- Featured: Laurie Conrad
- Release Date: 2/1/2005
Laurie Conrad is a classical pianist and composer living in Ithaca, NY. Some of her honors include: Who's Who in American Music, The International Who's Who in Music (Cambridge), The International Encyclopedia of Women Composers, & Who's Who in America (Marquis). Early SONGS by Laurie Conrad with Soprano Louise McConnell (1946 - 1994) and Baritone Graham Stewart Recorded at David Arnay's Studio N in Ithaca, NY on January 27 and January 30, 1983. 'Do You Remember' recorded at Calf Audio in 1993. Restored and remastered by Alfred B Grunwell at Fingerlakes Recording, Ithaca, NY in 2004. Program Notes: This disc has many of Laurie Conrad's earliest songs, sung by soprano Louise McConnell. Conrad's works are performed and broadcast all over the world, and her music is known for it's innovation, simplicity and sensitivity. Louise McConnell's voice has a unique and beautiful richness and clarity, and her working range was extraordinary, three full octaves at the time of the Studio N recordings. (Second space bass clef 'c' to high 'c' above the treble clef staff.) All these songs except the tonal tune 'Do You Remember' were taped at David Arnay's Studio N in Ithaca, NY over two days in January, 1983. Ms. Conrad played the piano as well as the clarinet parts for this recording. Unless noted otherwise, Conrad wrote the text to the song. This disc is meant to be an archival disc, i.e. a definitive recording with the composer coaching the musicians and also performing. Notes by the composer: I was looking all over town for a singer, and one day Louise McConnell and I met in her sister's kitchen. Louise finally said: 'I'm a singer.' That was the start of a long and wonderful musical and personal association. Louise sang my 12 tone songs everywhere, in concert, in recording studios, on the back of a truck, on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum, at the Cloisters, street corners in the Village in NYC. For the Studio N recordings, I played both the piano and clarinet parts, we dubbed the clarinet parts in on a separate track later. The first day Louise and I recorded alone. It was snowing and on the way home my car slid into a ditch and we walked back to the studio and stayed overnight. A few days later the other musicians arrived. We had a short rehearsal with the musicians and then taped the songs. 'Morning' is the first 12 tone song I wrote and I think it is still my favorite. The tonal tune 'So Many Lovers' was my first tonal tune, and was written for a play directed by Carolyn Fellman at the First Street Playhouse. The other tonal songs were written for various concerts and events. The recording of 'Do You Remember' was in 1993, not long after my car accident and a year before Louise died. I was still using a cane. A key stuck on the piano at Calf Audio, so some notes are missing in the piano part. Louise had her second cancer operation the same week as my accident, and she had not really sung during the ten or so years she was in California with her husband. Therefore, her voice was not technically what it had been earlier. For me, the new quality of her voice and it's minor flaws add to the beauty of the song; the added emotional depth and quality of physical fragility now present in her voice seemed to better match the emotion and meaning of the words. I only saw Louise once more after this recording. Being clairvoyant and clairaudient, I see and hear things that most people are not consciously aware of. The texts to many of my songs reflect my inner experiences. Twelve tone, with it's lack of a tonal center, seems to best portray other realms. I think of the tonal system, with all it's beauty, being more a natural expression of our physical world - it is based on the lower partials of the overtone series. The chromatic notes that appear in the twelve tone system appear very late in the overtone series, in fact they are mainly inaudible to humans; therefore, in my mind, twelve tone has always represented that which is unseen and unheard, i.e. realms available only to clairvoyants and clairaudients. In the early 12 tone songs, I follow the rules of twelve tone more strictly, especially in the two line songs. In my writing now, I break many rules if not most of them - and sometimes abandon the twelve tone system altogether. So, for me, this disc outlines an important stage of my musical development, and one that I might never return to. The master tapes to all the songs except the tonal song 'Do You Remember' were misplaced or lost, so this disc was patched together from many different copies of the original master. My deep thanks to Al Grunwald who helped unearth tapes from his archives and for his restoring and remastering skills.
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