As the cello became a central part of my life in high school, my listening horizons both contracted and expanded. Today when people ask me what bands I followed in youth, my reply is “pathetically few.” Bowie, The Beatles, U2, Lou Reed, Prince, and a few others. Deeply knowing just a fistful of artists, I missed out on a whole lot of good shit. At the same time, I listened to everything Classical under the sun—my training required it and I loved it. Then Classical and Rock vied for dominance in my heart, clashing like Vader and Luke for rule of the Empire.
Today, the two seem to have made peace. On my studio turntable, I spin a mixture of thrift-store Stravinsky and purple-vinyl Bjork from Rough Trade in my Williamsburg, Brooklyn neighborhood. In songwriting and producing, too, the two musics of my teen years have nestled closely. Elements of my albumPlay Human, like the strings in “Stop Slow Down,” or the rising lines in “Role of Rock,” betray my need to harmonize big, bad Rock with the beauty of orchestral writing. I search still to find that safe harbor where the strains of life past and present can once again be stilled. And celebrated in sound.”
Noah Hoffeld’s debut release, Play Human is in stores now.
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