Musicians at Home | Nick Zammuto
Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
By Jennifer Hamblett
For a dozen years, guitarist/vocalist Nick Zammuto has applied creativity to his craft — first with his acoustic-collage duo The Books and now with his experimental, self-named “pop rock” band Zammuto. The same inspiration, however, manifests in his idyllic home, which the New York native spent years building in the hills of southern Vermont.
Given Zammuto’s experience in aural repurposing, it seems natural for the songwriter to craft a home of reclaimed and organic odds and ends. But in reality, the inspiration for his modern log cabin home owes as much to his wife, Molly, whose first pregnancy and new-found nesting instinct became the catalyst for Zammuto’s architectural creation.
“She has this amazing sixth sense about fertility in general,” says Zammuto. “She had found this shack at the top of a mountain in Vermont in winter. I remember seeing a photo and thinking ‘Ugh, this is a shack in a field of slush,’ but she had dug through the snow and found blueberries underneath. We bought the place even before the snow melted.”
Having proved itself as a place full of life, the pair set about transforming the shack into a family home for them and their three sons, cutting holes where they felt they needed light, and working with locally sourced pine. The result is an open and flowing space that reflects the couple’s domestic and musical ideals.
“Music guides your experience but it doesn’t necessarily control it. That’s what I love about it—every time you listen through a song or track it sounds different,” he says. “Architecture is the same. It controls the experience, but doesn’t completely define it. It suggests possibilities and valences it can connect to other things in a multitude of ways.”
Zammuto’s own musical loops are created out in a small tractor garage that he has converted into his studio, at a welcome distance from the family spaces. But the music, even if it doesn’t invade the home directly, has played a large part in its evolution. “There are hardly any right angles in the house at all. I think that because I am sensitive to sound and make experimental music that is listenable, but has raw edges. The house is an extension of that.”
Whether his home is inspiring his music, or his music is inspiring his home’s design, it’s something that will continue to be a prominent piece of Zammuto’s creativity. “Music is one of those things that you can live without, but no one chooses to live without it. Good design and architecture is kind of the same. You need to be inspired by the space you live in."