By MICHELLE HERBISON
“Purely instinct” directs ARIA-award-winning singer Katie Noonan to each of her musical projects.
Dabbling in different musical styles from rock to jazz to classical has all been part of the journey during the Brisbane-based songstress’ 15-year career.
Noonan told the Independent she loved challenging herself outside her comfort zone but always stayed true to what felt “right”.
“The minute you’re lucky enough to be successful at what you do, suddenly you have people offering opinions and trying to get involved. It’s important to honour your instincts and make sure you’re on the right path.”
Noonan’s new album, Songbook, combined music from many of Noonan’s various projects over the years in an exciting new way, she explained.
“Songbook is kind of a selection of tunes from all my landmark records of the last 15 years in a new intimate setting with myself and a string quartet. My body of work is quite broad, so I wanted to have one record that reflected all my projects in an intimate way.”
Noonan rose to prominence in the late ’90s as front-woman for pop band George before taking on a diverse array of projects.
Noonan was always seeking “exciting collaborations” with musicians such as classical guitarist Karin Schaupp on 2011’s Songs of the Southern Skies, folk-jazz trio Elixir and her own opera-singing mother, Maggie, with whom she performed classical duets on Two of a Kind.
In 2009 Noonan recorded Blackbird in collaboration with iconic jazz players including Joe Lovano, Ron Carter, Lewis Nash and John Scofield, while 2010’s Emperor’s Box witth The Captains featured songs co-written by Tim Finn, Don Walker, Sia Furler, Josh Pyke and Tom Schapcott.
“At the moment I’m learning a piece, Les Illumination, which I’ll be doing later in the year with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Sydney Dance Company,” Noonan added with passion.
“That’s a big project I was dreaming up for a while.”
Noonan said playing solo had so far been “really fun” but “so much more exposed” with “nowhere to hide” without a band.
Her show at Geelong Performing Arts Centre on 22 June would be Noonan’s first appearance in Geelong for about 10 years, she realised.
“I’m very excited to come back.”