Contemporary Chinese artist Ai Weiwei famously said, “Life is art. Art is life. I never separate it.” The same could be said of Noah Avery. And for the last four years, we have had the great privilege of following Noah as he has musically chronicled his life’s joys and hardships, the latter of which he’s had far more than is fair.
Noah Avery is a Las Vegas-based composer and producer. A former music teacher, he is a virtuosic multi-instrumentalist and an equally adept audio engineer. Since 2019 he has been documenting his ongoing battle with cancer in a series of five deeply personal, spiritual, and musically sophisticated concept albums (A Lone Image, Unnamed Road, The Digital Life, Roundwood, God is Great).
Composing, performing, producing, mixing, and mastering every note himself, Noah is able to artfully convey the impossible complexity of emotions felt by his small family as they face dramatically unjust odds. One year ago, the Avery family’s disproportionate suffering was immeasurably compounded by the unexpected death of Noah’s wife. Once again, the musician turned to the studio to find some sense in the tragedy.
Clinging to Light is the brand new album from Noah Avery, released worldwide via all major streaming services on December 4, 2023. The album opens with the interwoven arpeggios of “Spring Awakens”, echoing the chaotic beauty of life breaking free of winter’s cold grasp. From there, Noah takes us on a joyful 11-song instrumental celebration of being. He sets the scene with awe-inspiring titles like “Heralding the Sun’s Return” and “A Glorious Explosion”, and then paints intricate jazz-infused soundscapes.
There is a strong fusion thread that runs through these tunes, bringing to mind the great Herbie Hancock’s experimental Head Hunters era. However, Noah Avery mixes musical genres like colors on a canvas. Tracks like “Concealed by Frost ” and “Obscured by Mind” add Nordic metal thunder and epic art-rock synths to that jazzy syncopated dance.
“Raze the Shelf” cranks the amps back up to 11 for some speed-metal riffing. “No Form Can Hold You” then changes course with a deep downtempo meditative vibe. “Look In, See Out” takes that Buddhist mindset back to the street for another great 70s jazz/funk jam.
Epic tracks like “Only This IS” and “Victory” further blur stylistic boundaries. Noah Avery’s solo work has always found its roots in progressive rock. On Clinging to Light he delves further than ever before into the realms of jazz and neo-classical music. However, prog-rock can convey a tale in ways that jazz only implies. Noah Avery marries the bombast of the former with the subtleties of the latter to great effect.
This tribute to a transcendent love story closes with a bit of melancholic beauty. “Evaporate” is a perfect last-call piano jazz farewell with a Hollywood ending.
Check out Clinging to Light in its entirety below, or listen on your favorite streaming service. You can also hear “Look in, See Out” on the Deep Dive : Jazz & Classical playlist, and “Raze the Shelf ” on Deep Dive : Pop & Rock. Follow the links below to connect with Noah Avery, and join him on his profound musical journey.