Las Vegas based composer and producer, Noah Avery has been communicating through his music for a long time. He has a doctorate in conducting and repertoire. For fifteen years he taught music and helped the next generation of musicians find their voice. Now Noah is using his own voice to communicate something beautiful.
Noah is battling stage four metastatic colon cancer. His prognosis is not great. I don’t know what most people would do in his circumstance. I don’t know what I would do. Mr. Avery has taken that information and filtered its energy into a seventeen song experimental exploration of sound, life and philosophy.
Musically “The Unnamed Road” is a master craftsman’s journey through genres. Songs flow from one to another, often without pause. As a result, it feels like a single cohesive piece of music. To borrow terminology from Noah’s classical background, the record flows like a symphony through various movements. It opens with the ambient sounds of “Morning Prayer”. The sound morphs from there through musical styles ranging from industrial noise to Disco grooves. However, these ever evolving moods are not chaotic. Just the contrary. The record ebbs and flows through its cycles smoothly, naturally.
On songs like “Feet to the Floor” and “One More Day” Noah raps and sings in a style similar to some of Beck’s more cognitive work. Elsewhere, Avery’s instrumentation brings to mind Quincy Jones‘ funky Jazz of the 1970s. Electric pianos weave in an out of horn riffs and syncopated beats. Eventually, these vibes too shift into myriad other styles. Acid Jazz beats overlap with Pink Floyd inspired psychedelia.
Lyrically, “The Unnamed Road” is sometimes motivational, sometimes fun and often profound. The piece cannot be viewed separately from the reality of Noah’s medical situation. Throughout the record he observes his own life, and human existence as a whole. There is a lot to unpack and I am certainly not qualified to explain the meaning or depth of it. I can say that I used the rewind button a lot. I still do not know if lyrics like “this is not who you are” or “everything I am I can always choose” are reminders to the artist himself, or lessons to those of us who will remain on this Earth once he is gone. I suppose both can be true.
One thing is for sure, the lines “Won’t waste another moment with you,” and “God give me one last night, so I may rage and fight,” carry a lot more weight when delivered by a man who is literally fighting for his own existence.
Under any circumstances, “The Unnamed Road” would be a tremendous musical accomplishment. In the context of Noah Avery’s current reality, the record carries a message to everyone lucky enough to be drawing breath on this Earth. Breath it in. As Noah says, “Put your feet to the floor, it’s beautiful.”
Listen to “The Unnamed Road” and follow the links below to connect with Noah Avery.