At the invitation of Glen Nelson of Mormon Artists Group, Nathan Thatcher traveled to Spain and met Francisco Estévez, immersed himself in the composer’s life and music, cataloged his archive, and wrote about the experience. The resulting work is titled, Paco, the composer’s nickname. Estévez was a student of Francisco Calés, Cristóbal Halffter, Gerardo Gombau, Günther Becker, Oliver Messiaen, and Milko Kelemen. Born in Africa (1945) and raised in Spain, he attended the legendary summer New Music Institute at Darmstadt, the Robert Schumann Hochschule in Düsseldorf, the Center for Electronic Music at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, and the Conservatorio Superior de Sevilla. A winner of prestigious awards as a composer, Estévez also collaborated with the groundbreaking electronic band, Kraftwerk. Published by Mormon Artists Group.
Michael Hicks - Mormon Studies Review
The book is handsomely designed and produced, well copyedited and proofed. Apparently based on a detailed and disciplined journal of Thatcher’s pursuit of Paco in Spain,....One of Thatcher’s virtues as a chronicler is his wide and authoritative knowledge of other, non-Paco composers’ styles and techniques.
Dennis Clark - Association for Mormon Letters
This is a wonderful hybrid of a book, part journal, part journey, part discovery, and all in all an immersion in contemporary classical music. It appears to be modeled on a musical composition, one somewhat aleatoric, but rich and strange. I am not a musician, but a poet; however, I am even before that a reader, and Paco repays close reading.
Luke Howard - BYU Studies
If pressed, I would say Paco is probably closer to biography than it is to any other literary genre, but this hybrid work is so much more than the life story of a composer. The author, Nathan Thatcher, has penned an extraordinary text—equal parts biography, travelogue, composition catalog, music history, and coming-of-age narrative of a young scholar—that synthesizes a firehose of information into a coherent and compelling story.
The Kimball Challenge at Fifty: Mormon Arts Center Essays published by Mormon Arts Center Includes the essay "Francisco Estévez: A Case Study" by myself. A video of my presentation of this essay at the 2017 Mormon Arts Center Festival can be seen below