An Interview with Jordan Nobles

Sasha Koerbler


Vancouver composer Jordan Nobles writes spatial music. Inspired by the architecture of a specific public venue, he utilizes its acoustic qualities to produce a motion of sound that will surround the audience—immerse it in music—and enable its members to freely move within it. Having composed almost a hundred works, not all of them spatial, he has mastered a technique of “hearing” the acoustic potential of a specific venue and crafting a composition that will effectively infuse its architecture with music.

The original sound of Nobles’s music, as well as the openness and accessibility of the public venues attract large audiences to his concerts. Many Vancouver venues have hosted performances of his music, among them the atrium of the Vancouver Public Library, the Rotunda of the Vancouver Art Gallery, the WOSK Centre for Dialogue, the Blusson Spinal Cord Centre, and the Pendulum Gallery located at a branch of the HSBC bank on West Georgia Street. Nobles’s music has also been performed throughout Canada, the US, Europe and Asia, engaging symphony orchestras, choirs, chamber ensembles, and soloists.

At the age of 42, Nobles has been commissioned over twenty times, and counts over fifty performances of his works per year, some of which have led to CD recordings. He is a co-Artistic Director of the Redshift Music Society and has been organizing and presenting concerts of new music for the past ten years. On November 5, 2011 the Society presented a concert at the atrium of the Vancouver Public Library. The concert was part of the “Vertical Orchestra” series, conducted by Leslie Dala. It featured two compositions by Nobles, Hive and æther, the latter receiving its premiere.

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