Roger Noyes, What Do You Listen to When You’re Working at Your Computer?

Roger Noyes
Roger Noyes

Photograph by Rudy Lu

“In addition to my day job as a health care public-policy writer and communications director, I’ve been working on a book manuscript over the past year about my Great-Great Aunt Clara Noyes, who led the Red Cross Nursing Division during World War I and enrolled 20,000 nurses to serve the troops (among several other historical developments in the early years of professional nursing).

“I’ve done a lot of this work at strange hours, sometimes getting up before 4am, so I lean on lighter, instrumental music that is not too distracting. My playlist while writing often includes Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue or In a Silent Way, some Dave Brubeck, Barney Kessel, Django Reinhardt, or a collection of Fernando Sor classical guitar pieces. If it has lyrics or vocals, I will go with albums that are very familiar, so I am not distracted by the words – maybe Neil Young’s Harvest, or any of his other acoustic music. 

“As a footnote, during research for my book I came across a hymnal containing a tune entitled “Watch and Pray,” written by a woman named Clara Noyes in the 1800s. It turns out the composer is a different Clara Noyes than my aunt. Nevertheless, I rearranged the melody, harmonies, and meter (switching between 5/4 and 6/4), and we will be performing this tune at the Albany Jazz Festival among some other new, original tunes and re-arrangements.” 

Roger Noyes is the guitarist with Jazz Caravan, who are slated to perform at 2:30pm on Saturday (September 10) at the City of Albany Jazz Festival in Washington Park. UPDATE, 9/9: The fest has been moved to the rain site – the Corning Preserve Boat Launch parking lot. Also performing are Cliff Brucker & Full Circle, KJ Denhert, Lucky Chops and the Ellis Marsalis Quintet. Admission is free. GO HERE for more info and the complete festival schedule…

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