Noemi Liba
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Noemi Liba

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"" Her voice is a wisp in the soundscape electronica, like cigarette smoke circling in the air..." by Mike Greenblatt, Music Journalist, New York"

Noemi Liba
Exotic, mysterious, sensual, the music of Noemi Liba, like her name, flows off the lips rhythmically. A beautiful Aussie, I met her on the streets of New York and found myself having dinner with her.
“I’m a recording artist,” she told me.
“I’m a music journalist,” I told her. Some of the greatest relationships in history have started with less.
She almost whispers through opener “Carry” on the debut full-length, See, Saw. Almost. Her voice is a wisp in the soundscape electronica, like cigarette smoke circling in the air. “Protect” has a Middle Eastern vibe, snake charmer- style. In song after song, she projects the image of the waif, innocent-but-knowing. It’s a provocative stance.The little bells and triangles that dot “Tonight” give it a childlike percussive quality. Then comes “Unwinding,” with its chant of “I’ve got sweaty palms/I’ve been hurt.” The string quartet that comes out of nowhere to stop the percussive layer is a seconds-only gorgeous break. Then the strings and the percussion dance together in minor key madness before stopping on a dime to introduce “My Arrears” and things really start to get weird. Closer “Float” gets close to jazz vocalese territory.
Liba splits her time between Australia, Europe and the U.S. She had given me her Freefall EP after we dined and I loved it: Tape loops, percussion, electronic confusion and, through it all, that voice, that stark declarative jazzy voice. See, Saw takes it to the next level with flutes, strings and tubas recorded in Chicago, guitar/bass/drums recorded in Brooklyn, keyboards, vocals and horns in Melbourne.
With no musical precedent to fall back on for easy categorization, one is forced to consider the arrangements and lyrics independently. You might think Bjork, Laurie Anderson or Kate Bush but you’d be wrong. This is unique stuff. Liba didn’t go for instant accessibility here. It takes some getting used to. I mean, hell, I looked into the limpid pools of her eyes across the dinner table so maybe I understand her sound more than a stranger. Or not.
The only immediate constant of See, Saw is its abject beauty. It’s understated and it’s the strings, flute and tuba that elevate it into another realm. But, make no mistake about it, within all the dreams and clouds of her mysterioso sound, Noemi Liba is a singer/songwriter. Her themes are spiritual. Her delivery can be deadpan but it can also be alluring and sophisticated, enticing the ear with a lazy purr or the use of silence in- between the syllables.
She’s getting popular in her native Australia. Stateside, she’s performed at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music with a 21-piece orchestra as well as the United Nations in New York City and Kennedy Center in D.C.
See, Saw was mixed by John Hudson who won a Grammy Award for his work with Tina Turner.
So after listening to this thing over and over, I just had to find out who the hell she would list as her influences. The answers were surprising: Billie Holiday, Frank Zappa, The Cure, early music of Medieval Europe, The Orb, Miles Davis and Wayne Shorter.
Noemi Liba is truly something special. I knew that the minute I met her. She has a degree in philosophy and literature. She’s a published poet, a new mom and she’s collaborated with some of the most adventurous musicians in the world including Biennale artist Heri Dono as well as Yair Dalal and the Chicago Oriental Orchestra. In a series of solo performances with a string trio she performed with cutting edge three-dimensional projection team eness in Melbourne.
Noemi Liba Noemi Liba Noemi Liba, it just sounds so beautiful. - Rant n Roll - U.S. based music paper mag

"Yair Dalal Musician, Composer"

"Noemi Liba's talent was revealed to me a couple of years ago when I heard her music at the Rimon Jazz Institute in Israel. Since then, I have been exposed even more to her special talent and unique musical taste in her work, especially in her musical arrangements which have moved me very much.

This was also the reason why I approached her to arrange one of my songs for string quartet, which will be performed in the summer of 2005 at the major Genesis Festival tour in the U.S.A."

Noemi Liba's music is a true gift to any sensitive music lover.
- Keshmusic

"The Advertiser, Adelaide"

"Noemi's blend of soft grooves and spiritual themes are already attracting a strong following" - Michael Duffy

"Steve Jones interviews Noemi Liba."

I first heard Noemi Liba perform around twelve years ago when she sang a few numbers at the SA State Folk Festival during what’s known as a blackboard session, a forum where artists chalk up their names in order to take turns at the mic. After managing to procure myself an acoustic demo CD, the then young singer/songwriter simply disappeared from Adelaide; alternating her time between Melbourne, the US, and her ancestral homeland of Israel. Fast forward to early 2005, and on the off-chance that my telephone number had remained the same, Liba excitedly reacquaints herself; only this time she’s eager to tell of her debut official release, ‘Freefall’, before jetting off again to Europe and the Middle East for a six week jaunt to help consolidate a few musical leads.
"The music that I write has an unusual alternative core," she proffers as a base description, "which, I don’t mean by the alternative music scene but rather structurally looking at alternative forms to the ‘verse, verse, chorus, verse, chorus’ form. There’s a couple of tracks that have things like choruses in them, but I guess I’m trying to appeal more to the direct sensual experience of sound and emotion. So to me, it’s more akin to an art form rather than just writing a song. It’s almost like the friend who paints a painting or takes a photograph, it’s a sensual experience of art rather than a structural one."
Undertaking advanced formal studies in jazz, and having sought out the teachings of Iraqi master woodplayer, violinist and composer Yair Dalal, and former Frank Zappa pianist, Allan Zavod (who has been quoted as saying that Liba is, "One of Australia’s true innovative talents"), she has taken a year away from the classroom and has been concentrating on putting what she’s learnt into practice.
"I’m also quite interested in doing arrangements," she adds, "so I’ve arranged all the strings on the CD. Again, arranging my music back as an art form is not just about communicating songs but I also want to paint all the colours in. So to learn how to do that I need to grab all those different skills from certain people and then I take them home and make them my own.
"As for my influences, I was singing Middle Eastern music for a few years in different ensembles, some were more traditional while others had a bit of a trance space and more of a jazz ethic by using a lot of improvisation with a club beat behind it.
"For me, the whole musical journey has been exciting as I feel like I’m always changing and growing and spreading my wings. Over the years I think I’ve always been developing and always learning, and this CD is a lot more sophisticated than anything I’ve done. It’s a lot more complete and I’d written all the arrangements and worked with an amazing producer on it, so by going overseas with a product such as this it’s very clear to people the direction I’m going in. I think I’ve stepped a little bit out of the singer-songwriter/guitar base where I started, and I think I needed to do that."

- DB magazine, Adelaide, Australia

"Extract: PBS Radio's John Carver Interviews Noemi Liba"

JC: A CD came my way, about a month ago by someone whose name was impossible to pronounce, Noemi Liba. And I was… just absolutely blown away by it.  And, I’ve been lucky to have Noemi come in this morning to talk to us… Thought we’ll start, before we chat to her, to have a listen to a track called Too Late – this is Noemi Liba….

(Track played) TOO LATE – NOEMI LIBA

JC: I’m sure that you will agree, that is extraordinary. That’s a track called Too Late. And the artist is Noemi Liba. And good morning Noemi.

NL: Good morning…

JC: It is a fantastic album and just one of those things that, you know your listening to a whole lot of stuff & it’s all very good, and then something comes along that just blows you away, which is in fact the case with Freefall.. for me, anyway, & hopefully for hundreds of other radio people.

NL: Thank you

JC: Tell me about the lead up to the album. When was it recorded?

NL: It was recorded last year.

JC: Okay, & the studio’s here in Melbourne.

NL: Yes, Trevor Cronin, plug plug, Elwood, amazing sound studio..

JC: (laughter) Got his telephone number?

NL: (laughter) Yes! And also Dorian West’s, the producer!

JC: Okay, tell me where all this, this lushness comes from & 5/4, we were talking about 5/4 beat in there and so on. For someone who actually enjoys singing Iggy Pop songs.

NL: (Laughter) I just mention that in passing! (more laughter). The lushness…. I guess I’ve worked with a diverse group of bands. I’ve sung with Big band to sort of small Jazz ensembles, Middle Eastern ensembles, and I have an appetite for a very sensual and a full experience. So, yes, it all just happened, just built & built. It was like painting on a canvas….

JC: And did you have the sound in your head as you were writing? I mean obviously when you were doing the arrangements, but as you were writing the initial songs?

NL: Yes, when I write the songs, it almost feels like I’m overwhelmed by an idea….

JC: Hmm

NL: I’m completely absorbed by it; it’s actually, for me, akin to having an extra sensory experience, as bizarre as it sounds (laughter). It overwhelms me  and I just write…

JC: And so the idea just forms and just comes out. I think song writing is an amazing craft and it amazes me how many people are affected in that same way. It’s just almost like there is a muse that brings it out.

NL: Definitely, definitely, sometimes its hard to explain it to people without sounding a bit, you know, ‘airy fairy’ or ‘wish washy’, but it is, a very intense experience, for me anyway. It’s very consuming and it gives me a lot of energy. When I’ve finished, its like I’m exhausted

JC: Tell me about the musicians who appear on the album.

NL: I’ve been very lucky to work with some of the most amazing musicians in Melbourne. People like Dave Beck who’s who’s playing drums there.

JC: Fantastic drummer

NL: Fantastic. Dorian West again, played a lot of the bass on the album..
And he’s also a flugal horn & trumpet player as well..... And the strings of course – well they speak for themselves, just excellent players. Stephanie (violin) is now residing in Germany unfortunately, but fortunately for her…
JC: And how do you think it will translate to stage

NL: Well, it will be lush because it’s still going to be instrumentally based around a string trio together with a string.. with a Jazz trio

JC: Hmmm

NL: Of course there’s going to be the electronic elements and I think live, it’s going have a little bit of punch at times as well! So it will have the etherealness, but were going to have a solid rhythm section happening

JC: And you’ll have the capacity then to improvise of course…

NL: Ah yes (laughter) yes, with the Jazz trio, it shall go places.

JC: okay (laughter), something to look forward to, we’ll tell people about the various dates as they come around.  Are you releasing overseas as well?

NL: Sure, it’s currently been visiting Montreal, Spain & other spaces in Europe & yeah, it’s like little drops in the ocean gathering together, and I’ve had a great response so far….

JC: Got a great response from a reasonably well-respected musician by the name of Allan Zavod

NL: Allan, he’s played on that track, Allan… (laughter) Allan…. (laughter)

JC: Well share it with us, come on

NL: Allan is an absolute genius with music.

JC: Played with Zappa

NL: 10 years

JC: Yes  (laughter)

NL: He’s quite, he’s quite an eccentric person as well…(more laughter)

JC: Well he is eccentric, but he really gave a fantastic quote about the brilliance of this album…

NL: I’ve had a really great response from some musicians that I hold in high esteem which has been really great for me, because you know, this music is something that is a really a personal creation. I’ve written it, I’ve arranged everything, and I’ve felt initially, very frightened to release it because it’s such a personal and unusual thing…

JC: hmm

NL: It’s almost alternative-to-alternative
- The Morning After Show 23-03-2005, 3PBS Radio

"Allan Zavod Quote"

"One of Australia’s true innovative talents"

- ex Frank Zappa Band

"Malcolm Fielding Reviews Freefall"

The first release from Noemi Liba - an artist we're pretty sure to hear a lot more of - this is a short EP of 25 minutes duration, and it leaves you wanting much more! At times reminding this reviewer of Beth Gibbons in vocal style, and some of the programming and atmospherics have a rather Portishead feel, this is music that is genuinely hard to categorise. This says a lots about its originality. Noemi has produced wonderfully crafted songs that speak to human dramas, and overlay sophisticated musical textures from a highly talented group of supporting musicians. "Too Late" and Rain" are intricate mini-masterpieces, and the cover of Leonard Cohen's "Dance Me to the End of Love" is simply gorgeous. A remarkable debut mini-album. I can't wait for a full length CD from Noemi! - ABC Radio

"John Carver Quote"

"Extraordinary, spectacular..leaves you wanting more" - PBS Radio

"Malcolm Fielding quote"

"wonderfully crafted songs ....'Too Late' and 'Rain' are intricate mini masterpieces" - ABC Radio / Indie Cds


Noemi has now completed her new cd, See, Saw, recorded with a stellar lineup across 4 cities: New York, Chicago, Tel Aviv and her birth place, Melbourne, Australia.

Stay Tuned for a live show near you!!!

Noemi's debut offering, Freefall received airplay across Australia on ABC Radio National, On PBS and Triple RRR in Melbourne, as well as regionally on the state ABC channels. It has also been picked up by local public radio stations across Australia, in Europe and in the USA. See, Saw, album number two, is currently working its way along the same pathways and beyond.. Stay tuned for more news...



Far from formulaic, Noemi juxtaposes the musical cultures of Avante Garde, Middle Eastern, Jazz and Trance seamlessly as an intimate and uniquely passionate live artist.

Noemi was raised in St Kilda, Melbourne, during the full throttle Melbourne Alternative music scene of the 90’s.

Eclectic and multi-disciplinary, Noemi cites her first musical instrument as ‘Dance’ but since turning her passion to developing her inimitable musical voice and vision, she has brought her alternative yet sophisticated sounds and her honeyed vocal agility and 'cool' to intimate venues, festivals and concert halls in the USA, Middle East and Australia. Some highlights have been Hamer Hall, Melbourne, the Kennedy Center, Washington DC and the UN, New York City.

Her genre has always been challenging to place, for all the right reasons - beats inspired by hip hop of her neighborhood in NYC, melts into eastern sounds of a Middle Eastern heritage infused with Jazz of her musical background set into a strong alternative culture of her youth: she sites Kate Bush, Iggy Pop, Blondie, Ramones, Nick Cave and Frank Zappa amongst her early passions ~ now there is no box that can contain that!

In addition to her own projects, Noemi has worked with an incredible diversity of esteemed musicians and music producers, including The Chicago Oriental String Orchestra, a 21 piece off-shoot of Baranboim’s Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Yair Dalal in Israel, in New York with Jazz maestros Mark Helais and Nasheet Waits, and with Brad Albetta, (producer of Martha Wainright and Sean Lennon), three times Grammy winner John Hudson and in Melbourne with Allan Zavod and the Silo Quartet.

Noemi has also worked musically in collaboration with artists of other disciplines, including Biennale Artist Heri Dono, Nimrod Weis and Eness, and the Melbourne Ballet Company.

More recently, she has been based in New York though she is now enjoying a spell in her hometown Melbourne for family reasons.