Junior Noah Hall on listening vs. hearing

For this installment of What Are YOU Listening To?, Crossed Sabres spoke with junior Noah Hall. Hall is known for his wide-ranging music taste, and he has participated in marching band since the fall of 2013. He is also a member of the W-L Jazz Lab and performs with the McLean Youth Orchestra.

What are you listening to currently–artist, album, song, genre, whatever.

I’ve been listening to a lot of Arvo Pärt’s music, especially his choral works, Blink-182 (old and new) and whatever pieces of music I’m rehearsing for the ensembles I perform with.

How did you get into Arvo Pärt?

I got into a lot of modern classical music, including Arvo Pärt, through my dad, my various music teachers, and a tendency to scroll through endless Wikipedia pages to find music that I don’t know well. In this case, my dad played “Fur Alina” by Arvo Pärt on the piano when I was younger, and I just forgot about it until I got a little older.

Did you listen to Blink-182 when you were younger?

I kind of went through a “punk rock” phase in elementary/middle school, which sort of shocks me because my primary performing interest is more focused around art music than it is in rock or pop. I found them through Nirvana and Green Day, and I was kind of the only one in my friend group who liked them. Nostalgia, dude.

If someone wanted to start listening to modern classical music and/or Blink-182, where would you recommend they start?

That’s a specifically oriented question, but really not limited to those to specifics. “Listening” is a strange word because you can be listening and not hearing. Ideally, whenever I hear a new piece of music (or old one, for that matter) I want to be changed by it. Ultimately musical taste, and broadening musical taste is not just about past experiences. It’s also about a willingness to explore and be made uncomfortable by the music you’re hearing. If you hear Blink-182/modern music for the first time and you’re comfortable with it, I wouldn’t recommend that to you. I learn and grow way more from experiencing new things in music then I do from listening to the same stuff, which is paradoxical because a lot of contemporary classical composers are extremely prolific. Hearing music is a very complicated subject, and while I would love for people to have similar interests as me, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend my tastes if you know or enjoy them.