Laura Sullivan
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Laura Sullivan

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"Collected Sounds Review"

Earlier this year I reviewed Laura Sullivan’s CD, Pianoscapes and I loved it. I am happy to report that one wasn’t a fluke. Sullivan has done it again. This CD is just as lovely…maybe even better.

Lush, warm beautiful music that just washed over you. Not only is the music gorgeous, but also the production is top notch.

Maybe it’s because it’s that time of year, but this recording makes me feel all Christmas-y and could easily replace George Winston’s “Winter” as my must-listen-to Holiday CD. - Collected Sounds


"All Music Guide Review"

One term that keeps coming up in connection with Laura Sullivan's pianism is "classical-influenced." That isn't to say that Mystical America, Sullivan's second album, is actually European classical music; this 2004 release will not be mistaken for an album of Beethoven, Chopin, Mozart or Rachmaninoff melodies. But the European classical tradition is definitely a strong influence on this pensive, evocative effort, which is very much a part of the new age genre. Some might argue that Sullivan's compositions are an attempt to simplify classical music and make it palatable to modern ears -- sort of like the way soul-jazz organists simplified hard bop in the '60s. But truth be told, Sullivan isn't pretending to be anything other than what she is: a new age instrumentalist along the lines of Liz Story, Suzanne Ciani and George Winston. And like a lot of new age instrumentalists, she is very nature-minded. Nature was a major influence on her first album, Pianoscapes for the Trails of North America, and it is definitely a big influence on Mystical America (which was produced by guitarist Chris Camozzi). From "Mt. Shasta" to "America's Stonehenge" to "Hawaiian Islands," every song on this 2004 release has been inspired by nature in some way -- specifically, nature in North America. While Sullivan's charming, thoughtful new age melodies owe something to the European classical tradition, she is an American performer who grew up in California -- and her U.S. upbringing is reflected in titles like "Chaco Canyon" and "Red Rock Ridge." Anyone who has enjoyed the new age pianism of Liz Story or Suzanne Ciani will find a lot to enjoy about Sullivan's second album. - All Music Guide


"Sumptuous Music"

I know a work of love when I hear one. Contemporary pianist and composer Laura Sullivan does not say it outright, but the love on this album is for someone special. Feast of Joy & Love is a well-crafted romantic album that celebrates a bond that no man can put asunder. Shamelessly borrowing from classical masters and infusing the recording with her own original music Laura offers a musical repast that is only for lovers. New lovers, old lovers (like me) and lovers that have memories to relive or create. The music is intricate yet light with a touch of whimsy and passion. Lots of passion. The order of the album is set up like a bill of fare to a musical brunch. Appetizer, two courses and a desert fill your senses with a tuneful five-star banquet. You can read Laura’s bio on my other reviews of her albums, but this is about the music.

Bouquet of Bach is one of the Starters and full of surprises. Laura Sullivan sings! Her soft, echoing voice graces a fascinating adaptation of Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring and she does a splendid job on it. Cafe des Artistes is a warm, sunny seat along the Seine. Ah, Paris. It is for lovers. It is a bit of a walk to the Place D'Etoile, but holding hands it is well worth it. Waltzing with Beethoven is influenced by his Sonata in C Minor, Pathetique. For some reason the tune comes out pastoral under Laura’s performance, but is beautifully rendered.

The first course includes Greenleeves, Pinot Noir and Morning in the Meadow. On Greensleeves once again we hear a wonderful vocal with layer upon layer of seraphic voices. Pinot Noir is a bluesy, sexy pas de deux that lasts way into the night after all the candles have been melted and the sun peeks up from the horizon. It is a song that says, "I just want to hold you and never let go" and hopefully, the earth will keep on turning for one minute more. Morning in the Meadow replete with nature sounds has Laura at her best. Her piano speaks volumes on a flawless composition of nascent beauty.

The Second Course has Albinoni's Secret Smile, Memories of the Ice Cream Truck, and Porch Swing Night Romance. Tomaso Albinoni was noted for writing over 50 operas and his lush instrumental music. His Adagio is world famous and Laura takes the familiar and renews it with a sultry vocal and warm tempo. Where I lived as a child the tinkling of recorded bells brought a big, white boxy truck and frozen treats. Like the pied piper, we followed the truck until our nickels were traded for summertime bliss. Hot, sunny days, pick-up baseball and the public swimming pool at the park are memories that Laura dredges in her delightful tune. Bright stars punch holes in the black velvet sky, fireflies are flying just beyond your grasp and the creaking of the porch swing seems to beat in rhythm to two hearts. Porch Swing Night Romance brings back the evenings when dad was peaking through the curtain and mom just smiled.

On Desert we hear Shalealah, which is my favorite tune on the album, A’la M’Ode to Joy and Last Kiss. Shalealah, an original composition featuring haunting vocals and a phonetic language. The lead is engaging and the melody dreamy, a young heart’s fantasy in music. Her Ode to Joy tribute is bright piano work was a great deal of expression. Last Kiss is well, melancholy. If parting is such a sweet sorrow, then the light will never break upon yonder window. Laura's solo keyboarding is outstanding as she allows the piano to weep for the sad farewell. But there is always tomorrow.

Laura Sullivan has outdone herself on this purely romantic album. It is a musical celebration of passion that only lovers can know. When you hear this music, you will know that love is to be shared in order to be requited.

- New Age Reporter


Discography

Love's River
Close to Home
Feast of Joy and Love
Mystical America
Pianoscapes for the Trails of North America
Piano Solos

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Bio

"A musician that is fast becoming one of the genres most beloved pianists.”
Michael Debbage, Solo Piano Publications

“Anyone who has enjoyed the New Age pianism of Liz Story or Suzanne Ciani will find a lot to enjoy about Sullivan.”
Alex Henderson, All Music Guide

“Laura’s new arrangements take on a mature vitality and soulfulness that makes you want to listen again and again.”
RJ Lannan, New Age Reporter

“It's touched my soul like no other music has, and in my opinion has a healing aspect that summons a true inner peace. 5 out of 5 stars!”
Joshua Anderson, Streams-of-Time

"Laura Sullivan has risen to near the top of the genre by composing and releasing music that embraces a warmth, sincerity, and charm head and shoulders above many of her contemporaries."
-Bill Binkelman, Wind and Wire

"I recently had the honor of producing four pieces with Laura Sullivan for her upcoming release, Love's River. Laura is blessed with a musical soul and the hands to go with it. Her compositions are at once breathtaking and lovely; accessible and yet challenging. The four pieces showed incredible range in style while being held together by the strength of her musical voice. She is a uniquely talented musician who I hope I'll have the pleasure of working with again."
-Will Ackerman, Grammy Winner and Founder of Windham Hill Records

Laura Sullivan is a pianist, composer, and recording artist whose original New Age and Contemporary Instrumental music is distributed internationally. Her five albums have been signed to record labels including Northstar Music and Orange Music, and are also available on her independent label, Sentient Spirit Records.

Her sixth album, Love's River, will be released January 1, 2013. This album will include Laura's piano music and the talents of the great flugelhorn and trumpet player Jeff Oster (winner of Echoes, NAR Lifestyle, and Independent Music Awards, and ZMR record of the year 2011), Grammy Award winning artist Nancy Rumbel (of Tingstad and Rumbel), virtuoso cello player Eugene Friesen (member of the Paul Winter Consort), acclaimed oboe and English horn player Jill Haley, and several pieces produced by Grammy Award winning artist and founder of legendary Windham Hill Records, Will Ackerman.

Laura's music appears in many videos and commercials, including a recent Hyundai ad with voice over by Jeff Bridges, and an infomercial for Everyday Paleo. Her music is also featured in the Emmy Award Winning documentary "Walk into the Wild: Spirit of Itasca" and the Emmy Award Winning documentary "The Greatest Silent Sport", which was also awarded at the Fargo Film Festival. She composed original music for the film "Valentines Day Special" (starring Jon Polito). She also performed the music for the track "Sleepwalking on a Tightrope" written by Roy Finch for the movie "Wake." She was the composer for the feature film "Emotions" directed by Gio Vitelle which premiered at the New York Independent Film and Video Festival. She also composed and produced original music for the short film Nine and A Half Minutes Left directed by Gunther Thallinger.

Her music can be found on Amazon.com, iTunes, Rhapsody, Pandora, and charts in frequent rotation on Music Choice, and many other digital and retail stores on and offline. Her discography receives airplay on radio stations around the world. Her albums have charted in the top 15 on New Age/Zone reporter.

Her release, Mystical America, was named #1 New Age Album of 2004 by, Wind and Wire.

Laura is a member of the piano artist collective Whisperings Solo Piano Radio founded by composer, pianist and radio programmer, David Nevue. This artist community promotes through its radio station and concert tours with artists including David Nevue, Scott D. Davis, Suzanne Ciani, David Lanz, Wayne Gratz, and Robin Spielberg.

Ms. Sullivan was chosen as a featured artist on a TV Pilot, Music Across America, produced by legendary Jazz artist, Stanley Clarke.

Laura's CDs "Mystical America" and "Pianoscapes for the Trails of North America" were produced by acclaimed artist Chris Camozzi, (appearing with artists Jeff Lorber, Michael Bolton, Maria Carey, Barbara Streisand and many others).

Some of the wonderful artists who have performed with Laura on her albums are Diane Grubbe (flute), Mary Pitchford (violin), Noel Jewkes (saxophone), and Anthony Blea (violin).

Laura's debut album, Piano Solos, includes several selections of music she performed written by film composer, Roy Finch.

In 2011, Laura authored the ground breaking piano teaching technique, Born Virtuosos: The Innovative Piano Course, as well as the book and CD by the same title. This method uses playful techniques to train young children to play like virtuosos, and learn to read music quickly.

Laura holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music with an emphasis in Piano Performance. She is the recipient of the Emily A. Hauss Music Award and the Jane Bowman Jewett Music Award.

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