A Whisper in the Noise is a musical project formed in 2002 by rock composer West Thordson. Centered in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, United States Twin Cities metro, the group is known for their dark sound and unique instrumentation, as well as their effective live performances. Eschewing the more traditional use of guitar or heavy keyboards that might be associated with the band's umbral sound, the instrumentation of A Whisper in the Noise has included the cello, violin, French horn, synth/electronic keyboard, bass guitar, and percussion in some variation. The resulting minimalist expression, the unique arrangement of instruments, and the inclusion of visual media elements during live performance has seen the band described as "art rock".
The band has occasionally performed without the French horn or cello, though these instruments are used heavily on the live recording of their first album, Through the Ides of March.
The band's sound has been noted for fully incorporating the string and other orchestral instrumentation, a step different from similar rock and dark pop projects wherein strings are often added on as an afterthought or not given full room for expression and treated as integral elements within melodic musical structure. Other elements that mark the group's work are the inclusion of barely audible soundscapes of text (often derived from news broadcasts) and the persistence of slowly constructed piano arpeggios onto which other musical layers are added.
The themes dealt with lyrically are distinctly "dark" and keep with the tone of the music. The topics range from poetic reminiscences of lost or abandoned love, rage at cultural injustice, greed, and shallowness, and a kind of drifting melancholy that seems to hover on the edge of violence.
A Whisper in the Noise have performed consistently around the Twin Cities area. Additionally, they have toured the United States, Europe, and England at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival.
Live performances often but not always include still and moving images projected behind the group.
A Whisper in the Noise has typically been well-received by both critics and listeners. SouthSCENE declared them "a dark melee of some of the most innovative and mature musical styles of contemporary rock," and TreasureTunes praised the group's "dramatic, melancholic music."
A Whisper in the Noise played in the Rhâââ Lovely Festival in second quarter 2007 and along with a tour of Europe as well.
The lineup consists of:
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