Jordan Nobles – Chiaroscuro

Music for Large Chamber Orchestra by JUNO Award-winning composer Jordan Nobles

JUNO-winning Vancouver area composer Jordan Nobles’ ninth album follows in its predecessor’s sumptuously elusive footsteps. Where the cascades of superimposed guitars heard on 2019’s Infinity Mirror hinted at an orchestral scope, Chiaroscuro transposes these swarms of detail to the vast palette afforded by a large ensemble. The disc’s immersive namesake is as expansive as it is patient, furnishing a series of dark billows whose rich harmonies disperse through effervescent flurries of instrumental interplay. Meanwhile, its accompanying work “Pulses” steers the titular element through a three-dimensional space projected via Nobles’ refined orchestrational prowess.

Jordan was nominated for ‘Composer of the Year’ at the 2022 Western Canadian Music Awards.

1. Chiaroscuro  (2014/rev.2020) – 30:01
2. Pulses  (1998) – 14:31


Mark Takeshi McGregor – piccolo, flute, alto flute, bass flute
Geronimo Mendoza – oboe, english horn
Liam Hockley – clarinet, bass clarinet
Gwen Seaton – bassoon
Colin MacDonald – alto saxophone
Holly Bryan – french horn
John Korsrud – trumpet, flugelhorn
Jeremy Berkman – trombone
Angela Steele – tuba
Martin Fisk – timpani, bass drum, tam tam, vibraphone
Vern Griffiths – glockenspiel
Nicholas Jacques – tubular bells, crotales
Katie Rife – marimba
Albertina Chan – harp
Miranda Wong – piano
Adrian Verdejo – acoustic, electric, & classical guitars
Janna Sailor – violin I
Molly MacKinnon – violin II
Tawnya Popoff – viola
Marina Hasselberg – cello
Mark Haney – doublebass
Kelly Nobles – solo voice, choir director
Jessica Heaven, Stephanie Mile – sopranos
Laura Bower, Felisha Rolin, Myra Sobelman – altos

Chiaroscuro is included among the ‘most noteworthy releases of 2020’ – Michael Schell, Sequenza21

“a masterful and beautiful complexity…”, “brilliant use of instrumental colour…” – The Wholenote

“…not knowing how a good magic trick is performed makes it all the more entrancing, I’m willing to believe that there’s something supernatural going on in Nobles’ 30-minute Chiaroscuro, a sustained single movement with the power to halt all conversation and prevent physical movement. You’ll end up rooted to the spot, desperate for the thing never to end. My new favourite contemporary work. A genuinely gorgeous disc.” – UK’s The Arts Desk

“Pay close attention to its absorbing detail, or let your mind wander and see where the work takes you.”Exclaim! Magazine

“Inhabit[s] a post-genre place where everything from sixties “space symphonies” to minimalist modernism can happily coexist […] A truly great recording.”Stuart Derdeyn, Vancouver Sun

“Throughout Chiaroscuro, the musical interplay between elements of light and dark capture a primordial sense of wonderment that only a composer as contemplative as Jordan Nobles could achieve.” Musicworks

“a drifting beauty that’s like stillness being slowly subjected to the unavoidable passage of time.”, “Chiaroscuro is full of warmth and beauty as much as of light and shade.” OBLADADA

“an absorbing work that revels in the sheer beauty of sound-color dynamics”Avant Music News

“like a massive cloud that slowly changes shape and colour as it moves through the sky”Vital Weekly

” the listener is immediately drawn into a slightly hazy, chiming, time dissolving and retrofuturist sonic cloud of sorts, hovering and floating two feet above the ground like the manifestation of an interdimensional being… Recommended” – (Hamburg)

“Nobles eschews conventional narrative development in the composition, opting instead for a design that’s more akin to a large-format sound painting containing a multitude of textural detail.”textura

“Les travaux du canadien sont tous les deux habités par une notion de force en suspension, entrainant l’auditeur dans des phases oniriques à la densité sobre mais intense, dont les mouvements en mobilité restreintes pour Chiaroscuro ou en spirale happante sur Pulses, permettent d’apprécier la constance du travail de Jordan Nobles à travers le temps et dans sa diversité. Superbe.”SilenceAndSound

“This is a music with which to drift, in which to loose the sense of self, but ultimately, and possibly most important, a music of landmarks. Its aesthetic is both accessible and surprisingly complex, and with such beautiful recording and production to its credit, not to mention top-flight musicianship from all involved, the disc is a winner!” Five Stars – Marc Medwin – FANFARE Magazine

“The spellbinding titular work unfolds thick yet delicate large ensemble textures that variously waft and ooze throughout the aural field.” – Avant Music News

“Two luxurious pieces of new classical music…” – The Moderns

“I came away from this listening experience with an appreciation of Nobles’s great artistic reach, both as composer and director.”  – Beauty amidst anxiety, Only Strings

“The attentive listener will probably detect qualities in both of Nobles’ compositions that reflect on the wide spectrum of inventive approaches to making music that emerged during the second half of the twentieth century. That said, if the listener is attentive enough, (s)he will never confuse Nobles’ compositional techniques with any of those sources.” – The Immersive Music of Jordan Nobles, The Rehearsal Studio

Chiaroscuro is available from:

Recorded at Creativ Music Centre, North Vancouver, BC. and Pyatt Hall, Vancouver, B.C. Canada
Produced and edited by Jordan Nobles; Mastering by Don Harder.

Cover Image by the Beresheet Spacecraft. SpaceIL April 2019 Used by Permission.

Special thanks to Mark Takeshi McGregor, Kelly Nobles, Mike Southworth, Nick Storring, Colin MacDonald, Dejan Radovanovic, Wesley Jay, Aleksandar Zecevic, Don Harder, and Julian Nobles.

Video by Dejan Radovanovic

This project is funded in part by FACTOR, the Government of Canada and Canada’s private radio broadcasters.
Ce projet est financé en partie par FACTOR, le gouvernement du Canada et les radiodiffuseurs privés du Canada.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

TK477 © 2020 Redshift Music

Jordan Nobles – composer
Composer Jordan Nobles is known for creating music filled with an “unearthly beauty” (Mondomagazine) that makes listeners want to “close (their) eyes and transcend into a cloud of music” (Discorder Magazine). He has won numerous awards for his work including a JUNO Award and a Western Canadian Music Award for ‘Classical Composition of the Year’. Jordan was also the recipient of the Jan V. Matejcek Award in recognition of ‘overall success in New Classical Music’ and was awarded the Barbara Pentland Award of Excellence ‘for his extraordinary contribution to Canadian Music’. He lives in Deep Cove, BC with his wife Kelly and their son Julian.

Photo by Dejan Radovanovic

Recordings with music by Jordan Nobles
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