The son of prominent anthropologists who exposed him to cultures around the world, Noah Potter brings a unique perspective to his music that encompasses living in the regions of the Ming Dynasty, to studying with a collaborator of Robert Moog in the development of the Moog Synthesizer. Noah is the personification of the phrase, “The greater the input, the more creative the output.”
Commencing formal piano instruction at the age of four, his first recital was at the age of six (“Maple Leaf Rag”), and he began to compose at eight. In the beginning, Ragtime was his music of choice. Noah’s early training included study with the late-Arlene Sagan, who founded the Berkeley (California) Community Chorus and Orchestra.
“Arlene Sagan’s philosophy was that music was something that you do, a thing where you share the creation with others, rather than something that you just passively experience. To this day, that attitude shapes my approach to working with directors. Scoring a film isn’t an ivory tower activity; it’s something you do with the director and the sound team to make a finished film better than what any one person could accomplish.”
Noah elected to pursue his music training at the University of Chicago, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Music Composition. It was here he studied classical orchestration, composition and tonal harmony with noted composers Easley Blackwood (tuning theory and microtonality), and John Eaton, a collaborator with Robert Moog in the development of an electronic music system, the Moog Synthesizer.
A significant acknowledgement of Noah’s classical training was having his Sonata for Clarinet and Piano reviewed by The Clarinet, the official Journal of the International Clarinet Association. BRS Music subsequently published the piece.
While at Chicago, Noah served as accompanist for “Off-Off Campus,” a live, improvised comedy troupe, to rave reviews. As a result, he has impeccable comedic timing for films. An accomplished pianist, he also appeared in concert performing Chopin, Beethoven, Prokofiev and Joplin. And, on Sundays, he played for the First Unitarian Church of Hyde Park, on Chicago’s Southside. A highlight was a Gospel rendition of the “Halleluia Chorus.”
After college, Noah created Chewy Software, a video game development studio. There, he and his staff wrote music for a variety of game titles, including the million-selling hit Dreamlife for Hasbro.
Following his lifelong dream of scoring film and Television, he sold his company, and relocated to Los Angeles. His first feature, Boxing Day (Francis Abbey, dir.), has experienced significant success, including an Indie Award. Additional features, among many, include 5 Souls (Brett Donowho, dir.) and the Lucy Liu drama, Nomads (Ricardo Benet, dir), both premiering at the Cannes Film Festival.
For Television, Noah has collaborated with leading composers, with his music being featured in a variety of major network reality programs. Acknowledging his work, NBC invited Noah to participate in their My Chimes series of promotional spots. He worked with NBC producers to develop a music-focused segment for Medium. Beyond the small screen, Noah is collaborating with writer-lyricist Trevor Dewey on the contemporary musical Ghosts of Baghdad.
“Whereas a lot of modern classical repertoire seems to strive for complexity, I try to do the opposite in my music. As a composer, I want to share an emotion, a feeling, a story with my audience in the most direct fashion possible. Often, this involves trimming away all the excess, and trying to get right to the core of a musical idea. When I can see an audience experiencing the same joy or grief that I felt while scoring a scene, that’s what I find most satisfying about being a film composer.“