ~Dramaturg, Lennie Dean re: Joe Bean
- "His music brought a highly accessible vitality and depth to what can often be a somewhat fluffy and artificial play. Mark has the uncanny ability to balance entertainment and substance without sacrificing either. His facility in translating dramatic action into musical event is one of his strongest assets. In addition he is fearless in his ability to adjust and adapt to the circumstances of production. He brings out the best in people, utilizes their strengths, and always makes them shine. Mark has a true passion for all aspects of the theater and understanding of theater as a performative art. His enthusiasm and dedication are always infectious to the entire company and his sense of creativity and play often persuades me as a director to find ways to expand the role of his music in a particular project."~Chris Petit, Whitman College Drama Professor re: As U Like It
- "The composer brings a dedicated passion to his work but also a reasoned objectivity that allows him to develop a sophisticated analysis, and a keen understanding of what is needed to make a successful theatrical event." ~Joe Adcock, Seattle Times, review of Joe Bean
- "I have difficulty conveying my absolute respect, amazement and wonder that Mark inspires in me with his ability to translate ideas and emotions into musical compositions. When we were doing Joe Bean, he said: “give me an idea and I can write the music”. And he did and does so and every time I listened I was lifted to that other realm that Salieri talks about regarding Mozart- somewhere celestial where feeling meets intelligence and some part of the heart lifts and falls with the notes and combinations of instruments and sound that result. Too much praise? Too much lifting my great friend into the realm of Amadeus? Perhaps- but here’s a word I’ve heard over and over from many fellow artists, actors and musicians: Genius. I do not use the term lightly. That word means for me surprise, unpredictability and the ability to encompass historical forms and motifs and meld them into something new. That means the driving will to struggle and wrestle with brilliance and to never be satisfied. That means having an ethos that won’t compromise and tweaking and detailing the composition until that indefinable grace arrives to the ear and travels to the mind and heart and fastens to the listener in a catch of breath and a lift of the spirit. It’s the frisson, the shiver of the sublime.
" ~Director, Bob McAllister
- "Watching him direct the world-class genius of the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra is something I will never forget."~Chris Eckman, The Walkabouts.
- "..the album never seems restlessly eclectic or muddled, but instead hums with an intense hunger to make music that does not skirt on top of differences but dives so deep that the molten core of unity starts to glow on the horizon. Its like those Sufi dancers who start out slowly spinning in a space with well-defined compass points until they don’t know where they are anymore, and its all a yearning blur." ~Erik Davis on Manooghi Hi's, Hi CD
- Manooghi Hi cover story Bombay Times
- "Manooghi Hi, challenged my ideas about global music and wagged a mongrel finger and said: Hey, listen here and suspend your prejudices. Or you're not worth the paper you write on." ~The Devil's Advocate (2009)
- "Perhaps the right question is why it took this force of nature masquerading as a band to come to our attention." ~Soundroots re: Manooghi Hi
- "..man, what a fascinating sound. Imagine the emotional grandeur and dramatic composition of Wolf Parade fronted by a female Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan." ~Johnathan Zwickel, Seattle Times re: Manooghi Hi
- “The cross-pollination is dizzying — East and West, ancient and modern, pop and classical, ecstatic spiritualism and headbanging rock.…Suffice to say you’ve never heard anything like Manooghi Hi. Maybe because, to the best of my knowledge, their sound has never before been attempted. " ~Johnathan Zwickel, Seattle Times re: Manooghi Hi
- Manooghi Hi Live in the Studio on Audioasis with Hannah Levine 8/22/09
- How to Survive the Apocalypse at Zinzanni Blog report
- "Kick ass ass kicking show believe you me - that shit is off the hook SEE it" ~Some Random Blog re: How to Survive The Apocalypse
- "You could feel the power. I could just feel the resonance of what they were trying to communicate." ~Random guy Daniel Terdiman of CNET News was interviewing re: How To Survive the Apocalypse
- "The journey is an imaginatively trippy one. Mark Nichols has created an original, sometimes darkly hilarious, vision, which director Scott Bradley and choreographer Amy Gordon flesh out most admirably... Nichols has written a compelling and memorable score, filled with catchy melodies and intricate rhythms, which the talented cast take on wholeheartedly, filling the warehouse with vibrant, rocking, and infectious energy."
~Janet I-Chin Tu, Seattle Times (May 21st 1998) re: Little Boy Goes to Hell (1998 remount)
- He’s classical and hoedown, country and rock, blues and bistro, eastern and western and grounded in rhythm and juxtaposition. He’s eclectic. He’s open to suggestions and humble. He’s disciplined and wonderfully accepting of criticism while maintaining his own iron integrity and sense of the truth.