Noah T creates personal music for a worldwide audience.
Under the name Noah T, Noah Richardson began writing and making music in 2011. He writes and records in his converted attic in midtown.
Noah Richardson’s self-recorded music has traveled from his attic studio to entertain a Russian robot and help an Iranian poet write verses.
Although you’d likely not hear his name in the local music scene, Richardson — whose musical moniker is Noah T — has sold over 50,000 albums worldwide in the past four years. He happily shares his music internationally using the internet nearly exclusively.
Richardson’s debut album, “Is Anybody Home?” released online in 2012. He says the name was inspired by his practice of creating music without being sure anyone would connect to it, or even hear it.
Since then, he has released “The Sound of Rain” and “Forever My Heart,” two deeply personal, yet instrumental, albums of self-recorded music. For both, he played all the instruments, including guitar, bass and chord organ, and utilized “found” percussion such as handclaps, bottles and a spare computer case for a kick drum.
The sales of these albums and his 2013 album, “Surface,” were an unexpected bonus.
“I wasn’t doing this to sell albums, and for the sales to come through such a personal album (‘The Sound of Rain’) is very meaningful,” Richardson says.
Even without lyrics, the post-rock, indie mood of his music flows from a difficult time in his life.
In 2014, “We found out my dad had cancer, and it was relatively fast moving,” Richardson says.
“It’s interesting because I had been working on the music as I found out and then when we were going through it. At the end of it, it is kind of a bummer. It became an album of acceptance.”
His dad died in March 2015.
“This is how death happens and how we go on from it,” Richardson says of the album. “The music is mellow, sad and hopeful. It’s how to go on. That album is ... a raw feeling to me. In a way I feel like if there were words on it, it would have been an oversimplification.”
Although he has sold fewer than 20 limited-edition physical copies, digital sales have skyrocketed using several web outlets. His highest-selling country? Germany.
Not only have album sales been successful, but licensing his music for commercial use has been a meaningful experience, as well.
That’s where the robot comes in. A Russian robotics company licensed his work and placed it in an informational video.
“My music is playing while this robot is dancing to a group of children,” he says, recalling the first time he saw the video. “It’s like, how did we go from an attic in
Tulsa to a robot in Russia? The internet has made the world so small. I’m constantly dumbfounded.
“Someone from Iran sent me a message one day and said, ‘I just want you to know I listen to your music while I write poetry.’ And I thought, ‘Mission accomplished. That is all I could ask for.’”
Woody Guthrie Center grows collection
by Laura Dennis
The Woody Guthrie Center has added new relics, both historical and visual, to its collection, thanks to a few generous donors.
New items on display include radio notebooks, a handcrafted quilt, the banjo Woody Guthrie played on the “Woody and Lefty Lou Show,” a painting by John Mellencamp and numerous pieces from folksinger and songwriter Tom Paxton.
Patricia Dempsey, daughter of Lefty Lou (Maxine Crissman), contributed several historical items from the Maxine Crissman Dempsey collection. The pieces are an early compilation of Guthrie’s work in the 1930s and include original lyrics, on-air commentary, photos and fan letters.
Among the archive of historical contributions made by Paxton were hand-written lyrics to his 1964 hit song “Ramblin’ Boy.”
Visual pieces include longtime Guthrie fan Mellencamp’s painting, “Beautiful Disaster,” and a Guthrie-themed quilt presented by the Tulsa Modern Quilt Guild.