A Gambler's Hand
Creative jazz/New Music/Chamber Music Series
Performing repertoire from 2015 album "In the Ring", 2012 "A Gambler's Hand" album and recent 2014 “Skarbnik Suites”
A Gamblers Hand, are suites for amplified string quartet, drum kit/percussion, and storytelling that presents the composers ongoing interest in treating the string quartet as an extension of the drum set. Noonan's inspirations combine the aesthetics of modern chamber music, improvised new music, storytelling, and American experimentalists Henry Cowell and Conlon Nancarrow.
At any particular moment, punk jazz grooves lock with insistent string ostinatos, which then morph into spiky counterpoint reminiscent of Bartok. Noonan narrates his tales from the drum set as if Irish playwright Samuel Beckett was drumming himself.
2015 lyric photo CD Book "In the Ring", presents a collection of song cycles that together tell a story about the transformation of a man who get tickled by a sunbeam on a mountain top. As a result of his adventures, he loses his shadow, and the only way to get it back is to challenge it to a round of shadow boxing.
The "Skarbnik Suites," dig deep to the depths of the salt mines of Silesia (Poland) to tell modern adaptations of the stories about the Polish mythological legend Skarbnik, who is the treasurer of all mines and either punishes or protects miners from danger and possibly rewards the good ones. Noonan's thoroughly modern musical take on this myth is told in diverse styles of punked-up Mazurka to avant-garde improvised chamber music, incorporating jazz/rock, storytelling, and 20th century music styles influenced by the Polish contemporary classical composer Henryk Gorecki.
Nate Chinen, New York Times - "The drummer and composer Sean Noonan approaches postmodern jazz and world music from the same angle of self-discovery ... he manages to make his pieces speak coherently, and in a unified voice."
"Menacingly surreal, often assaultive, a feast for fans of dark, challenging music…it’s a category unto itself – and one of the best albums of 2012 in any style of music. Scary Stuff from Sean Noonan." Lucid Culture
"You think this might be boring? C’mon man, relax, this is Sean Noonan…it’s like nothing else out there." Something Else!S. Victor Aaron
"This is not the typical release but an experience. A dynamic and virtually flawless execution of art at an apex of creativity few can match." Brent Black @CriticalJazz
"Noonan strikes again conducting a string quartet with his drumsticks…like Bela Bartok french kissing with John Zorn. I wonder when the man finally will get some serious recognition in Culture loving Flanders?" Rifraf (BE)-Bootsie
"Sean Noonan is never boring…this is starkly original music that is different from Noonan’s previous starkly original music." Britt Robson-JazzTimes
“…it’s safe to say that you’ve never heard music like this before…will have you wondering why Sean Noonan isn’t a household
name.” – Mark Saleski, Blogcritics.org
Saleski’s comments can be read HERE