Biography

Biography

Photo by Sven Lindahl

Photo by Sven Lindahl

 "Noemi Liba's music is a true gift to any sensitive music lover.” 
Yair Dalal, 
Classical Iraqi Musician, Composer  
Israel 

                                     

“An incredible sound…"
Waleed Aly, ‘Drive’ ABC Radio National Australia

 

 “exceptional…a high level of compositional literacy…,  the works are impressive in their scope”.  
Masters Folio Examiner 1 (anon) 

 

"Tape Loops, percussion, electronic confusion and, through it all, that voice, that stark declarative jazzy voice. See, Saw takes it to the next level...abject beauty".    
Mike Greenblatt,  
The Aquarian Magazine, New York  

                          

"... a gifted musician...displaying innate sensitivity." 
Kareem Roustram, 
Composer, Arranger, Boston, USA  
 

                                       

 "Rich contemporary arrangements...a unique sound of music" 
Greg Muller, SBS Radio Australia 

 

 “a fresh emerging compositional voice… a good ear for sculpting sound..filled with lush orchestrations, glistening ephemeral textures, startling and dramatic jolts and beautiful points of repose… astonishingly beautiful”. 
Masters Folio Examiner 2 (anon)
   
         
 

“extraordinary, spectacular... leaves you wanting more….”
John Carver, PBS Radio Australia 

 
 

"… quite exceptional. Her music is both sophisticated and accessible..."
Zev Eizik, 
Artist and Venue Manager, Hangar11 Israel
 
 

             

“Wonderfully crafted songs... "Too Late' and 'Rain' are intricate mini masterpieces.....” 
Malcolm Fielding,
ABC Radio, Australia 
 

 

"Quite impressive!.."
Jobst Liebrecht, Composer, Conductor, Berlin  

 

‘visceral, timbrally unique and organically fused to feel like a complete, breathing entity’, ‘deeply sensed musical narratives’, 
Lisa Cheney, Composer, Australia 

 

 

An orchestral and electro-acoustic composer and vocalist, Noemi Liba Friedman’s work traverses both genre and media boundaries, to explore intricate, textural, rhythmic and spatialised sound. 

Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, at the age of 19, armed with a guitar, a bag of songs, and her beguiling, honeyed voice, she took to local bars and the Australian festival circuit, garnering popular and critical acclaim as a distinctive and gifted singer-songwriter. 

As she moved between Israel, USA and Australia, Noemi’s solo and string quartet performances evolved, to deliver an enthralling, inimitable mix of jazz, poetry, soaring and stark medieval string and horn arrangements, layered on intricate and driving beats, and inflected with sounds of her then home-base in Tel Aviv/Yafo, Israel.  As critics and audiences attest, her niche performances and recordings have been well-received in Australia and abroad. 

Freefall 2005, Noemi Liba's remarkable debut EP, is a testimony to her eclectic musical apprenticeship,  featuring an exceptional array of Melbourne-based musicians across Jazz, Classical and Middle Eastern fields. As French music event producer Benny Boret noted "she invites you into a sensuous and intimate world, artful, sophisticated, yet meaningful and accessible". Noemi wrote the music and lyrics*, the orchestral arrangements, samples and beats programming for the record and co-produced Freefall alongside producer Dorian West. Freefall was supported by an Arts Victoria Grant. 

Noemi’s distinctive orchestral arrangements on Freefall also resonated with fellow artists, who then approached her to work on their creative projects. One such artist was renowned Iraqi-Israeli musician and composer Yair Dalal. He commissioned Noemi to arrange 'The Perfume Road' for his 2005 USA tour with the Chicago Classical Oriental Ensemble, a 21-piece strings-based ensemble comprised of virtuosic Arabic classical musicians and members of Barenboim’s Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
This tour took in performances at the Brooklyn Art Museum, and the United Nations, with further concerts in Chicago and Los Angeles, and a sold-out, live-streamed performance at the Kennedy Center, Washington DC. 

A multidisciplinary artist herself, Noemi often works simultaneously with visual and film elements in her music, and has also been drawn to collaborate across disciplines. A 2007 series of Melbourne underground performances with internationally acclaimed visual artist and innovator Nimrod Weis of eness is an example of this, as were her previous collaborations with Indonesian Biennale artist Heri Dono, and with the Melbourne Ballet Company. 

See, Saw 2012, a full-length follow-up recording, began to slowly take shape after Noemi relocated to New York City in 2007. Mentored by Mark Helias, Brad Albetta, Allan Zavod, and Nasheet Waits, Noemi wrote and self-produced this album across five years and the five cities of Tel Aviv/Yafo, New York, Chicago, Melbourne and Brisbane, drawing on an outstanding cast of Australian and International musicians. 

Mixed by three-times Grammy Award winner John Hudson, of Mayfair Studios in London, See, Saw is seamlessly woven from an array of musical cultures, from sonically raw, early medieval vocal and instrumental harmonies, to intricate orchestral layers, and its subtle and stark electronic beats, this body of work has served as a spellbinding platform for Noemi’s mesmerizing audio-visual live shows. 

It was Noemi’s live band and studio music that first revealed her abilities to sculpt beautiful, ornate musical tapestries and daring arrangements, that would seed her future explorations in orchestral and experimental worlds of composition, yet to come. 

In the past several years, Noemi has received commissions for new orchestral and electro-acoustic works presented at the 2017 Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music, at Ione’s 27th Annual Dream Festival’ in New York State,  two commissions for the Camino Contro-Corrente Festival in Northern Italy, (first in 2018 and again in 2022), a solo horn work premiered live at the Australian National Academy of Music’s ANAM Set and broadcast on the ABC Radio National’s The Music Show, (Andrew Ford).

Noemi has also written arrangement of ‘El Al’ for John Zorn’s Mycale acapella quartet, with whom she also performed for his head-lining 2014 Adelaide Art Festival’s Masada Marathon. 

As The Grainger Museum Resident Composer 2020-21, Noemi was commissioned to write the large-scale orchestral work 'Threshold', designed and performed in surround-sound. Past premieres of note include: ‘Cardiac’  for saxophone quartet performed by Berlin’s Sonic Quartett in 2016, ‘Dog Man’, for voice and guitar performed by acclaimed vocalist Frauke Aulbert, 2015, and the world premiere of ‘Barak’ for large chamber orchestra at 2018 Klangwerkstatt Berlin Festival für Neue Musik, under the baton of Jobst Liebrecht. 

She has also recently completed a series of electro-acoustic works commissioned by Netherlands-based virtuosic bassoonist James Aylward, who also gave the European premiere of her work 'Cardiomyopathy' in Berlin in 2022, alongside Finnish clarinetist Ingólfur Vilhjálmsson. 

Noemi’s musical influences change frequently, but often include Kate Bush, Billie Holiday, Laurie Anderson, Josquin Des Prez, Claudio Monteverdi (especially his duets sung by Emma Kirkby & Evelyn Tubb), Hildegaard von Bingen, J.S. Bach, Iannis Xenakis, György Ligeti, Kaija Saariaho, Salvatore Sciarrino, Horatiu Radulescu, Louis Andriessen, Riccardo Vaglini, Kendrick Lamar, Bjórk, Liza Lim, Juri Seo, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Julia Wolfe, Ofra Haza unplugged and Trio Bulgarka. 

Formal Education:
To date, Noemi has studied Jazz and Improvised Vocals with Michelle Nicole, Allison Wedding, Christine Sullivan and Allan Zavod; Classical Iraqi Maqams with Yair Dalal in his studio in Yafo, Israel and classical/orchestral music under the tutelage of Mary Finsterer, Riccardo Vaglini (Italy) and Jobst Liebrecht (Berlin), Elliott Gyger, Melody Eötvös and David Chisholm. Noemi has also undertaken additional study  with Liza Lim, Kate Neal, Yitzhak Yedid, Natasha Anderson, and with Sarah Kirkland Snider and Dmitri Tymoczko as part of a funded study trip to Princeton University, NJ, USA. Noemi has recently completed a Master in Music (Composition) at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, and also holds a double Bachelor of Arts Degree (Philosophy and Literature). 

Selected Scholarships and Composition Awards include: 
2021 Awarded the Cassidy Bequest Scholarship 
2020 Awarded the Florence Bradford Scholarship 
2019 Scholarship to study percussion and composition at Princeton University (SoSI), also supported by an Arts Victoria Grant 
2018 Ernst Morawetz Prize for Ethnomusicology and Musicology 
2017  Awarded top student, core studies across all music disciplines at the Sir Zelman Cowan School of Music, Monash University once again.
2016  Awarded top student, core studies across all music disciplines at the Sir Zelman Cowan School of Music, Monash University

*except for 'Dance Me to the End of Love, written by Leonard Cohen.