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Red Contributor


Mike Nock

Composer

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Biography

Pianist, composer, band leader and jazz educator Mike Nock, came to Australia from New Zealand in the late 1950s where he quickly established himself as a musician in demand in Sydney and Melbourne jazz clubs and nightclubs and as a member of the highly regarded Three Out Trio. It would be difficult to find in either country a jazz musician who accumulated the depth of international experience he has since that time.

After his first recordings in Australia with the Three-Out Trio in 1960-61, he then went to England and worked in top London jazz establishments before taking up a scholarship to study at Berklee in the United States. He spent the following 25 years in the United States, working with a diverse group of legendary musicians including Dionne Warwick, Coleman Hawkins, Yusef Lateef etc., establishing his leadership credentials through many critically acclaimed recordings. It was here also that he formed the electronic fusion group The Fourth Way, which became widely known and influenced many American bands.

Widely recognised for his abilities, Mike’s honours include: the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to jazz (2003), a two year Australian Arts Council Fellowship (1999-2001), three USA National Endowment Awards for composition (1972, 1975, 1978 ), New Zealand Jazz Record of the Year (1987 and 1989), three Australian Critics Awards (1991, 1992 and 1993), Australian contemporary CD of the year for his BigSmallBand LIVE (2004), and the 1993 MO Award for Jazz Group of the Year and the Montsalvat Jazz Festival Roll of Honour (1995). In 2014 he was awarded the Don Banks Music Award, the most valuable individual music award in Australia. In 2009 he was inducted into the Bell Awards Australian Jazz Hall of Fame and in 2003 presented with the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM). In 1983 he hosted the TVNZ series “Nock On Jazz” and in 1993 was the subject of a TVNZ documentary, “Mike Nock – A Jazz Film”. From 1996 to 2001 he was music director of Naxos/Jazz, overseeing the production of more than 60 widely acclaimed jazz CDs from all corners of the world.

Recordings of his compositions have included leading Australian pianist Michael Kieran-Harvey playing the piano music of Mike Nock with ‘In the Time of Sakura’ (Move MO 3314) and ‘The Mothership Plays the Music of Mike Nock’ (Jazzgroove JGR 030) by Sydney’s Jazzgroove Orchestra. He has a large catalogue of critically acclaimed, internationally released recordings under his leadership and his music has been commissioned and performed by groups such as the Cleveland Chamber Symphony (USA), Australian Chamber Orchestra, New Zealand Piano Quartet, and Umo Jazz Orchestra (Finland) among many others.

His groups have made several tours of Europe, Asia, the United States and Canada, as well as performing widely throughout Australasia. He has given many lectures and seminars at universities and conservatoriums worldwide, including Cleveland University (USA), the Sibelius Institute (Finland), Bruckner Conservatorium (Austria), and since 1986 has taught at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Jazz Studies Dept. In 2010 a biography of Mike’s life and career was published: Serious Fun: The Life and Music of Mike Nock. (Norman Meehan, Victoria University Press). “Nock’s ringing iconoclasm pervades all his music, taps a deep well of melody that transcends jazz and informs and ignites his every encounter.” – Down Beat (USA)

For me composition is about painting with sound and I like to explore all the possibilities this presents.


Composed (120)

4SL

a duo written together with Laurenz Pike for piano and drum kit


Acceptance

for piano and saxophone, 12m 18s


After Satie

for jazz quintet


Afterbach

for piano, 2m


All Most Blues

a duo written together with Laurenz Pike for piano and drum kit


Amerdoux

for piano, 3m


An Accumulation of Subtleties

for jazz trio, 7m 4s


Aotearoa

suite for jazz piano and chamber orchestra, 40m


Apotheosis

written together with Ben Waples and James Waples for jazz trio


Beautiful Stranger

for jazz trio, 7m 29s


Beautiful Your Eyes

for piano, 2m


Blues for...

for jazz orchestra


By Sea

a duo written together with Laurenz Pike for piano and drum kit


Cartwheels

for piano, 2m 45s


Celebration

for piano, 4m


Chimera

for string quartet and solo jazz piano, 6m


Choices

jazz piece for piano and drums, 6m


Choices

for ten piece jazz ensemble


Choose the Beauty Path

for jazz orchestra, 9m 47s


Cloudless Blue

for piano, 3m 20s


Colours

for jazz quintet


Comfort Queen

for ten piece jazz ensemble


Courting the Edge of Angst and Ecstasy

for ten piece jazz ensemble, 9m


Current Reality

for ten piece jazz ensemble, 9m


Cyboreal

for piano, 2m 20s


Cytokinesis

for solo guitar, 9m 30s


Dance of the Global Village

for ten piece jazz ensemble, 7m


Danny Boy

jazz arrangement for piano and drums


Don Sergio's Dream

for piano, 2m 10s


Doors

for jazz orchestra, 7m 34s


Earthbound

for jazz orchestra, 9m 1s


Elegy (parts I & II)

for ten piece jazz ensemble


Elsewhen

for jazz trio, 6m 50s


Environments II

for chamber orchestra, 30m


Ephemeron

for ten piece jazz ensemble


Ever Distant

for piano, 1m 20s


Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven

for jazz orchestra, 7m 10s


Fictional Realities

for piano trio, 10m


Floating Cloud, Flowing Water

for ten piece jazz ensemble


Gestures

for piano, 1m 20s


Giss

for piano, 1m 10s


Going for Baroque

for piano, 1m 30s


Great Wall - Many Ancestors

jazz piece for piano and drums, 8m


Green Cycle

for piano, 2m 15s


Hadrian's Wall

for jazz orchestra, 5m 38s


Harriet Street

jazz piece for piano and drums, 6m


Hear and Know

for jazz quintet


If Truth Be Known

for jazz quintet


In the time of Sakura

for piano, 3m 30s


Indifference

for ten piece jazz ensemble, 10m


Inertial Confinement System(ics)

for large chamber ensemble, 20m


Isospin

for ten piece jazz ensemble, 10m


Joyous Awakening

written together with Ben Waples and James Waples for jazz trio, 6m 7s


Kindred

a duo written together with Laurenz Pike for piano and drum kit


Knee Deep in Thin Air

for piano and synthesizer (one performer) with dancers, 1h 15m


Komodo Dragon

for jazz quintet


Land of the Never-Never

for piano, 3m


Le Primitif

a duo written together with Laurenz Pike for piano and drum kit


Legacy

for jazz quintet


Makeru Ga Kachi

written together with Ben Waples and James Waples for jazz trio, 5m 31s


Mike Battles The Hydra

a duo written together with Laurenz Pike for piano and drum kit


Moamba

for bassoon and piano, 5m


Morning Reverie

for solo piano


Mossaflo

jazz piece for piano and drums, 3m


Motif with Diverse Variations

for woodwind quintet, 6m


Nata Lagal

for jazz orchestra, 9m 25s


Nebulae

for trombone, percussion, flute, english horn and piano, 10m


Nu Upline

for ten piece jazz ensemble, 7m


One For Yawl

for jazz quintet


Open Door

jazz piece for piano and drums, 4m


Open the Window (and let in the moon)

for ten piece jazz ensemble, 7m


Parting the Veil

for piano, 3m


Phaedra's Lullaby

jazz piece for piano and drums, 7m


Pogo

for solo piano


Presence

for piano, 4m 30s


Raff Riff (big band version)

arranged for big band from the original piano work


Red Descending

for piano


Ringstone Round

for piano, 2m 40s


Rite of Passage

written together with Ben Waples and James Waples for jazz trio, 5m 52s


Satori No Mado

a duo written together with Laurenz Pike for piano and drum kit


Serenity

for piano, 2m


Shifting Goalposts

for ten musicians, 30m


Sho's Cradle Song

for piano, 1m 20s


Sketches

for solo bassoon, orchestra, and jazz trio


Sleepwalking

a duo written together with Laurenz Pike for piano and drum kit


Slow News Day

for jazz quintet


Slum Goddess

for ten piece jazz ensemble, 8m


Solstice

a duo written together with Laurenz Pike for piano and drum kit


Southern Suite

for piano - four hands, 20m


Spring

a duo written together with Laurenz Pike for piano and drum kit


Spring Rain

for piano, 2m 10s


Steps

for string quartet with jazz group, plus electronic tape, 15m


Strata

for jazz trio, 8m 50s


Stray

for ten piece jazz ensemble


Sunrise

for piano, 2m


The Long Fall from Splendour to Splendour

for piano and synthesizer (one player) with dancers, 1h 30m


The Old Times

a duo written together with Laurenz Pike for piano and drum kit


The Promise

for piano, 1m 10s


The Sibylline Fragrance

for jazz quintet


To Anne

for piano, 3m 40s


To Market

for unaccompanied vocal choir, 6m


Transformations I, II, III

for string orchestra with jazz quintet, 25m


Vicissitudes

for piano trio and jazz trio


Waltz '86

for string quartet, piano and guitar, 7m


We are a Rainbow

for unaccompanied vocal choir, 8m


Yin Yang

jazz piece for piano and drums


Your Smile

for piano, drums and bass, 6m 58s


Zalktis

for ten piece jazz ensemble, 10m


Zeus' Dream

a duo written together with Laurenz Pike for piano and drum kit