Close

Not a member yet? Register now and get started.

lock and key

Sign in to your account.

Account Login

Forgot your password?

SiS Member Larry Murante Chosen to Perform for Official 2017 FAR-West Showcase in Bellevue

15 Aug Posted by in Blog | Comments
SiS Member Larry Murante Chosen to Perform for Official 2017 FAR-West Showcase in Bellevue
 

Imagine two floors of a major hotel reverberating with a variety of “unplugged” music flowing out of rooms and down the hallways in an ever-shifting scene until the wee hours of the morning. Then imagine a hotel conference room turned into a first class performance venue with artists chosen from a pool of some of the best local and national, and in some cases, international artists. In October, this is what will transpire at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue at the 2017 FAR-West Folk Alliance Conference, and on that Official Showcase stage will be a longtime member of SiS and the Pacific Northwest songwriting community: Larry Murante.

According to Bill Lippe, a member of the FAR-West selection team, “Each applicant for an Official Showcase submitted three videos of live performances that were evaluated by judges from a variety of backgrounds, including folk DJs, house concert presenters, venue bookers, seasoned musicians, and music aficionados. Artists were rated for musicianship, vocal ability, song choice, performance quality, and audience rapport. Larry, one of the most respected singer-songwriters in the Pacific Northwest, is one of twelve acts chosen for an Official Showcase from a large pool of talented applicants.”

Murante, who had previously been chosen for FAR-West official showcases both nationally and internationally, is well aware of the benefits of being chosen. “Getting an official showcase gives one an opportunity to get in front of a lot of regional folks who might not ever get a chance to see you up close and personal through a large PA system on a large stage.”

Long known for his songwriting craft and performance skills, it is his storytelling that captures listeners. In his biography it is noted that, “Though his songs are cleanly structured, he rarely writes himself into a tight formal box, and you can feel his narrator’s eye moving across the landscape like a great, kind-hearted novelist who stops to probe gently into each of his characters and their desires (sometimes his own) before moving on to the next scene.”

This love of storytelling began with his exposure to an emerging genre in music: the singer-songwriter. “I was in high school in the early ’70’s when the singer songwriter genre first got started with James Taylor, CSNY, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Elton John and Bernie Taupin, The Eagles, John Prine, and others who were writing songs about their personal experiences in a very profound way.”

He reflected, “My writing today is still very influenced by that period. I really didn’t start writing my own songs until about a decade later when I first starting following artists like Shawn Colvin, Greg Browne, John Gorka, and David Wilcox. To see them carry an audience all by themselves with just their voice and their guitar was pure poetry to me and made me want to be a better writer, a better player, and a better entertainer. This new form of performance was sort of like a cross between comedy, acting, and musicianship all wrapped up into one neat little package. I was hooked…”

As a writer, Murante’s songwriting process borders on a spiritual experience. “Writing songs is always a cathartic journey for me, because I tend to write about personal experiences, or people I know. Songwriting forces me to think deeply about what I’m writing about and puts a laser focus onto things. I learn a great deal while I am writing because I am often times researching a topic, or a person as I’m writing. Songwriting is as close to mediation as I get and it’s a very ‘Zen’ sort of thing for me to do.”

The influences of other art forms are ever present in the songs stylings of Murante. “Other writers inspire me as well and not just songwriters, but prose writers and poets, even painters, sculptors, playwrights, and especially nature. Visiting Pennsylvania where I grew up and lived up to 1982 and seeing my family and friends there have also inspired many a song.”

A lifelong love of observation and learning is evident when listening to Murante’s music, but his listeners are also drawn to his stage presence. Perhaps that is because Murante works on his performance skills as passionately as his songwriting. “As a performer, I’m constantly learning the nuances of performing, using dynamics, using silence, telling a succinct story in my introductions, reading the crowd, relaxing on stage and having fun. Like learning guitar, there is no end to the learning curve of performing and songwriting.”

With the FAR-West Conference so close to home, Pacific Northwest songwriters have a unique opportunity to perhaps attend for the first time, and Murante has some advice for those who are thinking about attending. “The conference is a challenge in many ways, especially if this is your first one. It takes some preparation getting your promotional materials ready, deciding what kind of advertising you will do, how many showcases you will partake in, etc.”

However, self-promotion is not the goal of the FAR-West experience. Murante added, “It’s good to be prepared, but don’t spend all your time and energy promoting yourself. The best advice I’ve ever been given concerning the conference is to make as many connections as possible with people, not only venues, but with other musicians and vendors of all stripes. These connections have served me well over the years and just knowing someone in another state where you are planning a tour could make all the difference in the world.”

Private Guerilla Showcase Rooms are another essential part of the FAR-West experience, which happen from 10:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. every night in a variety of rooms throughout the two floors. Murante advises, “There is lots to be learned from watching other acts perform and talking with elder music industry folks who’ve been at it much longer than you. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t have a large audience at your gorilla showcase.”

Murante speaks from his own experience, “Some of the best connections I’ve made at FAR-West were with that one person who popped into my empty showcase room and stayed for the duration. I once did a showcase where Rosalie Sorrels and Cloud Moss (Producer of the Kate Wolf Festival) were the only people in the audience. Yes, I was nervous!”

Larry Murante is an artist whose music has resonated with listeners around the globe. According to a Victory Music Review, he has “…a beautiful, smoky, full-bodied voice, and he’s known everywhere he goes for his vocal command and soulful, expressive delivery.” This October, that voice and those compelling performance skills will be deservedly featured on the mainstage at FAR-West. It is a performance you will not want to miss.

 

Learn more about Larry Murante:

Grand Prize WinnerJohn Lennon Songwriting Contest
WinnerWest Coast Songwriters Song Contest
Two-time Newfolk FinalistKerrville Folk Festival
…and 25 more regional, national, and international awards for songwriting and performance

Larry Murante’s Official Website
Larry Murante on Facebook
Larry Murante on Reverbnation
Larry Murante on Twitter
Larry Murante on Youtube

 

Learn more about FAR-West Folk Alliance:

This regional conference offers an affordable, intimate, and interactive way for acoustic artists and presenters to focus on the folk community in the western region of the US and Canada. We welcome a wide variety of styles, levels, and disciplines, encouraging musical and cultural diversity and excellence.

Sign up:
http://www.far-west.org/far-west-2017.html

 

Char Seawell
Char Seawell is an award winning singer-songwriter, a novelist, and essayist from Bothell, WA. A journalism graduate from Colorado State University, she is currently working on two historical fiction novels, one based in the North Cascades and one in pre-Nazi Germany,

Leave a Reply