A speaking drummer and composer whose music enthusiastically defies category, Sean Noonan prefers the title rhythmic storyteller – an apt description for a modern-day sonic griot who spins imaginative yarns in the ancient tradition of wandering minstrels while weaving captivating narrative tapestries via his unique polyrhythmic language.

"Independence might be the ruling concept of this drummer/leader’s career. It defines a common relationship not only among his hands, feet, and voice, but between his art and almost everything else in drumland". Modern Drummer Magazine 

Memorable moments with the London Symphony Orchestra recording the Drummer of Tedworth: A Concerto for a 'Speaking' Drummer

Over the past several months, I embarked on an incredible journey of exploration alongside the esteemed London Symphony Orchestra, comprised of 42 world-class musicians. This immersive experience required me to disconnect from the online world entirely as I dedicated all my energy and time to prepare for a truly unforgettable occasion: a seven-hour recording session.  

The Drummer of Tedworth: A Concerto for a 'Speaking' Drummer was recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra, composed by Sean Noonan, and conducted by Jack Sheen on January 18, 2024. It serves as an exploration of rhythmic storytelling, to be performed by Sean Noonan himself. Designed for a 'speaking' drummer, the concerto seamlessly integrating the voice with the drum kit to create a 'fifth limb' where the voice and limbs operate in equal partnership. Various rhythmic storytelling techniques utilize the voice as part of the drum kit practice, providing a 'fifth limb' and establishing an additional extension to the fully coordinated four-limbed practice of the drum kit as it exists today.

Noonan combines new music, free improvisation, and rhythmic storytelling, treating the ensemble as extensions of his own limbs. This approach treats the orchestra as an extension of a drummer's limbs, orchestrating rhythmic language derived from the drum kit. The Drum Kit Concerto is a cross-genre music work that reimagines orchestral music, aiming to showcase the drum kit's potential in 21st-century compositions.  The evolution of the relationship between the drums and the ensemble is rooted in Noonan's personal experiences, where he incorporates additional instruments as natural extensions of his own limbs.

Drawing inspiration from the haunting and drumming phenomena documented by Joseph Glanvill in "Saducismus Triumphatus" (1681), the concerto's six episodic movements adapt the concept of the haunting someone would receive if they too were to seize Noonan's drum kit. 

Please Join our mailing list!

Get free downloads and other special offers! about Noonan's upcoming shows, album releases and special events.

Pavees Dance latest album out now with Malcolm Mooney, Ava Mendoza, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, and get it on vinyl + digital download with 3 bonus tracks

Bartalk: A Monodrama for Speaking Drummer and Large Ensemble live at St. Giles Church, London (Double Album Out Now)

Zappanation Album is here and click on the album to check it out!

New Album release with Ligeti Quartet! Artwork by Malcolm Mooney and Vincent Gleixner a 5 year old boy from Bavaria.