Junior Dorian Pistilli pursues music and computer science

Dorian Pistilli appreciates the creative potential in both the musical and academic aspects of his life. Courtesy Dorian Pistilli

Junior Dorian Pistilli is quite the interlocutor. With a quick wit coupled with a surprisingly sweet demeanor, Pistilli proves himself enigmatic — and not just in conversation. As a computer science major and music minor, Pistilli is straddling two profoundly different worlds with skill. Though music was his first love, he maintains that both offer him an outlet for his creativity and passion.

“I love creating things … building things that I am proud of,” he said. “In the end music and computer science are the same. Computer science, outside of being a music, art or drama major, [has] the most opportunity for artistic creation.”

Equating technological literacy with learning how to hold a pencil in order to draw, Pistilli finds a creative outlet in both computer science and music. Pistilli found music to be his preferred outlet from an early age, but rejected the world of classical piano in favor of the instruments and skills he heard in his favorite songs.

“On my iPod there was no Vivalidi. I wanted to go and learn the Radiohead song I loved so I had to learn the guitar. Then I wanted to be in a band with my friends, so I had to learn to play the drums. That motivated a transition for me,” he said.

While Pistilli is talented on many instruments, he has made a name for himself on the sonic scene at Tufts as a vocalist. After a brief stint in a cappella, Pistilli found himself yet again in the midst of transition. Though the world of a cappella was alluring, he began to yearn for smoother music that he could share with other talented and alternative musicians.

“I just want to play with a great piano player and some insane upright bass player,” Pistilli said.

It’s easy to wonder where computer science fits into Pistilli’s life. Academia, something that has always been important for the singer, is the other highlight of his Tufts career. Finding computer science early on in his first academic year, Pistilli feels that the field is as challenging and fulfilling as music — but in a different way. Not only do the complex mental acrobatics that computer science demands inspire Pistilli, but so too does the prospect of understanding coding.

“In order to create that app or start that company, you need to know the code,” he said.

Given Pistilli’s diverse interests, his future prospects are numerous and exciting. For now, he’s happy at Tufts — playing music with friends, being involved in some musical theater and working hard in computer science.