Remembering Jason Noble

On Saturday, August 4, 2012, Jason Noble left this world behind. Even though he had been battling cancer for three years, his passing is still a heartbreaking shock to everyone who knows and loves him. Despite a constant regime of physically debilitating chemo treatments, Jason never retreated from his love of life. He remained positive, generous, loving, engaged with his friends and family, and involved with his music and art. As throughout his life, Jason's enthusiasm for music remained boundless. Even if it was only two days after a harsh round of chemo, a call from Jason never lasted less than an hour... an hour of love and enthusiasm for music he was currently listening to, music his friends were making, and his own musical projects as well. Over these past three years, Jason has been the very definition of grace under pressure. While enduring in the most difficult of physical conditions, and while examining his own mortality up close and personal, Jason always managed to maintain the essence of himself.

Jason became part of the Touch and Go / Quarterstick family in 1993 when I first saw Rodan at Lounge Ax, loved their demos, and agreed to release their album on Quarterstick. As was the norm when anyone met Jason, I instantly took a liking to him. At the time I had no idea that Rodan would shine brightly for only a short time before splitting apart to allow the individual members of the Rodan to seek their own new directions. Even before the Rodan members parted ways, Jason had given me a tape of one of his other musical collaborations; Rachel's. In many ways the polar opposite of Rodan, Rachel's brought their own version of classical music to a generation of young people who could never have imagined enjoying such a thing before they fell in love with the subtle charm and creative energy of Rachel's.

Given the complexity of the instrumentation involved in Rachel's recordings, their ability to tour was sporadic at best. Jason's boundless energy needed an additional musical outlet... a rock band to balance the subtlety of Rachel's. Reuniting with his ex-Rodan band mate and good friend Jeff Meuller, made sense to Jason on every level. In 1995, the two of them, together with Kyle Crabtree, formed Shipping News, who continued to record and tour until Jason was no longer physically able to do so.

When I met Jason in 1993, I had no way of knowing what a great friend he would become, and I would never have guessed that his bands would grace Quarterstick with fifteen releases during the ensuing 20 years. Over all those years, Jason was such a pleasure to work with and was a very caring friend. I always looked forward to seeing him and hearing from him on the phone. This was not unique to myself... Jason was loved by the whole Touch and Go / Quarterstick staff. We will all remember him fondly and miss him greatly. As someone involved in the music business, time and again I personally witnessed the positive impact Jason's music, and the manner in which he lived his life, had on countless other musicians and music lovers. Jason was a source of inspiration for many... myself included. I am proud to have been Jason's friend and cohort. I will miss him terribly.

My deepest sympathy to Jason's wife Kristin who has lovingly and selflessly cared for Jason when he has not been able to care for himself, to all of Jason's family and band mates, and to Jason's many friends from all over the world.

- Corey Rusk