Chi’s Cakewalk is daring: not only is it Jason Noble’s first solo release, but the clarinettist chose to fill it with works by living Australian composers.
After a short but grooving title track by Gerard Brophy, we hear Corrina Bonshek’s As Small Birds Play, which couples bird sounds with Noble’s spirited tone. Nature progresses through Andrew Schultz’s Night Birds I & II. Pianist Scott Davie joins Noble in Stuart Greenbaum’s Composition with Yellow Lines – a serene but provocative musical landscape – after which comes Brophy’s energetic and bassy NRG. Introspection by Kim Cunio and Noble is a force of texture; from chimes and clangs of Tibetan singing bowls through to the airy interjections of bass clarinet. The unexpected instrumentation feels laced with tension.
Matthew Hindson’s Nintendo Music is a bright, aural equivalent of the pixelated narratives it depicts, with scurrying piano and clarinet presenting a catchy, bubbly theme. Other works include Nicholas Vines’ Rustling the Deities II & III; and Felicity Wilcox’s Yurabirong, through which Noble calls on sounds of the didgeridoo. Daniel Paujimi’s Song (by Paujimi) leaves us with an awe-inspiring soundscape.
As much as it highlights the stylistic diversity in Australian composition, Chi’s Cakewalk serves the instrument itself – revealing its full depth of character through Noble’s wide-ranging skills.