SFCM’s Nick Platoff Drives Home in his ‘Limousine of Creative Potential’
For his Faculty Artist Series Concert on October 24, the trombonist will bring together nearly every Conservatory department featuring music composed from inside a limousine.
By Mark Taylor
When the pandemic hit the brakes on his live performances in 2020, Nick Platoff got creative. With no traditional spaces available to make music, (and too many roommates at home) the trombone player found solace in a friend's unused limousine.
Most of the music performed at his Faculty Artist Series Concert on October 24 was composed from inside that vehicle. “It was the only private space I could find!” Platoff said. “This [concert] is the culmination of two years of creative work, starting in my friend's limousine during high COVID, and the catalyst of a personal transformation, working towards my mission of harnessing the power of music to bring compounding benefits to the world.”
Platoff describes the music as ranging from classical, to pop to punk and touching on themes of family, mental health, nature, and fun. Such a range of genres will bring together students and faculty from nearly every department at SFCM, including Brass, Strings, Roots, Jazz and American Music (RJAM), and Technology and Applied Composition (TAC). “Because this music is not confined to a single genre, I thought it would be a great opportunity for lots of us who don’t normally collaborate to get on stage together,” Platoff said.
Platoff has been Associate Principal Trombone of the San Francisco Symphony since 2016, and has been teaching in SFCM’s Pre-College division since 2018. The performance will feature a "side-by-side"-style group of strings, brass, percussion, singers, and rhythm section players with SFCM student musicians performing alongside some of Platoff’s colleagues from the San Francisco Symphony and beyond, including Wyatt Underhill, Leo Plashinov-Johnson, Ross Jamie Collins, and Guy Piddington.
The album of work in its entirety is called Limousine of Creative Potential. “Everything we are doing is a world premiere,” Platoff added. While the album is slated for release in November, Platoff hopes concertgoers will appreciate the music now as it coincides with his mission of music as a life benefit. “Music can be used in a lot of different ways, it can make us laugh or cry. I feel very inspired by music that sits with you and stays with you, and in that, you see the world differently in a more generous and positive way,” he said.