Upon the Corner of the Moon is Laurence Furr’s second album, to be released by myndstream on Friday. Furr is a Clinical Musician and a Certified Therapeutic Harp Practitioner. Most of the tracks were improvised while playing at the hospital. With this as a backdrop, the incredible beauty of the music takes on a new meaning. The Celtic harp sounds divine, while it also reminds us of the fragility of life. It is a sublime, dynamic, and highly memorable recording. Upon the Corner of the Moon – and last year’s Deep Peace – establish Laurence Furr as one of the most promising harpists on the New Age music scene today.
Dr. Laurence Furr is a cantor and organist at Trinity Lutheran Church in Fort Worth, TX. He has a B.M and M.M. in Pipe Organ performance from the University of Texas Arlington and Texas Christian University. Furr bought a Celtic harp in 2013. After a few lessons, he worked on certification as a therapeutic musician. Less than three years later, he became certified in two accredited programs. He works in this capacity at JPS Health Network and Vitas Hospice in-patient-unit at Baylor All Saints Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. Furr debuted as a New Age music artist with Deep Peace on myndstream in 2020.
Upon the Corner of the Moon
I don’t know if the title is a nod to Andreas Vollenweider’s Grammy-winning album Down to the Moon (1987), or a reference to act 5, scene 3 in Macbeth by William Shakespeare – or perhaps both – but the album’s atmosphere is truly magical. The title track is the first one out. It is, in short, a minor masterpiece! The beginning is a bit hesitant and dreamy before a breathtakingly beautiful melody gains momentum. And wow, what a New Age music jewel Furr has in store for us! It is full moon magic in every sense of the word. You will notice right away that Furr is a dynamic and highly skilled harpist. I also very much like the recording; it has a delicate reverb that is just right.
Where the Angels Thread
Heaven is still near when Where the Angels Thread comes on. It is a bit more contemplative with a neoclassical touch, making four minutes fly away. It is impossible to feel sad while listening to The Weight of Beauty. The happy melody twists and turns delightfully.
Furr takes the listener for a round-trip, visiting beautiful places and inspiring people. Close your eyes while listening to Garner Fields, and a spectacular tableau will manifest itself. Genoveva’s Dance is a pretty fast piece that is, as the title implies, danceable – most elegantly and gracefully possible. Genoveva is perhaps a reference to a heroine in a medieval legend. A turquoise door always has a particular character, creating a unique milieu, which the piece The Turquoise Door communicates nicely. On Fireflies, the harp is a bit more distant – but it comes closer and closer as the piece develops. It is one of the most exquisite pieces on the album, honest and dignified.
There are many Celtic and Irish references on the album. Suddenly we find ourselves among good friends at McDermott’s Pub in Ireland, presumably with a pint in hand. It could easily be turned into a drinking song. The divine messengers are back on Angel’s Landing. This piece binds the album together, pointing both back to the beginning – and prepares us for what is yet to come – which also might be the angel’s message come to think of it. She Handed Me Her Harp can be interpreted as an homage to this incredible instrument before Green Fields of Ireland rounds it all off splendidly.
In conclusion: Upon the Corner of the Moon confirms that Laurence Furr is an artist to follow in the years to come. I don’t know if it is due to the improvisation, but the pieces have a loose, free-flowing structure that makes them ideal for relaxation, dreaming, and creative work. Fans of the before-mentioned Andreas Vollenweider, Peter Sterling, and Catriona McKay should make a mental note of his name.
From time to time – and especially under the current social and political circumstances – we all dream of escaping to the moon, if only for an hour or so. When tuning into Laurence Furr’s new album, that wish is granted.
For more information and music samples, visit laurencefurr.com.