Bris­tol’s Hope pi­anist re­leases classical CD

Laura Madonna Mur­ray com­fort­able per­form­ing in a va­ri­ety of gen­res

The Compass - - NEWS - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON We­blink: http://www.lau­ra­madon­na­mur­ edi­tor@cb­n­com­

When she takes her seat in front of the pi­ano, one never quite knows what to ex­pect from Laura Madonna Mur­ray.

“I don’t re­ally like stylis­tic bar­ri­ers,” Mur­ray re­cently told The Com­pass. “I don’t like those rigid con­fine­ments.”

The Bris­tol’s Hope na­tive started tak­ing pi­ano lessons at a very young age and went on to ob­tain bach­e­lor and masters de­grees in mu­sic.

“I’ve just been work­ing full­time teach­ing mu­sic, play­ing mu­sic since then, and now with this CD, I’m go­ing to ex­plore new op­tions.”

“Solo/So High” is Mur­ray’s de­but re­lease, show­cas­ing her tal­ents as a classical pi­anist. Recorded at Me­mo­rial Univer­sity’s School of Mu­sic, the CD in­cludes ren­di­tions of pieces by Mozart, Frédéric Chopin, Friedrich Gulda and Cana­dian com­poser Oskar Mo­rawetz.

“I guess I never re­ally thought (a CD) was a pos­si­bil­ity that I could do,” she said. “When you go to mu­sic school, it’s re­ally hard and com­pet­i­tive. There’s a lot of crit­i­cism, so I thought I wasn’t re­ally good enough or I would never re­ally be good enough. But then in my masters de­gree, there’s a course in your sec­ond year where you can have 12 hours of stu­dio time, which is part of your tu­ition. And of course I jumped at that op­por­tu­nity.”

A grant from Mu­sic NL helped Mur­ray finance the cost of man­u­fac­tur­ing CDs and hir­ing a graphic designer to cre­ate the book­let.

“It’s a fi­nal prod­uct that I’m re­ally proud of.”

With this record­ing un­der her belt, Mur­ray has her sights set on even­tu­ally record­ing per­for­mances fea­tur­ing her voice. She only started sing­ing again live last year and has some orig­i­nal ma­te­rial. She also en­joys per­form­ing pieces span­ning all sorts of gen­res. Mur­ray loves the mu­sic of jazz pi­anist and com­poser Fats Waller, and she cites Nina Si­mone as one of her big­gest in­spi­ra­tions. She’s also a fan of folk mu­sic and con­tem­po­rary

Those var­ied in­flu­ences shine through in her live per­for­mances.

“I can go from Tom Petty to Bey­once, to a Malaysian singer­song­writer named Zee Avi … It’s al­ways kind of chang­ing gears.”

The “Solo/So High” all-ages re­lease show takes place June 25 at The S.P.A.C.E. on Har­bour­side The al­bum will be avail­able for pur­chase and O’Brien’s Mu­sic and Fred’s Records in St. John’s and dig­i­tally through Band­camp and iTunes.

New­found­land song­writ­ers. Drive in St. John’s from 2-4 p.m. “Solo/So High” is Laura Madonna Mur­ray’s first CD re­lease.

Laura Madonna Mur­ray likes to mix things up when she per­forms live.

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