Lori Cunningham
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Lori Cunningham

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"An Outstanding Debut CD Promising a Bright Career"

When I decided to review Lori Cunningham's CD Unseen I wanted to give it the test of time before I made my decisions about it. Before I decide whether I like something or not, I listen to the entire project several times through. Since I write books and use music as my inspiration, I had to separate Unseen from my writing place. I chose to listen to the CD for several weeks in my car as I drove around the many miles to my piano lessons. I also listened to it at the gym as I did the treadmill, because there are things I pick up with head phones that I don't hear in the car. The effect is completely different.

Being compared to the likes of Engima and Delierium, Lori Cunningham has put her own stamp on the electronica genre. Unlike other voices that are classically trained, she has kept the uniqueness that makes her sound her own. Her voice is beautiful, ethereal and pristine and extremely easy to listen to.

Electronica downbeat is a genre that is widely misunderstood. Instead of the voice being the focal point or the solo interest, the voice is dialed back to meld with the music like another instrument. Lori Cunningham has accompished this with skill.

For those who don't know... Electronica includes a wide range of contemporary electronic music designed for a wide range of uses, including foreground listening, some forms of dancing, and background music for other activities; however, unlike electronic dance music, it is not specifically made for dancing. Downtempo (or Downbeat) is a laid-back electronic music style similar to ambient music, but usually with a beat or groove unlike the beatless forms of Ambient music. The beat is sometimes made from loops that have a hypnotic feeling. Sometimes the beats are more complicated and more featured instead of being in the background, but even then they are usually less intense than other kinds of electronic music. (From Wikipedia)

Okay, enough education.

The facts - Lori Cunningham - a girl, her keyboard, 18 track recorder, a mic, and a strong love of music.

Additional drums and percussion - Adam Amos on "Solarity" and "Inside."
Guitar on "Inside" - Sam Benham.

And collaborations with: Adam Amos, Katie Reeve, n pa productions, and Rose.

When I first started listening to Unseen I had my favorites. I really liked Inside because of the darker, heavier feel of the piece. A song like this can't be written by someone who hasn't been through hard things in life. It has a way of reaching into your heart and twisting. Anyone who feels the world doesn't know who they really are inside will find something here that touches them.

The second one on my list of favorites was Everytime. If you have been in a failing relationship you can't help but feel the pain that resides in the words and the tolling drums underneath the accompaniment. As I listened to the piece over the weeks, this song rose in my estimation. Lori's command over the inflection of her words is masterful.

Next in line is Silver Threads. There are two main reasons I like this song. I am a big fan of repeating notes or tone sequences that play over and over through many the chord progressions. The sameness of the tones have a way of connecting to the spirit and pulling the listener into the song. Lori cleverly uses this in several ways for this song. There is a danger here, because if not done well, a repeating note can become irritating, but Lori used several of them and handled them astutely.

The second thing I like about Silver Threads is the story line. Lori Cunningham was up front that the Dragon Riders of Pern books by Ann McCaffrey, [official website] were her inspiration for the piece--though not specifically borrowing from the works was pure genius.

I could say something about every track on the CD, such as.... Without You is very beautiful and has a similar feel to Everytime, though not as painful. I didn't want to fall into a listing of lists.

Okay, I have to say something about Without You. Well, not specifically about the song but about the creators. Lori Cunningham and Adam Amos is a collaboration that clearly works.

Adam Amos is a masterful composer known for his wonderful instrumentals, his down tempo electronic music, a lot of which has cinematic leaning. Amos is mostly known for doing great remixes in which he focuses on mixing in the voice. On this CD he did the remixing of Everytime, Without You, and Empty Well [Overflow Mix]. He is very good at drums and did the percussion on Inside and Solarity.

Cunningham and Amos compliment each other well and together they create something magnificent. Happily they are working on another collaboration called Emeria. I'm waiting eagerly for this to be completed.

The surprise of Unseen was the fun discovery of Solarity. As I drove around I grew to like this track more and more. It's an intriguing symbiosis between New Age musicality, classical influences, and dance-club rhythms. The collaboration with Adam Amos [here] really makes it a delight. In truth, Solarity is just plain fun. My favorite bits, (apart from the drums, the repeating keyboards and the etherial voice), are the charming instances of laughter hidden like diamonds in the piece. I heard them first with headphones and recommend you try to find them yourself.
The rest of the tracks are also well worth the listen. I recommend this CD highly.

Lori Cunnghiam's official websites:
loricmusic.com
Myspace page

You can find Unseen on CD BABY
Amazon.com
and on itunes.

Track listing:
1) Reflections
2) Unseen (The Impact)
3) Silver Threads (Falling Down)
4) Everytime
5) Empty Well
6) Inside
7) Solarity
8) Tears of a Rose
9) Without You
10) Return
11) Into Absolution
12) Empty Well [Overflow Mix]
13) Unseen [Instrumental] - Deborah Talmadge


"Great debut album!"

Lori Cunningham is a fantastic and very talented American singer. She has an outstanding classical trained voice that puts a spell on me from the very first moment.
I got to know her in summer 2008 and was thrilled by the tracks she had on OurStage.com then. The first thing I did was a remix of the title track ‘Unseen’. I had some luck, because she liked my remix at first go and she provides me some more source material to work with.
The 13 tracks on the album (11 tracks plus 2 bonus tracks) reach from downtempo to extreme danceable. Every track is perfectly orchestrated. What stands out of every track is Lori’s impressing voice that seems to fly above the music in one track and then finds itself in a very complex structure of the melody. Lori’s addiction to fantasy stories can be found in one or the other track, especially in ‘Silver Threads’. For the listener that is not just interested in the music but in the lyrics, there are 8 awesome tracks, where the lyrics are very deep going.
The opener for the album is the midtempo vocalize track ‘Reflections’ (instrumental with sung parts without lyrics!). It is followed by ‘Unseen’, which is also a midtempo track (with the remix for this song I proverbial knocked at Lori’s door). The lyrics are about these things that are with us every day unseen, without being recognized by us. Parts of our history that do not let us go. With ‘Silver Threads’ the album accelerates a bit and leads the listener into a fantasy-like world. Next in row is the first ballade: ‘Everytime’. Dramatic, accompanied by orchestra sounds and with a melancholic melody. ‘Empty Well’ is leaded in by a synthy-harp, which is followed by an midtempo main part. This track is about that emptiness one feels after losing someone they love; all the tears have been cried and there’s nothing left to give or feel. Looking slowly and mysterious, ’Inside’ begins. Lori’s lyrics in this song talks about that if we don’t show what’s deep inside of us, and if we are forced by our environment to be something that we don’t want to be, we lose site of who we really are . In the middle of this track you can find a solo guitar which perfectly fits into the rest of the track. ‘Solarity’ is a vocalize track with high vocals. A very lyric track, which sounds kind of ethno, though it has an electronic basis. If the listener opens up for ‘Tears of a Rose’ and really feels this melancholic ballade, he can notice the emotion and intensity of Lori’s voice. Besides this I want to annotate, that Lori plays the piano itself, not just on this track. Next is yet another slow and emotional track: ‘Without You’. There are mighty orchestral sounds in this collaboration with Adam Amos. ‘Return’ is also a collaboration, this time with Katie Reeve, who wrote the lyrics and most of the music. This midtempo track doesn’t fit in a scheme for a regular song and contains some breaks, after which the style of the track changes whereas the leitmotif is kept. My favourite of the vocalize tracks is ‘Into Absolution’. It’s somehow to slow for a real breakbeat, but it perfectly fits into the flow of the album. As the first bonus track we find the remix of ‘Empty Well’ (Overflow Mix by Adam Amos). A first class dance track with eurodance at it’s best. It’s hard not to jump up and dance. It’s a success, and this is proved by the OurStage community, who voted this track at #2 in 06.2008 in club/dance. Nearly all of Lori’s tracks released at OurStage landed within the top 30. As the second bonus track and the last one on the album, the listener can enjoy the title track ‘Unseen’ as an instrumental version.
All in all, it is a very felicitous debut album. The single tracks are all well balanced with Lori’s style. Who waits for some kind of Enya will be as well surprised as the one who looks for mainstream pop. In my opinion, Lori’s music cannot be compared with any music that I know – and that is, even with no exaggeration, a lot.
If you’d like to have a taste of her album, you should visit Lori Cunningham’s homepage or her site at MySpace (both are named below). Her music is worth listening without any exception, and I’m sure many people in Germany will like her style. - McBlaze


"Lori Cunningham: Unseen"

I think you will agree with me when I say that we need more vocals in new age. There is nothing wrong with instrumental music, not at all. But the human voice is in a way the ultimate instrument. A proof of this is Lori Cunningham's debut album Unseen, which has just been released. Her music can be described as ethereal vocals mixed delicate electronica and a rhythmic focus. Lori's voice fits perfectly with the ambient melodies, creating an unforgettable listening experience. Her voice reminds a bit of Maggie Reilly, I think. If you want a sample of how great it is, you can go to Lori's homepage check out track 8, Tears of a Rose, which is a piano song with focus on voice and lyrics.

It is interesting to notice the influence from genres like eurodance and trance (the two mixes in the end are cool, you just feel like dancing). But still the atmosphere is definitely new age: embedded in the tracks is something mystical and unseen.

The album has 13 tracks, and the production is surprisingly well done on all of them. One can argue that Lori Cunningham's album is not very original, but it is still an incredible first release and shows that she is very talented. A new star, no doubt about that.
- NewAgeMusic.nu


"Listener Reviews"

“Coming by to tell you how much I appreciate you. Your music is so beautiful and it ignites my soul.”

“Sweet beats with strong vocals, I'm glad I stopped by!”

“I absolutely love your music, you have an uncanny voice, gorgeous piano riffs and very beautiful melodies...”

“Just stopped to tell you, that your album arrived today!!!! It's sooooo awesome!!! It looks awesome, it feeeels great, it smells professional and it sounds fantastic!!!!!”

“Your voice and music is really nice in my mind.”

“Your Music is absolutely gorgeous..”

“I like your sound Lori, is cool and spatial..Nice!”

“I'm listening [to your album] on my stereo right now, and you sound AMAZING blasting through my room! This will be one of my MOST treasured CD's EVER!! Thank you again Lori!”

“I wanted to say I had the opportunity to listen to most of your songs on a crazy afternoon at work. It was just the thing I needed to help me stay relaxed and focused. Thanks a bunch!”

“I absolutely love Everytime. It was one of the first of your pieces I ever heard. Not only is it beautiful, but the lyrics have amazing depth.”

“The Vocals on "Everytime" blow me away..!”

“’Inside’ is an awesome song, i love it, great passion on all your songs. Your voice is enchanting!”

“’Silver Threads’ is another fantastic track. WOW! I really love it. And I just listened to ‘Return,’ for the first time, I think. Thought I had listened to ALL your tunes the last couple times I was by. Well... either way, I really love that one, too. Keep up the great work! You're smokin HOT right now, gurl!”

"Such Nice soothing clear vocals! Great work!”

“You are extremely talented. Love you style. Very unique.”

“As far as I'm concerned you have passed Evanescence and have taken stage beside Within Temptation. Fantastic. We'll definitely be seeing more of you.”

“I've been listing to your stuff and you have such amazing talent from the things I've heard.”

“’Without You’ has a beautiful, ethereal and haunting quality to it. Lovely...”

“I'm really impressed. You can't hold your talent to just one genre, that's for sure. Really nice job!”

“Lori, Listening to all the wonderful work you are putting out, I am genuinely honored to be a fan.”

“WOW Really GREAT tunes, too. 'Inside' reminds me a little bit of Evanescence. AWESOME!!!”

“'Silver Threads' is absolutely one of your best!!! I really love it. Awesome!”

“’Silver Threads (Falling Down)’ is awesome. I love the many different layers and melodies. The vocals and bass line are amazing as well.”

“You NEVER cease to surprise me with your music!!! ‘Without You’ is REALLY awesome!”

“Beautiful music!! I was swept away with the flow. I love ‘Without You’ and ‘Solarity’ Oh yes.. I'm a FAN!!”

“Just listened to ‘Solarity,’ and it seems beauty is YOUR thing. Keep being great.”

“Lovely mix of voice into the ambient compositions. Great voice and wonderful downtempo chill.”
- From various sources


Discography

"Unseen" - full length CD - 11/2008
Featured on:
"The Lullaby Album" by Jennifer Thomas/Carolyn Southworth - full length CD - 07/2009

Photos

Bio

Lori Cunningham is a classically trained vocalist wanting to break free from the classical mold, to explore her world unseen. Unbound by genre, Lori appeals to all listeners with her ethereal vocals mixed with an eclectic array of downtempo instrumentations. Her music begs you to listen, to feel every note and every word. Her debut album, "Unseen," ranges from chill to trance, all the while keeping the focus on the voice.

Pioneering the popularity of Electronica music, Lori Cunningham joins other Electronica greats such as Delerium, Enigma, Kristy Thirsk, Shelley Harland, Blue Stone, and Sleepthief. Unseen's listeners move deep into Lori's soul. Each unique track provokes the same emotions that inspired its creation. With ethereal vocals and enigma-tic instrumentation, Lori guides you through her self discovery - finding the music that has always been inside, but was previously unseen.

Lori's music is often described as Enya meets Paul Oakenfold with very versatile and prolific writing. As stated on a review on newagemusic.nu, "Her music can be described as ethereal vocals mixed delicate electronica and a rhythmic focus. Lori's voice fits perfectly with the ambient melodies, creating an unforgettable listening experience... It is interesting to notice the influence from genres like eurodance and trance. But still the atmosphere is definitely new age: embedded in the tracks is something mystical and unseen."