Wednesday, April 23, 2014

DISCOVER ARTISTS SUBMITTING TO 10TH IMAS: Michele McLaughlin


Contemporary Instrumentalist Michele McLaughlin has joined The 10th Independent Music Awards. Check out her interview here!

HOMEBASE: Salt Lake City, Utah
GENRE: New Age/ Solo Instrumental/ Contemporary Instrumental/ Neo-Classical
CATEGORIES ENTERED: New Age Album, New Age Song, Instrumental Song, Album Cover Design
ALBUM SUBMITTED: Out Of The Darkness
SONGS SUBMITTED: “Out of the Darkness,” “Forsaken,” “So Long Mr. Selfish (remix featuring Glen Gabriel),” & “So Long Mr. Selfish”
COVER DESIGN CREDIT: Matt Strieby at Newleaf Design
LABEL: Self-Released

DESCRIBE YOUR LATEST RELEASE.
Out of the Darkness is the musical story of my journey to healing after a difficult loss in early 2009.

PLEASE LIST THE ARTISTS FEATURED ON YOUR RELEASE.
Out of the Darkness is a solo piano album where all the songs are composed and performed by myself. However, the last track on the album is an orchestrated remix of my solo piano song “So Long Mr. Selfish”, which was arranged by my friend and extremely talented composer Glen Gabriel.

DID YOU USE ANY UNUSUAL INTRUMENTS OR EFFECTS?
All of my music is solo piano. My remixed version of “So Long Mr. Selfish” uses a wide range of instruments and effects composed using orchestration software.

WERE THERE ANY ‘HAPPY ACCIDENTS’ IN THE STUDIO?
I recorded this entire album in the comfort of my own home studio, on my Yamaha C7. The joy of recording at home is the ease in which you can record. You don’t experience the stress of the studio, that feeling of “I need to do this right the first time to save money and reduce stress”. The problem with recording in the studio is it’s always in the back of your mind which affects the way you play and the way you connect to the music. Recording at home is stress free, on your own schedule, you can just sit down, press record and play.

DID FANS HELP FUND THIS PROJECT?
My fans continued support of my music enables me to make more music every year and produce albums and sheet music for them. The money I make from album and sheet music sales goes directly to funding future projects and pay bills. Without that, I wouldn’t be able to work on my music full time.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO SUBMIT THESE RELEASES TO THE 10TH IMAS?
I feel that Out of the Darkness is my best and most personal album to date. I think the story I’ve told is one that many people can connect with and relate to, and I think it’s a story worth sharing. I wanted to submit it to The 10th IMAS because I believe this album has an important message that is worth sharing.

HOW DOES THE DESIGN OF YOUR ALBUM ART AND MERCHANDISE VISUALLY SUPPORT YOUR MUSIC?
I wanted my album design to reflect all of the emotions behind my album; sadness, loneliness, despair, resignation, hope, perseverance, acceptance, peace, happiness, joy. I hired Matt Streiby at New Leaf Design to help me encompass that vision and he did a brilliant job. The album artwork perfectly portrays the darkness I went through and the light that I eventually found.

Cover Art for Out Of The Darkness

WHO IS SITTING IN YOUR AUDIENCE?
A lot of my friends and family continually support my live performances. I have some people who regularly attend every show. I’m always trying to attract new audience members, new fans and listeners. Performing live is a great way to meet new people and introduce them to my music. Collaborating with other musicians is also a great way to share fan bases and help cross promote.

WHAT MAKES YOUR FANS UNIQUE?
Probably that they enjoy and love solo piano music. Most people who love solo piano music are dedicated fans who prove to be continual followers.

WHAT IS THE WILDEST THING A FAN HAS EVER DONE FOR YOU?
I have a wonderful fan in San Diego who sent me a care package in the mail last year. She baked me the most delicious pumpkin gingerbread loaf, put together a custom trail mix package of my favorite nuts and candies, included homemade fudge and cookies, and a bottle of California wine. It was absolutely fabulous!

WHAT’S YOUR CRAZIEST TOUR STORY?
I haven’t really toured in the sense of the word yet. I’ve performed in different areas, a concert here or there, spaced out over the year, but I have yet to go on a “tour” where I perform several cities in several weeks. It’s something I really want to do.

WHAT’S YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE WHEN YOU’RE ON THE ROAD?
Meeting all the new people I come in contact with. I love meeting the hosts of the shows I play, and mingling with the audiences during intermission and after the show. It’s very rewarding to talk with fans and hear their opinions of the music and the stories we share.

HAVE YOU EVER HUNG OUT WITH ONE OF YOUR MUSICAL HEROES?
Yes, I have! Long before I started selling my music and making a living as a musician, I was just like any other solo piano fan, and I loved the music of David Nevue. In addition to being one of my favorite solo pianists, discovered he had written a book about promoting music on the internet. I read his book and found a great deal of inspiration from it. Many years later, when I became an artist on David’s radio station Whisperings: Solo Piano Radio, I had an opportunity to meet him in person, and since then we’ve performed several times together and have become great friends.

WHAT DO YOU COLLECT?
I collect Tim Cotterill “The Frogman” bronze frogs… I love them! They’ve got such great personality. I also collect glass artwork and bowls, brilliant and beautiful colorful glass.

WHAT’S YOUR MOST MEMORABLE ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE?
It is difficult for me to pin point one achievement as my most memorable. I would have to say that sharing the stage with some of my most admired colleagues and fellow musicians would be at the top of the list. I’ve performed with David Nevue, Kurt Bestor, Gary Girouard, Joe Bongiorno, Louis Landon, Joseph Akins, Christine Brown, Joe Yamada, Jennifer Thomas, etc. Those experiences have been highlights for me.

“Rejoice” by Michele McLaughlin from Out of the Darkness

ARE THERE ANY SONGS YOU WISH YOU WROTE?
I hear music all the time that just touches my soul and I secretly wish I had written it. Not because I want to be the composer of that particular son, but more because I want to write music that grabs people in that same way that it grabs me. If a song makes me stop and grab my heart, that’s usually a song I highly admire.

NAME 3 INGREDIENTS FOR A KILLER SHOW.
An enthusiastic audience (doesn’t matter what size… small or big as long as they’re into it), a beautiful piano that is like butter to play and you really connect with, and a friend or two to share the stage with. Those make for the best shows, the ones I really glow about afterward.

WHAT WAS THE FIRST SHOW YOU EVER ATTENDED?
I went to a George Winston concert when I was 8 years old. My parents were friends with George’s cousins who lived down the street from us and had tickets right near the front. I remember watching his hands and really connection with his music, and just being amazed that a piano could sound so beautiful and captivating.

WHAT WAS THE FIRST ALBUM YOU EVER BOUGHT?
My very first record was Night Ranger. My dad bought it for me with my first record player when I was maybe 10 along with The Go-Go’s and Elton John. When I was old enough to buy my own music, I bought a lot of 80′s Wave music on cassette; Depeche Mode, The Cure, Camouflage, Erasure, New Order, etc. I have a pretty extensive collection.

WHAT ARTISTS ARE YOU LISTENING TO THAT WOULD SURPRISE YOUR FANS?
I listen to a lot of Rock music, especially while driving; Metallica, Disturbed, Tool, Staind, Linkin Park, etc. I’ve also never lost my love for 80′s Wave music, and listen to that a lot as well. For being a mellow contemporary new age solo pianist, I think it’s surprising to know I’m a rocker at heart :)

NAME SOME ARTISTS YOU ARE CHAMPIONING.
I would really like to compose music with orchestration. The music of Glen Gabriel has been an enormous source of inspiration for me, as well as the music of Jace Vek and Jennifer Thomas. I have studied these artists for years and learn so much from listening to their compositions, talking with them about their music, and using them as mentors. Other artists I deeply admire and learn a lot from are Loreena McKinnett, Secret Garden, Enya, Gnomusy, Simon Daum, Vangelis, and others in this genre.

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM SHOW LINEUP?
I would absolutely love to meet and play with David Lanz and Wayne Gratz. They are two pianists I’ve admired for years and to be able to share the stage with them would be a dream come true.

FINISH THIS SENTENCE: THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IS… constantly changing, growing, evolving and transforming.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE IN THE WORKS?
This year, in 2010, I released two albums. Out of the Darkness was released in early 2010, and I just released my second holiday album, Christmas – Plain & Simple II, which contains ten traditional arrangements as well as five original holiday themed compositions. I will be debuting that album this holiday season and spending a lot of time marketing and promoting that album. In addition, I am starting an in-home concert series in which I will perform with and showcase fellow pianists in my home. My debut concert is this December with my good friend, Joe Bongiorno, where we will both be showcasing our new holiday albums. Coming up in 2011 will be a full schedule of in-home concerts, some touring, and future album projects, for which I’ve already started composing. Some fun and exciting new music will be coming!

HOW CAN FANS FOLLOW YOU?

Fans can follow me through my newsletter on http://www.michelemclaughlin.com and on the following social networking sites:
Twitter http://www.twitter.com/michelemclaughl
Facebook http://facebook.com/michelemclaughlinmusic
MySpace http://www.myspace.com/michelemclaughlin
YouTube http://www.youtube.com/nali22btm
My music is available through my website http://www.michelemclaughlin.com/products.html as well as
iTunes http://www.itunes.com/michelemclaughlin and
Amazon MP3 http://www.amazon.com/Michele-McLaughlin/e/B001LI73LE/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1286492930&sr=1-2-ent

If you are an artist submitting to The 10th IMA program and interested in being featured in an Artist Spotlight please contact Tory@IndependentMusicAwards.com

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