On the Move: Spencer Nilsen

Feb 1, 2007 12:00 PM, Compiled by Sarah Benzuly


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Who: Spencer Nilsen, Ex'pression College of Digital Arts president/creative director

Main responsibilities: to provide a creative environment and inform an up-to-date curriculum; and communicate and promote our culture to the faculty and staff, and the outside world.

Previous Lives

  • 1990s, head of SEGA music division; founded Sega Music Group; composed/produced soundtracks for many videogames

  • recording artist, American Gramaphone

My favorite moment at Ex'pression was…last week, when Chuck D and Flavor Flav of Public Enemy dropped by. They were incredibly generous with their time, hanging out in the lobby for well over an hour, signing autographs and snapping pictures with the students. Then they invited the students to be part of their latest music video, which was shot in our SSL 9000J control room and studio. None of this was planned, but it went off without a hitch.

The last great book I read was…Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why by Laurence Gonzales. It uses amazing stories of survival — from the Holocaust to 73 days adrift alone at sea — to demonstrate the incredible power of a positive mental attitude.

If I could have been a fly on the wall for any recording session, it would have been…“We Are the World” to watch Quincy Jones wrangle that session.

Currently in rotation on my iPod: The Mars Volta's Deloused In the Comatorium, The Prayer Cycle by Jonathan Elias and Keith Jarrett's latest, The Carnegie Hall Concert.

When I'm not at work, you can find me…running like a madman around the entire campus! There is so much going on every day, I don't want to miss a thing so I'm rarely in my office, which can sometimes frustrate my staff.

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