2022 SU General Election Full Supplement

Photo courtesy Danny Luong

Campus-curated beats: an interview with Noca Project

By Zacc Schlegel, November 21 2018 —

Folk, indie and electro are all cherished genres within Calgary’s music scene. They are also what characterize Noca Project’s debut album, Spectator. Norika Yue, a University of Calgary masters student, sole composer and instrumentalist behind Noca Project, released the album on Oct. 17.

Featuring over a dozen instruments and coming in at just over 30 minutes with eight songs, Spectator outwardly deals with heartbreak, sadness and self-examination.

“I was trying to be a bit more vulnerable and open,” Yue says.

The album serves as a reflection and reinterpretation of the past on another level — all eight songs were originally written to be sung with a guitar. Yue then recorded embellished reinterpretations of those songs by adding in as many instruments as possible, ranging from double bass to melodica. Spectator utilizes effects that are oddly enjoyable, such as sampled political speeches from World War II.

Reflecting on the process, Yue states the songs were more stripped back from his standard fare.

“That’s the reason why it’s called Spectator, because it’s me reflecting back,” he says. “It’s basically me looking at my old work, trying to reimagine them and explore some new sounds with it.”  

Part of what inspires Yue to write, compose and record are his everyday experiences. He believes that you cannot be defined solely by your passion. His time at U of C, for example, has encouraged him to grow. 

“I don’t want to be some poor man’s version of another band,” he says. “When you’re swimming in school and you’re like, ‘Man, everybody’s kinda the same,’ It makes you want to be different.”

Word, Mr. Yue.

Luckily for music fans, Yue is intent on composing more and releasing other projects. Spectator is partially a teaser to his next album, which he says will be more sonically experimental. This sound reveals itself a few times on Spectator, like on “Over Now,” which transcends the album’s narrow folk categorization.

Whatever this new project may be and sound like, it’s certain to push boundaries, engage and reward active listeners.

Spectator is currently available for streaming on Spotify and Apple Music. It’s also available for purchase on Amazon. Check out his Bandcamp page here.

Hiring | Staff | Advertising | Contact | PDF version | Archive | Volunteer | SU

The Gauntlet