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As long as he can remember, Canadian pianist and composer Tim Nast had a passion for healthy living and music. 

Since 2004 he’s been an avid runner, having completed several marathons and half marathons. 

These days he isn’t training for races, rather to keep his body in tune. And when he isn’t running, he is composing music in his studio.  

The Ottawa resident grew up in a musical family with his father playing the guitar and his mother, who taught him the piano. 

During his 20s, he recorded six albums and performed across Canada and Germany. 

Following a break from the music industry to raise his two children, he is back now in his 50’s with a new album, ‘Here’, to be released on October 4th with a fall tour across the Ottawa Valley.

In a Q&A interview, Nast discussed his music, the new album and the importance of maintaining a healthy mind and body.

Q: When did your passion for music begin?

A: I started learning to play the piano at age six but my passion for music didn’t begin until I was in my teens when I began listening carefully to the music being played in our home (the classics). 

Very soon this music took hold of me – its power and majesty – and I felt a passion I had never felt before… it was overwhelming. Soon after, I began to compose my own songs and started performing publicly. 

Perhaps this is because I was familiar with it since my childhood, but I find there is also something aesthetically pleasing about playing the piano melody.

Q: What is your favorite workout to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

A: My ideal workout is an extended stretching session followed by lifting weights for half an hour and then a nice 10km run. 

This takes about 2 hours, taps the whole body and feels great. I used to listen to all sorts of music while running, including my own songs but over the past few years, I’ve stopped listening to music and prefer to run to the sound of my breath. I find this very meditative.

Through my life, I have learned that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is extremely important.

Q: Where did you grow up and how did it influence your music?

A: I spent the first nine years of my life living in the US but it wasn’t until we moved to Vancouver Island that I felt I was truly home. Even to this day I always refer to Vancouver Island as my home as this is where I feel completely whole. 

As a child I felt a strong connection to the ocean and, over the years I spent a lot of time visiting nearby beaches – some vast with sprawling sand while others were hidden and very intimate. 

The wind, the tide, the push and pull of the waves, all of this deeply affected me and strongly influenced my music. 

It’s as if the ocean allowed me to tap the core of me and express it on the piano.

Q: Describe your music?

A: My music is solo piano – it is instrumental. But another way to describe my music is to say it is without the human voice. 

But even though there is no human voice, I will share that my music is filled with lyrics, and these are the thoughts people have as they listen to my music. 

My songs allow listeners to reflect as they absorb the music. 

These reflections give birth to their thoughts and feelings, which are the lyrics to my songs.

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