Michael Laurello composer
On his debut Ravello Records release ROSE, composer Michael Laurello offers a personal and refined style marked by rhythmic invention, visceral directness, and earnest emotional depth. His music reflects his diverse stylistic influences, which include Western classical music, jazz-fusion, progressive rock/metal, and EDM/IDM. Intricate polyrhythms, high-energy grooves, and a sophisticated harmonic palette are distinctive features of his music.
Laurello composes for both traditional and non-traditional musical forces, including symphony orchestra, acoustic chamber ensembles, and works conceived specifically for the recording studio. He has recently collaborated with groups such as So Percussion, the Yale Philharmonia, Sandbox Percussion, and HOCKET.
Rose and Tell hope everything you hear, two pieces from this release, exemplify Laurello’s fascination with seamlessly interwoven soundworlds of acoustic and electronic sounds. Rose (for Clavinet, synthesizer, and electronics) is a nostalgic homage to ’80s pop viewed through a contemporary lens, featuring a complex rhythmic structure and relentless forward motion. Tell hope everything you hear (for prepared steel-string acoustic guitar and electronics) is in some ways a blood relative of Rose, addressing similar compositional concerns, but with a focus on the electronic transformation of the guitar from being unprocessed to becoming distorted.
Big Things, an amplified quintet for electric guitar, electric bass, piano, vibraphone, and modified drum kit, is a high-powered exploration of groove and polyrhythm. Kaleidoscopic in nature, it showcases Laurello’s ability to create gorgeous, elaborate textures from relatively modest musical materials.
Embers is the most introspective piece on the release, and is the only work of fixed media. A musical collage at heart, it is composed of sounds that Laurello recorded and manipulated (including prepared Fender Rhodes electric piano, prepared acoustic piano, analog synthesizer, found object percussion, and toy piano, among others). Conceived as a tribute to composer Conlon Nancarrow, each instrumental layer is playing in a different tempo, creating a beguiling musical universe that can be at the same time hypnotic and disorienting.