Monday, June 15, 2009

Noah Harris and the Nagant Quartet - Three Nights in Chicago

Noah Harris is a songwriter from Champaign, IL that I met probably seven years ago. My band was on an epically bad tour (which we named The Trail of Tears Tour after the fact because it had been so poorly booked). We shared a bill with Noah at a coffee shop in Wisconsin and I watched the room go still as he chased the demons out with his voice, acoustic guitar and strong fingers. Days later he put us up when we came through Champaign. He made us breakfast and it made us happier to be around him. He can do that.

We kept in touch and then years later he asked me to produce a record for his group Elanors, a collaboration with his wife Adriel. I’m not sure how it happened, because it happened gradually and slyly, but I ended up getting so obsessed with Noah’s music that I forgot it wasn’t mine. And there was a while when I cared more about Noah’s music than my own. That was a happy time. That collaboration went deep, maybe too deep. We made a band to tour the record (Movements), and even did a pretty swanky small East Coast tour, but nothing much came of the record or the band and eventually Noah went off in another direction.

Honestly, I was sore about the way things turned out, but I kept tabs on his music from a distance. After all, the friendship started in worship. At first it was difficult to separate the hard feelings from my feelings about the new songs. But time and music won out.

He’s billing himself as Noah Harris and the Nagant Quartet at the moment and I’m pretty sure he’s finishing a record with solo voice, piano and string quartet. He released a promo single earlier this year, called “Your Side,” and it’s crushingly good. If you live in the Chicago area, catch one of his three nights at the Chopin theater coming up. Everybody knows about the physicality of seeing live music. Not everybody knows about the healing benefits of being in the room with orchestral instruments and the unnamable calm that comes from bathing in those vibrations.

More Noah and ticket info: here.

Noah Harris - "Your Side"

I recorded this in my living room one night in the middle of the Movements sessions, after dinner. It was a brand new song then that Noah was just working out. You can hear the crickets getting in on it.

Noah Harris - "The Song About the Sea"


Anonymous said...

Apparently your thirteen year old body double beat the guitar hero world record!

Nicholas Gregory said...

did not realize you had this passion