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KRISTEN LAWRENCE Organist / Composer / Vocalist
Kristen Lawrence is a classically trained organist who writes with a modern edge, influenced by centuries of musicians from J.S. Bach to Danny Elfman.
Besides performing as a concert organist, her passion is to research the history and folk tunes behind familiar Halloween symbols: witches, vampires, black cats, spooky houses, and the tradition of trick of treating. Lawrence thought, "If Christmas has beautiful carols, why not Halloween?" With that in mind, Lawrence writes and arranges music that has become her Halloween Carols, enjoyed not only during the Halloween season but throughout the year.
With her clever compositions, clear soprano voice, and witty lyrics, Kristen has developed a reputation as a Halloween specialist. Stephen Fortner, Executive editor of Keyboard Magazine, says: If the Halloween Town of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas had a resident keyboardist, it would be Kristen Lawrence."
A childhood favorite of many was resurrected by Lawrence in her first album, "Arachnitect," with recording two arrangements of the American traditional tune "Ghost of John." Admirers call these versions "the best out there." Patrons of the macabre enjoy dancing at masquerade balls to the album's "Blood Waltz."
Her second album, "A Broom With A View," attracted a range of fans ranging from soccer moms to metal heads with her compositions of spooky organ music, tales of witches soaring over the countryside, two versions of the old English "Souling Song," and a saucy vampire. Kristen's black cat Molly is a featured vocalist in "Cats in the Catacombs."
Her original musical setting of Edgar Allan Poe's masterpiece "The Raven" has already won raves by serious Poe scholars and enthusiats for being an aural storyboard of the classic poem; expressing the narrator's dark path from melancholy to despair.
Lawrence and her "The Raven" music have been featured at National Endowment of the Arts-sponsored The BIG READ events, with the purpose to invite the community to appreciate the poetry and short stories of Edgar Allan Poe. Kristen's musical setting will be a classic in musical literature and will give Poe students and enthusiasts around the world a chance to experience the emotions of "The Raven" and be able to sing-along to Kristen's music. Dr. Hal Poe, President of the Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia, calls Kristen's interpretation of Poe's famous poem ... "exquisite."
Newspapers & Magazines
- PR.com "'Nevermore' with a Score..." March 20, 2012
- Keyboard Magazine
- Rue Morgue Magazine
- Orange County Register
- PR Newswire
Interviews and Blogs
- Deathly Romantic - April 1, 2012
- Dread Central - March 22, 2012
- Rue Morgue - January 11, 2012
- EdgarAllanPoe.it - January 1, 2012
- Suburban Vampire - October 24, 2011
- Sketchy Details - September 7, 2011
- The Retroist - October 7, 2011
- The Halloween Blues - September 10, 2010
- Linescratchers Podcast - October 8, 2009
- The Steve and Johnnie Show, WGN Chicago - October 2009
- Examiner.com - October 15, 2009
- Linescratchers Blog - September 17, 2008
What Others Are Saying About
Kristen Lawrence’s “A Broom With A View”
“If the Halloween Town of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas had a resident keyboardist, it would be Kristen Lawrence.”
— Stephen Fortner, Executive Editor, Keyboard Magazine
“With sweeping string arrangements, handsome lyrics and layers of her own graceful voice, Lawrence spins ethereal tales with a balance of macabre elements and kid-friendly whimsy ... that give her creations an instantly classic, fun-for-all-ages feel."
— Trevor Tuminski, Music Editor, Rue Morgue Magazine
“Absolutely taken with it. Love, love, love the CD. I hope it is a collection in a series. The idea of ‘Halloween Carols’ is wonderful. This is good music.”
— Steve of “The Steve & Johnnie Show”
WGN Radio, 720 AM, Chicago
“An interesting, intriguing and fascinating listen. An absolute must for Halloween.”
— Maxim Eshkenazy, Assistant Conductor, Pacific Symphony
“I love it and think it is remarkably fresh and original – the pieces could be movie scores. Grown-ups who have loved this holiday from afar can come out of the woods because we finally have elegant Halloween music all ages can enjoy.”
— Kieth Merrill, Academy-Award winning filmmaker
“This is the most unique Halloween music I have ever heard! These Halloween Carols are nothing less than fantastic. This music will appeal to all ages from small children to seniors. Brace yourself for when you first listen. These songs are not at all what you expect. Great music with amazing vocals. You will catch yourself playing these tunes over and over. Great for Halloween parties.”
— Larry McKenzie, The Halloween Network
Comments from Bloggers and Fan Mail:
- “It’s an alluring mix between a pipe organ in the most haunted of houses and wicked classical music… The unique music appeals to all those who love Halloween, fancy the dark side a bit, and are enchanted by classical counterpoint music and ethereal voices.”
- “Wow. I’ve been listening to it all day today. It’s a delight to listen to and is providing a very inspiring quality as I decorate the house for Halloween over the next several days.”
- “I too am a fan of the Haunted Mansion and Halloween. I have a yard display with lights synchronized to music. I will be adding your music to my Halloween display this year.”
- “Have you heard about this delightful yet haunting CD? I listened to her previous CD [Arachnitect] and love – LOVE – it. It’s not your typical scary Halloween CD.”
- “I am a photographer and I love the ‘visuals’ I get when I listen to this. With the track ‘Flappy Bat,’ close your eyes and you can see one making its way through a dark and windy landscape. I am glad I saw the article on Kristen in the O.C. Register!”
- “I was completely blown away. I got goose bumps from the beauty, plus there was a big smile on my face because everything about the music worked so well … harmonies, chord progressions. Absolutely beautiful.”
- “My family and I had so much fun when we turned off the lights and played this chilling music. It’s PERFECT for all of your Halloween soirees!”
- “I love your music...I've been searching for good Halloween music all my life...and I finally found it!”
- "If you love gorgeous, ethereal female vocals. Pipe organ makes you hot. You’re a grown up Goth who wants something a little more lighthearted yet appropriate. The CD of Halloween sounds from Target isn’t going to cut it for your party this year. Let me introduce you to Kristen Lawrence’s CD, A Broom With A View."
- "Kristen Lawrence, the Halloween organist, isn't exactly the most Goth person ever, but I personally love it and think she overlaps just enough Gothy territories to be considered an honorary Goth Artist."
- "Rather than the usually disappointing 'Halloween Dance Party Music' CDs one finds at the local Halloween store (filled with sub-par versions of 'Monster Mash' and 'Purple People Eater'), Lawrence gives Halloween lovers a new music tradition. Her Halloween carols (each in four-part carol/hymn style) are influenced by the deep history and culture behind All Hallows Eve. A Broom with a View is undoubtedly a great asset to any haunted house or autumnal feast!"