Laura Ortman is an American musician from Whiteriver, Arizona who lives in Brooklyn, New York City. She bridges the gap between music and fine art, which can be seen from her inclusion in fine art exhibitions such as the Whitney Biennial.

Laura Ortman
Laura Ortman plays May 27, 2023 at the Basilica Hudson as part of the 24-Hour Drone concert.
Born (1973-07-17) July 17, 1973 (age 50)
Whiteriver, Arizona, United States
EducationUniversity of Kansas
Known forExperimental music
WebsiteLaura Ortman's webpage

Early life and education edit

Ortman was born in Whiteriver, Arizona, United States. Ortman was adopted at birth and grew up in Alton, Illinois. Ortman grew up in a musical family. Her mother, Terri Ortman was a pianist who managed a youth orchestra for 20 years. Her sister played the flute and harp, her brother played the french horn. Her grandmother, Mrs. Hummer was a symphony violinist in Des Moines, Iowa[1] Ortman describes her grandmother as influencing her taste in classical music introducing her to musicians such as Sibelius, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Brahms and Bartok. As a teen, Ortman was a part of the St. Louis Youth Symphony.

She is a White Mountain Apache.[2] In 2001, Ortman reconnected with her birth family in Arizona.[2] The timing was significant as it was one month prior to the 9/11 attack in New York, where Ortman was residing and it was also seven months prior to the death of Terri Ortman, her adopted mother.[2]

Ortman has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Kansas, where she studied drawing, painting, sculpture and performance art.[2]

In 1997, Ortman moved to New York City.[3] After moving to New York she began doing improvisational music for modern dancers, soon attracting the attention of the New York Native community.[2] While Ortman lives in busy Brooklyn, New York, she enjoys nature and walks in Prospect Park, as well as hiking and camping in upstate New York's Catskill Mountains.[2]

Career edit

Ortman is a solo performer and collaborative artist.[4] Her practise includes recorded albums, live performances, film and artistic soundtracks. Ortman has collaborated with artists such as Nanobah Becker, Martin Bisi, Raven Chacon, Tony Conrad, Martha Colburn, Jeffery Gibson, Okkyung Lee, Caroline Monnet, and Jock Soto.[4] Ortman plays Apache style violin, piano, electric guitar, keyboards, pedal steel guitar, and sings.[4] She has produced field recordings.[4]

Style edit

Ortman's practice has a strong connection to visual art, prior to moving to New York, Ortman states: “I used to try to create painting and installation work about being isolated, of being singular," she says. "Then I started making my own music for the installations, to fill them up. Then, at last, I decided that the sound was what was really moving me."[2] She describes her music as "sculpting sound."[2]

Bands edit

Major performances edit

Jerome Foundation Project edit

Laura Ortman received $20,000 in 2017 from the Jerome Foundation to create of a "collaborative collage" an Indigenous New York City Walking Soundtrack, that fused spoken word, song, din, movement, air, whispers and atmosphere, capturing a changing and personal Native American New York experience. She captured atmospheric recordings using the mobile recording unit she created.[7]

Awards and grants edit

References edit

  1. ^ de Picciotto, Danielle. "Laura Ortman – "I was shy as fuck as a kid but always causing rumbles"". Kaput Mag. Retrieved May 25, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Bonita, Pena. "Laura Ortman A Special Chemistry with Flatbush Avenue". amerinda.org. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  3. ^ "Art Matters Foundation". Art Matters Foundation. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Laura Ortman / David Watson & Tony Buck | ISSUE Project Room". issueprojectroom.org. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  5. ^ Davis, Ben (May 23, 2019). "Laura Ortman Has One of the Standout Works of the Whitney Biennial. Her Inclusion Was a Surprise Even to Her". artnet News. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  6. ^ "Laura Ortman – RPM.fm". Retrieved May 25, 2019.
  7. ^ "Laura Ortman – The Jerome Foundation". apply.camargofoundation.org. Retrieved May 24, 2019.

External links edit