On the Couch with Jason Noble

AAR-Jason-Noble-photo-by-Chris-HaylesWho is Jason Noble?
A clarinettist and long standing member of leading contemporary music group Ensemble Offspring. I grew up on the Mid North Coast of NSW in Port Macquarie, one of a clan of nine children, and ended up travelling the world playing mostly new music in many forms. These days I reside in Bondi.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
Performing anywhere at the moment, with everything closed down during Covid-19. Performing in smaller venues that are accessible to arts organisations in Sydney that are reasonably priced. So hard to find venues in Sydney.

Who inspires you and why?
Travelling to Kabul, Afghanistan to play and teach at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, I got to work alongside director Dr Ahmad Sarmast and Ustad Shefta the local clarinet teacher. Both these figures continue to inspire me, and remind me that music is a gift that should be not taken for granted.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Pass on the gift of giving everyone music in their lives, regardless of class, race, religion or sexuality.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Hobart, Tasmania. Well we should be seeing a lot more of our own country, and Tassie hits all the right notes. I am learning to the love the cold, enjoy the plentitude of gigs and food – plus my parents relocated there a number of years back, so I get to see them too. Also love Exmouth, swimming with whale sharks.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Bronte Beach would probably be top of my list. It is probably where I feel most at home and a sense of community. I swim all year round, the best way to avoid getting sick in winter and good for the lungs and blowing.

What are you currently reading?
I have delved back into my books I read as a 20-year-old studying my literature course at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. So at present I have out Gabriel García Márquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera.

What are you currently listening to?
I am working on a new album with composer/pianist Kim Cunio, delving into the world of clarinet overtones and resonance, accompanied by sounds inside the piano: otherworldly sounds made to sound meditative. So to be honest have been listening a lot to these tracks in preparation for mastering. Covid-19 has been a great time to get on to some of these recording or bedroom projects. I am also loving Katie Noonan’s new album, The Greatest Taboo. At the moment Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time is in my car CD player alongside some music of George Crumb and Luciano Berio.

Happiness is?
Balance in all parts of your life, and to be fit and healthy to be able to pursue your dreams.

What does the future hold for you?
Hopefully getting back into performing some live gigs again. Fingers crossed venues can survive with social distancing requirements and the like. In the meantime the focus is on online gigs and lots of recording.

Jason can be heard on Ensemble Offspring’s new album, Songbirds – a beguiling collection of chamber works for flute, clarinet and percussion. Ensemble Offspring are also performing live this Sunday 21 June 2020 (6.00pm) as part of the Hibernation Festival. For more information, visit: www.ensembleoffspring.com for details.

Image: Jason Noble – photo by Chris Hayles