Laura Sheeran is a Dublin based musician, composer and artist who also dabbles in film and theatre. Her reputation and following have been growing steadily since she started her solo music project in 2005. This year has seen the release, and immediate success, of her debut solo offering, the free-to-download
EP Music for the Deep Woods. Laura is currently (July 2010) running a pledge campaign to raise funds so that she can release her debut LP, a double album entitled "Lust of Pig and The Fresh Blood"
Born in Galway on April 19th 1987, Laura's innate musicality moved to the foreground at an early age. She first started playing with instruments when she was about six and songwriting seemed to follow naturally. Learning her instruments mostly by ear (piano, violin, guitar) she was developing a strong musical intuition which would allow her to pick up melody easily despite her lack of training. Around this time she also became part of a singing group run by one of her mother's friends. The youngest member of the group by over ten years, she thrived in the environment and enjoyed learning about harmonies, breathing awareness and the power of the voice.
Laura's main ambition as a youngster was to become a successful visual artist rather to pursue a career in music. Despite a natural talent and the pleasure she derived from exploring it, Laura's assumption was that her lack of musical training represented a barrier in that respect.
This changed when circumstances brought her into contact with singer, composer and musician Clodagh Simonds (Mellow Candle, Fovea Hex, Mike Oldfield). Clodagh was impressed by Laura's singing voice, and asked if she would like to contribute some vocals to a project she was engaged in. Laura was fifteen years old when she first entered the studio to record material that was eventually to surface on the critically acclaimed Fovea Hex EP trilogy Neither Speak Nor Remain Silent.
While working on the Fovea Hex project - she sings on all three EPs, Bloom, Huge and Allure - Laura was exposed to and learned much about various recording techniques, new ways of using her voice, and also alternative approaches to song-writing. This gave her the inspiration to move forward with her own writing. The process was helped when she acquired an 8-track recorder, upon which Laura began to lay down the foundations of her own solo work.
At seventeen she started composing and performing her music in collaboration with Galway-based theatre artist Little John Nee, a gifted writer of one-man shows ("star of stage, screen and street-corner"). The experience of theatre work was integral to the development of her own live performances. During the course of the four shows they worked together on (for some of which she also took on an acting role), Laura learned a lot about stage craft, lighting design, costumes, audience perception, suspense, and so on. She tries to incorporate all of this learning into her own shows, making ordinary music events into more fully rounded experiences.
Laura has also had some exciting live experiences performing with Fovea Hex. In 2007, they played their debut concert at the Donau Festival in Austria (curated by Current 93's David Tibet), sharing the bill with Sun O))), Baby Dee and Current 93 among others. The next live outing for Fovea Hex was a year later, when invited by US film director David Lynch to perform during the closing week of an exhibition of his art works held at Fondation Cartier in Paris. Subsequently, the band played in Barcelona supporting Pluramon, whose lead vocalist, Julie Cruise came to prominence through her involvement with David Lynch's TV series Twin Peaks.
Other notable Fovea Hex performances include Sound Threshold, an outdoor event at an astronomical observatory on Monte Bordone (Trentino, Italy), a show at the Teatro Valli Opera House in Reggio Emilia (Italy), and their debut (and so far only) Irish gig at the Electric Picnic in 2008. As a member of Fovea Hex's live band incarnation, Laura provides lead and backing vocals, accordion and bowed saw.
Also in 2008, Laura embarked on a short overseas tour presenting her own material. She visited Norwary, playing gigs in Drammen and Oslo (with Cora Venus Lunny, violin) and also played two shows in Berlin (solo) before heading to Paris where she had been invited to support Little Annie (New York) at Café de la Danse. Since then, she has performed many live shows around Ireland, notably appearing in November 2009 at Black Sun, "an almost monthly outer limits weirdo music event" held in Cork city.
In performance, Laura accompanies herself using a looping station, bowed saw, melodica, accordion, flute, ukulele, and electronic treatments. She frequently encorporates improvisation into her performances, sometimes improvising full songs comprising not just of layered music but also lyrics, which are often tinged with a sense of imminent threat, yearning, mortality and mystery. Experiences with Fovea Hex have brought Laura into contact with a wide range of highly talented musicians, some of whom have been happy to contribute to material for her own solo works and can be heard on the above mentioned EP Music for the Deep Woods and the soon to be released double album Lust of Pig and the Fresh Blood. These releases represent the first official musical offerings of a highly creative individual whose talent and unique style are inexorably moving from strength to strength.
- Laura Sheeran Homepage
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