Laura Meyer (AKA Cygne) is a writer and musician working in memoir and sound at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Before attending SAIC she toured internationally as a performing songwriter for over a decade, collecting and curating experiences, melodies, language, characters, and sounds from the natural world. She has released fourteen albums of original music and performed over 1300 concerts in twenty-two countries, including Festival Noroeste Estrella Galicia and Stolze Openair Zürich. Her passions include documentation, creative nonfiction, travel, photography, yoga, and the music of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Lorenzo, 2020, Voice memo recordings of Chicago birds, me cheering, and Lorenzo Bertolini on acoustic guitar, 3:23 mins.
Several years ago I was performing in Castiglione Delle Stivere with my friend Lorenzo Bertolini. During rehearsal he played a short melody that he loved but had yet to turn into a song. We said we’d record it together someday. The recording lived in my phone until Italy went into lockdown in March 2020. Suddenly someday interrupted with an urgency I’d never experienced. I sampled his melody and added sounds of Chicago in an attempt to shorten the distance between us, and to summon comfort in a stressful time.
Springly, 2020, Assorted phone recordings of birds, Water, and Electric guitar, 5:49 mins.
I composed this piece for friends in Snoqualmie, Washington, who often hosted me when I toured the Pacific Northwest. In the initial shutdown of spring 2020 I uncovered a short recording of guitar I made at their house, as well as various recordings from nature. During a time of isolation and fear I found joy in playing with these birds and remembering places and people I love.