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PRESS RELEASE

 

THE NEW ALBUM BY GRAMMY® WINNING ARTIST, LAURA SULLIVAN

Album Release Date: September 24, 2021

"A deeply personal tribute to her late parents, she paints memories of her childhood growing up on their farm as they infused her with the joys of music and a lust for life. Amazingly, she deftly evokes a range of emotions and imagery without a single lyric."

-Andy Kaufmann, Music Connection Magazine


"I give Laura and all her players a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) score of 4.99 for this lovely musical experience."

-Dick Metcalf, Contemporary Fusion Reviews

"In a preview of the Grammy®-winning California pianist and composer’s forthcoming album Pieces Of Forever, the lushly exquisite and meticulously crafted Rest Your Sorrow, Movement 1 gently guides the listener on a stirring emotional journey, evolving elegantly from a sombre, desolate setting into a place of hope and optimism."
-Darryl Sterdan, Tinnitist


"Pieces of Forever" merges Laura's Contemporary Instrumental Classical Music with emotional Ambient Americana textures. She has the ability to reach deep into the soul of the listeners with this one, myself included!"
-Andrew Jones, Lifoti Magazine

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Before Laura Sullivan's parents passed on, they taught her an important lesson: Love knows no genres. 

Laura's mother was her first Classical piano teacher, and her father taught her Country songs he played on his guitar and harmonica. In their memory, her new album Pieces of Forever merges her Contemporary Instrumental Classical Music with emotional Ambient Americana textures.

Laura grew up in a 100-year-old farmhouse at the foothills of Mount Lassen, in Northern California. At the time her family moved in, the old home was so rundown that the plumbing and electricity barely worked. They couldn’t watch TV unless everything else in the house was turned off, or the screen would shrink to half the size.

But there were so many more interesting things to do than watch TV, it didn't really matter that their electricity was not great. The eleven acres were a landscape to explore, filled with old broken-down cars, furniture, and ancient junk left behind from days long ago. A rusty clawfoot bathtub filled with muddy water sat in the front yard. Attached to it with duct tape was a hand-painted sign reading "Bard Bath." 

It was her parent's dream to own a farm, and this is what they could afford. Their vision was to transform it into a pleasant and comfortable homestead.

And that is what they did. Her family put in a lot of effort on the project for many years. Their work paid off and it became a nice working ranch with chickens, ducks, cows, horses, pigs, and a throng of feisty cats and friendly dogs. Next to our walnut orchard the family nurtured a huge garden of flowers and vegetables. They reached out to their friends to share the abundance, and formed a community garden.

 
 

But life on the farm wasn’t all about work. Laura's father drove his pick-up truck all the way from Weatherford Oklahoma to California to bring home a piano once owned by Laura's Great Grandmother, Etta who had taught all her six children how to play it.

Now, with Etta’s piano in their house, Laura's mother taught Laura how to play it too, starting when she was four years old. A few years later, Laura’s father began driving her all the miles into town each week so that she could have private piano lessons with the distinguished teacher, Ms. Winifred Laymon. They didn't have much money, but her parents continued that gift to her of piano lessons for all the years after until she left home for college.

"I learned all the words to the country music that my dad played on his guitar while singing the songs of Roger Miller, Kenny Rogers, and many others. We would all sing those songs together and the lyrics are permanently printed in my brain, forevermore. I’ll never forget one of my Dad's favorite songs, and my favorite song too, was Kansas City Star." - Laura Sullivan

 

Laura lost her mother many years ago from cancer. Her father passed away last summer during the bleak Covid-19 pandemic lockdown after a long struggle with Alzheimer's Disease. He still remembered how to play his favorite songs on the harmonica and the guitar even after most of his words had escaped him. 


"This album is about honoring the lives of my parents, the music they made, what they taught me, and their love. I sure hope my parents would like my new album and trusting they have already heard it. This comes with so much love." -Laura Sullivan



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Laura's new album 'Pieces of Forever' merges her Contemporary Classical compositions, with flavors of Ambient Americana. Composed and arranged by Laura, who plays the piano on each track, and performs one song on the album while playing a harmonica that belonged to her Dad.

Produced by Eric Sullivan, other instrumentalists include Gawain Mathews (Guitar), Chloe Mendola (Cello), Liz Hanks (Cello), Bryan Daste (Pedal Steel Guitar), Charles Butler (Banjo), Adam Burney (Harmonica), Caroline McCaskey (Musical Saw), and Kristin Weber (Violin).

 
 

Laura's many albums of original music  frequently chart on Billboard Top Ten bestseller lists, including 'Love's River' which won a Grammy® award at the 56th annual awards show (Best New Age Album). What made that momentous day extra special for Laura was that her family was seated in the audience when she went to the stage to receive her award.

You may have heard Laura's music on one of your favorite programs. She has composed underscore for shows seen on CBS, NBC, Fox, and Sony including So You Think You Can Dance, On the Case with Paula Zahn, The Dr. Oz Show, MTV's Catfish: The TV Show, 48 Hours, Under Dog to Wonder Dog, The History Channel, Fit TV, Angry Planet, The Perfect Murder, Discovery Civilization Channel, The Landscape Channel, and commercials for Hyundai among many others. Her music is also featured in two Emmy Award-Winning documentaries.

 
 

MORE ABOUT THE MUSIC...

 

A DARKER SEASON

The first song on the album is titled A Darker Season. Living in California, Laura's family grew up with a dread of wildfire. That emotion has been growing throughout the years.

One night, Laura's Dad woke up the sleeping family to put out a tree fire with a bucket brigade from the creek that ran through their farm. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and they were able to put out the fire before it caused too much damage, but it was a scary event and had a psychological impact.

Last year, Laura's family was evacuated from their home, because of a nearby fire. Thankfully, they were okay, but there are thousands who have lost their homes and livelihoods in recent fires.

"We are now living in a darker season. Climate change is a chief culprit in the wildfires which ravage California and the western United States, as well as other parts of the world. This is a heart-breaking dilemma that requires more awareness and action to create the change we want to see in our world. I support The Worldwide Fund for Nature, which is an international non-governmental organization founded in 1961 that works in the field of wilderness preservation and the reduction of human impact on the environment." - Laura Sullivan

Most of the production for Laura’s accompanying video A Darker Season was filmed at Sweetfarm, in Half Moon Bay, California. Sweet Farm is the first non-profit sanctuary in the world to address the global impacts of factory farming across animals, the plants, and the planet.

Composition & Piano: Laura Sullivan 

Guitar: Gawain Mathews

Cello: Chloe Mendola

Producer: Eric Sullivan

 
 

REST YOUR SORROW

​ "The illusion of time is our obstacle. Life is like a river. The beginning, the middle, and the end are always present, and are in all things, at every moment. We cannot understand the light, without knowing the darkness. In knowing this, may we find comfort, and rest from our sorrow.

This composition will be part of an album titled 'Pieces of Forever' inspired by the lives of both my parents, and to honor them. Creating this has been a journey of great love for me.​

My goal in this composition was to create a sense of coming out of darkness into the light. I hope when you hear the music, and watch the accompanying video, you will viscerally feel a shift in your emotion like swimming in cold water and finding a warm spot.”- Laura Sullivan

Rest Your Sorrow, Movement 1 Features:

Composition and Piano: Laura Sullivan 

Cello: Liz Hanks

Producer: Eric Sullivan

 
 

THE FAREWELL FIELDS

“Before my father had lost most of his memory and passed away, he gave me one of his harmonicas. It is the same one I'm playing in this video.

My family life as a child was on our farm in Northern California near the foothills of Mount Lassen. As I grew up, my parents worked very hard to keep things running and make it a beautiful home for us. As my parents got older, it all became more than they could continue to manage, and our farm was sold.

I still love to drive out there and look at it, and now there is a young family living there who are taking wonderful care of the place. It was sad saying farewell to our fields, but that is how life goes. Now the fields are continuing to grow and blossom with new life. Much love to all who come here." - Laura Sullivan

Composition, Piano, and her Dad's Harmonica: Laura Sullivan

Cello: Chloe Mendola,

Guitar: Gawain Mathews 

Producer: Eric Sullivan

 
 

THE LONG GOODBYE

"It's been said that Alzheimer's Disease is 'The Long Goodbye' My father suffered from this terrible affliction, and the hardest part for me was watching his pain and feeling helpless to help him. His gift of music was one of the only things that he held onto until the very end. He could still sing a few of his favorite songs. 

​            One of the songs that he would always sing was The Crawdad Song by Woody Guthrie. Often, he would just start singing it out of nowhere - "You get a line, and I'll get a pole, Honey!" 

​            I played the Crawdad Song on guitar at my dad’s memorial service, which took place during pandemic lockdown. All my family sang it together with me. We miss you Dad, until we meet again someday.

​            The Long Goodbye is for all the families who have lost loved ones to Alzheimer's Disease, and to those who have lost loved ones during the pandemic. May all your loved ones rest in peace.

​            Joining me on this track is Musical Saw player Caroline McCaskey. Caroline is the winner of the International Musical Saw Competition and was named the "Prima Donna Assoluta of the Saw.” by Michael Tilson Thomas.

A Musical Saw is a wonderful and unusual instrument and finding someone who plays it very well like Caroline is rare. Also called a singing saw, the Musical Saw is a hand saw used as a musical instrument.

I chose this instrument to accompany me on the piano because of the cry in the sound, symbolizing the longing for the pieces of a loved one as they slowly slip away in a long goodbye." - Laura Sullivan

Composition and Piano: Laura Sullivan

Musical Saw: Caroline McCaskey

Producer: Eric Sullivan

 
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Laura's Dad

 
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Laura's Dad on the family farm.

 
 

PIECES OF FOREVER

"This composition is the title track of my album Pieces of Forever inspired by the lives of both my parents.

My mother was my first piano teacher, and she was a classically trained pianist. My father played country guitar and harmonica. In their honor I've created this album, intertwining classical piano with Americana ambiance.

We all carry moments we treasure, people in our lives that have passed on but will always be so dear us, and irreplaceable precious memories. These are all eternal. They are pieces of our forever." - Laura Sullivan


Composition and Piano: Laura Sullivan

Cello: Liz Hanks

Pedal Steel: Bryan Daste

Producer: Eric Sullivan

 
 

WHEN WE WERE HAPPY

"This is another composition I wrote in honor and memory of my parents. The footage in the accompanying video is real footage of my mom and dad and my family, and it contains:

My parents outside my mother's house before their prom date. They are practicing some dancing to warm up for the night ahead.

Their early days together picking apples and riding horses.

Their wedding.

Their babies and kids when they were little (myself, and my younger brother and sister.)

This is a very personal composition, and one into which I've poured my entire heart. Mom and Dad, I love you so much. You were so special and adorable. I miss you every day. This comes with so much love, until we meet again." 

- Laura Sullivan

Composition & Piano: Laura Sullivan

 
 
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