Bristol’s Hope pianist releases classical CD
Laura Madonna Murray comfortable performing in a variety of genres
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.