Lake Oswego, OR —Gary Lloyd Noland’s music has been described as “gloriously innovative” and “masterful.” With upwards of thirty CD albums either released or in the makes, well over 500 recordings of his compositions are currently available for listening on dozens of streaming networks worldwide, including Soundcloud, YouTube, and Spotify.
Noland’s music is for discriminating listeners who revel in exploring new and uncharted musical territory. A master of all styles—one musicologist described him as “the most virtuosic composer of fugue alive today”—Noland can tweak his musical ideas any which way he chooses, which lends to his musical persona a sharp satirical bent. Although it is impossible to pigeonhole Noland as a composer, as his music is unlike that of anyone else’s, his compositions have often been favorably compared to the likes of Richard Strauss, Frank Zappa, Frederic Rzewski, Conlon Nancarrow, Leopold Godowsky, Cecil Taylor, George Rochberg, J.S. Bach, and a host of other composers.
Out of hundreds of reviews and encomiums, here is a tiny sample of things that reviewers and prominent musicians have written about Noland’s music:
“…set in a dizzying harmonic language that loops uncontrollably through a wide-ranging gamut of possible and impossible tonalities … The general effect is like watching wet paintings of 19th Century musical memorabilia drip into frazzled 21st Century oblivion…”
—ALLEN GIMBEL, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE
“…mind-bending spiraling of focus which is truly breathtaking … spectacular…”
“I’m amazed at your harmonic skill. Haven’t seen or heard anything like it from any one else—except yours truly—certainly not from your generation. It falls somewhere between Strauss and Mahler. Especially like how you are able to slip in and out from the tonal to the atonal—or near atonal…”
—GEORGE ROCHBERG, American composer, Pulitzer Prize finalist
Noland has recorded upwards of 30 CD albums of his original compositions, a number of which are available for purchase. Six CDs are available for purchase from North Pacific Music:
http://www.northpacificmusic.com/# Two CD albums are available from CD Baby at:
and several CDs are available from Bandcamp at:
Composer Gary Lloyd Noland welcomes adventurous listeners into his unique, distinctive, multifaceted, and iconoclastic soundworld. Noland’s music, while building upon the work of celebrated master composers of bygone centuries, at the same time pioneers new and uncharted musical territory, daring to go where no composer has gone before him. Having created his own musical multiverse (as listening to and studying his hundreds upon hundreds of works will attest), he is a one-of-a-kind composer, without peer.
To read about and hear more of Noland’s music, please visit his website at: garynolandcomposer.com, his SoundCloud account at: https://soundcloud.com/gary-noland, his YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJt_eNyJqOZBErG9McQ51nA; here is a link to Noland’s Adagio Doloroso: in memoriam Frederic Rzewski, Op. 121, performed by pianist Asya Gulua: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Tgh0w-fRzc.
GARY LLOYD NOLAND, founder of the Facebook groups Wild Composers and Composers with Big Egos, was born in Seattle in 1957 and grew up in a broken home in a crowded house shared by ten or more people on a plot of land three blocks south of UC Berkeley known as People’s Park, which has distinguished itself as a site of civil unrest since the late 1960s. As an adolescent, Noland lived for a time in Salzburg (Mozart’s birthplace) and Garmisch-Partenkirchen (home of Richard Strauss), where he absorbed a host of musical influences. Having studied with a long roster of acclaimed composers and musicians, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in music from UC Berkeley in 1979, continued his studies at the Boston Conservatory, then transferred to Harvard University, where he added to his credits a Masters and a PhD in Music Composition in 1989. His teachers in composition and theory have included John Clement Adams (not to be confounded with composers John Coolidge Adams or John Luther Adams), Alan Curtis (harpsichordist, musicologist, conductor, and one of the musical “stars” in Werner Herzog’s film on Gesualdo, “Death for Five Voices”), Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (Master of the Queen’s Music from 2004-16), William Denny (student of Paul Dukas), Robert Dickow, Janice Giteck (student of Darius Milhaud and Olivier Messiaen), Andrew Imbrie (1995 Pulitzer Prize Finalist, student of Nadia Boulanger and Roger Sessions,), Earl Kim (student of Arnold Schoenberg, Ernest Bloch, and Roger Sessions), Leon Kirchner (1967 Pulitzer Prize winner, student of Arnold Schoenberg and assistant to Ernest Bloch and Roger Sessions) David Lewin (dubbed “the most original and far-ranging theorist of his generation”), Donald Martino (1974 Pulitzer Prize winner, student of Milton Babbitt, Roger Sessions, and Luigi Dallapiccola), Hugo Norden, Marta Ptaszynska (student of Nadia Boulanger and Olivier Messiaen), Chris Rozé (student of Charles Wuorinen, Ursula Mamlok, and Vincent Persichetti), Goodwin Sammel (student of pianist Claudio Arrau), John Swackhamer (student of Ernst Krenek and Roger Sessions), Ivan Tcherepnin (son of Alexander Tcherepnin, student of Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen,), and Walter Winslow (brother of Portland composer and fellow Cascadia co-founder Jeff Winslow). Noland has attended seminars by composers David Del Tredici (1980 Pulitzer Prize winner), Beverly Grigsby (student of Ernst Krenek), Michael Finnissy (leading British composer and pianist), and Bernard Rands (1984 Pulitzer Prize winner), and has had private consultations with George Rochberg (1986 Pulitzer Prize finalist, “Father of Neo-Romanticism”) and Joaquin Nin-Culmell (brother of essayist and diarist Anaïs Nin, student of Paul Dukas and Manuel de Falla).
Noland’s ever-expanding catalogue consists of scores of opuses, which include piano, vocal, chamber, orchestral, experimental, and electronic pieces, full-length plays in verse, “chamber novels,” and graphically notated scores. His critically acclaimed, award-winning 77-hour long Gesamtkunstwerk Jagdlied: a Chamber Novel for Narrator, Musicians, Pantomimists, Dancers & Culinary Artists (Op. 20) was listed by one reviewer as the Number One book of 2018. His 39 Variations on an Original Theme in F Major for solo piano (Op. 98) is, at approximately two hours duration, one of the lengthiest and most challenging sets of solo piano variations in the history of the genre. It has been called by American composer Ernesto Ferreri “an historical variation set for piano, a true descendant of the Goldbergs and Diabellis, beautifully targeted to an apotheosis of supreme grandeur.” Composer/pianist Ludwig Tuman described it as “an astounding tour de force. In its far-reaching, systematic exploration of the theme’s creative possibilities, as well as in the inexhaustible imagination brought to bear, it reminds one of the Goldberg and the Diabelli. But in its monumental dimensions it goes far beyond them both, and in the large number of historical styles referenced and integrated into the work … I am unaware of any parallel. I especially enjoyed the consistent use of certain features of the theme, regardless of the style or the type of tonality, pantonality or atonality employed—among them the melodic turn, the phrases ascending by whole steps, and others. I offer my humble congratulations on a titanic achievement!”