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An independent spirit to perform in Los Alamos

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By Kirsten Laskey

Laurianne Fiorentino is a renaissance woman. Fiorentino is not only a singer, guitarist and song writer, but she has dabbled in a wide array of other careers, according to her Web site. Fiorentino has been a professional immuno-therapist or allergy technician, potter, graphic-artist-designer/photographer, an Alaskan salmon fisherwoman and a leather-tooling artist.

That is just the tip of the iceberg; Fiorentino has also worked as a journalist, photographer, painter, tour guide, choir director and an ortho-bionomy healing arts practitioner.

Even with this lengthy resume, Fiorentino has never performed her music in Los Alamos. This will change Thursday when she takes the stage for the season’s final Guitars and Gateaux show at 7 p.m. in Fuller Lodge.

Fiorentino, who lives in Santa Fe, said she learned about the guitar series, which the Los Alamos Arts Council sponsors, through a fellow singer.

She explained she directs a choir for the Santa Fe Celebrations and a member of the choir, Lesley Olsher of Los Alamos, told her about the Guitar and Gateaux series and got her in touch with Greg Schneider, the organizer for the series.

Fiorentino said she has visited Los Alamos and she is excited to share her music with the community.

Her music, as Fiorentino’s mother said, is no “Row, Row, Your Boat.” Like Fiorentino, it is multi-faceted and varied.

“My technique … I make use of a guitar in a very minimal way,” she said. “Sometimes I use only one note and sometimes I tap it like a drum. It will be an interesting venture to come to Los Alamos.”

Fiorentio explained she developed her style from her past experiences. “It got developed from being a base player as I played base for 15 years for all kinds of rock, R&B bands … instead of deciding to go into traditional rhythm guitar, I decided to adapt my base playing techniques to the guitar. My work is very vocally oriented and the lyrics tend to be poetic and dense and they appeal to the senses and nature.”

Fiorentino added,  “My lyrics have been considered to be more poetry than lyrics. I decided to write because I didn’t know what I wanted to say so I let the words lead the way like a flashlight in a dark room.”

Her independent spirit, which is evidenced in her guitar playing, can be spotted in other areas of her life.  

Fiorentino said she made up her own degree in college. After being introduced to left and right brain concepts, Fiorentino determined she had just gotten a left-brain education because it is easy to measure and grade. Therefore, in college she decided to get an education to increase whole brain. Weaving together the whole brain influenced her musical expression.

Before moving to Santa Fe in 1992, Fiorentino spent a decade as a bassist/vocalist and comedienne in commercial R&B and blues bands throughout New England.

However, she decided it was time for a change.

“Things had fallen apart in my life in New England and I had a hunch and the hunch said if I was going to stay in this country I should go find a place where people still live with the rocks.”

So, she decided to move out West to “where the oldest civilization lives in this country. Where it hadn’t been moved or shifted.”

Since moving out to Northern New Mexico, Fiorentino was nominated for acoustic artist of the year by the National Academy of Songwriters in Los Angeles and was a finalist in the Lilith Fair international talent search.

She has toured internationally and shared the stage with Odetta, Greg Brown and Chris Smither.

Despite all she has accomplished, Fiorentino is eager to perform in Los Alamos.

“I’m honored and grateful Greg Schneider has invited me to come play,” she said. “I’m just grateful to come there.”

The fee for the concert is $10 for LAAC members and $15 for non-members. Desserts are served before the program begins.