I Can’t Stop Listening To These MIDI Versions Of Mozart

Noah Wall’s epically chill album, An Early Death, is perfect for zoning out.

December 15, 2015

Do you ever listen to baby music? Japan’s Relaxing Orgel is my favorite, but the band Lullatone and the ongoing Rockabye Baby series of pop covers can be really good too. Flau recently started a sub-label to put out music boxes. It’s the best—pretty, soothing melodies played slowly on a single instrument.

Noah Wall—the quiet genius who recorded a whole album inside Guitar Center—just delivered four new Mozart arrangements, collectively called An Early Death. In fairness, the synth tones and heady riffs have just as much in common with brainy pioneers of electronic music like Walter/Wendy Carlos, Tomita, and Perrey & Kingsley—as Noah Wall pointed out in an email—but I’m sticking with the baby-music comparison. Because wouldn’t it be such a better world if the next generation all came up on this?


“The title,” Wall said, “refers to Mozart’s early (age 35) and contentious passing (poison, disease, medical malpractice, vitamin D deficiency, hypochondriasis, fever).” As for the MIDI’fied arrangements, he’s taken a few liberties: “changing pitch, altering tempo, adjusting instrumentation,” especially on the final track, “String Quartet No. 19,” which has been slowed down to a tranquil 45 minutes.

You could interpret any of the songs here, but that last one in particular, as being zoned way, way out—and that’s mostly how I experience it, as a radical form of chill. But, seen another way, Noah Wall's Mozart tribute is also honed heroically in. Flattening the orchestra into just one or two crystal-clear synths allows listeners to more easily unpack the great composer's moves, to trace every choice note. Whichever way you understand it, though—sounds awesome.

Stream below and download on Bandcamp.

I Can’t Stop Listening To These MIDI Versions Of Mozart