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Lauren Conklin | Water Music, Pt. 1

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Country: Bluegrass Country: Progressive Bluegrass Moods: Instrumental
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Water Music, Pt. 1

by Lauren Conklin

"Water Music" is Lauren Conklin's debut EP. Lauren is an accomplished violinist who blends bluegrass, Celtic, and world styles into an energizing and eclectic sound that features virtuosic performances from Nashville's top instrumentalists.
Genre: Country: Bluegrass
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The One Finger Song
3:32 $0.99
2. Black Lake
3:42 $0.99
3. Nashua
3:09 $0.99
4. Mako
3:00 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Water Music" is my first EP, and a project I'm very proud of and excited about.

This project was born out of a bunch of "sound check" riffs--little hooks or melodies that I'd play during long soundchecks that I eventually turned into full songs. Because I wrote them first without any rhythmic accompaniment, many of them have mixed-meter components, unusual chord structures, and uneven phrasings-but that's what I love about them and what, I hope, makes them interesting.

It was such an honor to have so many incredible musicians (who also happen to be some of my favorite people) play on this project with me. First I have to point out my amazing husband, Ben Johnson, who pushed me to do this project in the first place, helped me organize the sessions and arrange songs, and played cello. Erik Coveney played upright bass, helped me choose and arrange songs, and did pre-mix editing. Forrest O'Connor played mandolin, Brandon Hays did percussion, Jake Stargell played acoustic guitar, and Liana Alpino put some beautiful harp parts on several of the songs. I was so lucky to be able to record this project at Blue Grotto Studios and have the wonderful Sean Spence engineer, mix, and master it. He was so patient and encouraging and made sure everything sounded exactly like I wanted it to.

The photos for this album were done by the immensely talented Matt Andrews.

A little bit about each of the songs on the EP:

1. The One Finger Song
-Written after I sliced my index finger open on a food processor blade and was trying to figure out what I could still play without that finger. I never really named it, but this is how I referred to it and so that's what it's called now. This one is the most "traditional" bluegrass feel, and features some absolutely killer solos from Forrest and Jake!

2. Black Lake
-"Black Lake" is the second single off of my new EP, and one of the first songs that I wrote for it. It's named for the Black Lake in Harry Potter, but on a more serious note, reflects something that I think all of us experience. This was written during a time where I felt unsure of what I was doing or even wanted to be doing with my life, while all the time on the outside I looked calm and collected. So back to the Harry Potter world, the Black Lake is beautiful and serene and shiny on the surface, but underneath it's murky and full of scary creatures and traps and things. I think that this is something all of us experience, the difference between the worries and stresses that we feel inside and the image that we project to the world. You can hear that "unsettled" feeling in the uneven time signatures and phrasings. Also of note to listen for is the beautiful harp part Liana did on this, and her solo lines during the bridge.

3. Nashua
-"Nashua" was written with the themes of new beginnings, exciting change, and optimism for the future in mind. It came shortly after our brand new home flooded in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. While there was the initial period of being upset and stressed and sad about the things that we lost, the feeling that rose to the top during that experience was joy. Which sounds crazy, but here's why: When you have something like that happen, you realize how many amazing friends you have, and how many kind people there are in the world. We had so much help, and because of the hard work and generosity of many people, some of whom were complete strangers before this happened, it didn't end up being that bad. The damage was contained quickly, and minimal, and most of the things that we couldn't save were not irreplaceable. So at the end of the day what could have been a tragedy ended up being a new beginning and a reminder of how loved we are, and that's the feeling that I hope this song inspires.

4. Mako
-"Mako" has a couple different levels to it. It was written during a time when I already felt incredibly overwhelmed, and then was in an accident that totaled my car. My car’s name was Mako (because it was bright blue and had a fin like a mako shark). In a normal month, I would probably not have been that upset, but at this point in time it was the last straw and so I wrote a funeral song for my car. On a deeper level, this is dedicated to a true tragedy that's occurring around the world: the decline and extinction of many species of sharks due to overfishing, finning, and lack of education into the important role that these majestic creatures play in the health of our oceans. I'm proud to be partnering with ocean conservationists and researchers to donate a portion of proceeds from this album to help save the sea creatures--sharks among them.



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