As a rebellious classical musician, Laura has spent a lifetime contending with the paradox of loving the classics while being irresistibly pulled to challenge the status quo. Grounded in the tradition, she has played with orchestras like the San Francisco Symphony. However it was her love for improvisation, collaboration and creating new work that led her to perform with major contemporary music ensembles in Europe, including MusikFabrik, Ensemble MAE, and her own projects like Duo X. Creative collaboration with artists and composers from Julio Estrada and Toshio Hosokawa to Michael Gordon and Cindy Cox, has driven more than two decades of innovative performance practices and re-evaluation of audience interactions. Along the way she became an expert in how to strategically bear the discomfort of ambiguity in order to invoke originality.
Besides being an active performer on clarinet and bass clarinet, Laura has lectured in music, creativity and collaboration at numerous universities including Harvard, Stanford, University of California at Berkeley, Davis and San Diego, Rice University, University of Chicago, BYU, Istanbul Bilgi University, SUNY Buffalo, and most recently at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.
Research area include:
What is storytelling in relation to music? What stories? Who's stories? What values, perceptions, questions, longings? Text and music have a long history, but there are a lot of voices and stories from history that I've missed hearing. Those are the stories I want to hear and tell now; not just the narrative, but the voice itself. The connection of voice to gesture and the body is a fascination for me.
Ever since I was small I wanted to move. I danced, climbed trees, did stunts, and felt a lot of physical freedom. I didn't need science to validate that the body and mind are connected. I knew that-- always.
Translating the feeling of a gesture into sound was very organic for me. Looking back, I realize this is a thread through my work. It grew out of my fascination for movement, for nature, for a thankfulness to be alive, to be walking, to be. I had a major car accident as a teenager, and my spine was broken. I don't take physical freedom, physical liberation, breathing, for granted.
Since 1990 I've immersed myself in body-mind training systems, not only to support my professional performance work, but also in large part to help recover from this accident. Since that time I've practiced Alexander Technique, martial arts, meditation and peak performance techniques, along side doing personal development work.
Over the last fifteen years Laura has brought her creative thinking know-how into the business world as a trainer and facilitator. You can find out about this aspect of her work at www.serious-play.net Currently she is a creativity and innovation facilitator at THNK School for Creative Leadership. Circling back, Laura is now bringing her expertise from innovation and leadership training into the arts sector. For performers and artists she offers a number of in-person workshops on mindset, inner critic and Critical Response Process. She's also created an online leadership course for professional women artists, Step Into the Bigger Space.