MP3 Julie Moffitt - Labyrinth
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10 MP3 Songs
FOLK: like Joni, EASY LISTENING: Soft Rock
My influences come from many genres. In the 60s I started out listening to the classics (as my first instrument was piano); Rachmaninoff, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and of course, my beloved Chopin. Soon I discovered musicals, which I adored passionately. I cut my vocal teeth on (don't laugh, now) Mary Poppins. And when I was eight, I sang the music from The Sound of Music over and over, trying to get it right. I can't think of anyone better, technique-wise, to emulate than Julie Andrews. Then, when I was eleven my sister came home from college with a guitar. It was 1969, and she was playing Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Peter Paul and Mary. I was hooked on folk music and guitar playing.
In the 70s I got into heavier rock, listening to, and playing, music by Kansas, Queen, Styx, ELP, but I still listened to the acoustic artists like Cat Stevens, Livingston Taylor (James' lesser-known but just as wonderful brother) and CSNY. And, of course, more musical theater. I played the guitar and piano incessantly; coffee houses, local theaters, and then bars when I was old enough. By the time I was eighteen I was playing in my first band, complete with a black Les Paul and bellbottoms. Over the years I've played in many bands; keyboards, guitar, always singing. I wore out my Queen albums practicing my singing.
In the 80s there were lots of scantily clad guys with long hair prancing around playing music. Fun to look at, but largely a "boy's only" club, unless you could play wailing guitar leads, which I couldn't. For an acoustic guitarist/pianist there wasn't much work, and I looked silly in spandex (still do), so that was when I decided to go to music college. It was an opportunity to devote my time to nothing but practicing and studying, something you never have time for in the "real" world of a gigging musician. So I went to Combs College of Music in Philadelphia, and stayed until I had a Masters Degree in Piano Performance.
After I left college I floundered. I had been plagued by tendonitis in graduate school, and after I graduated I quit the music business for awhile out of frustration and pain. During this time I wrote fiction and poetry, and studied writing. The creative drive was too strong for me to ignore, and I needed an outlet for it. The two most useful things about that period in my "life without music" was that: 1) I developed stronger writing skills, which have helped my lyric writing immensely. 2) I realized that for me, a life without being actively involved in music seemed like just passing the time until I died. I resolved that no matter how much trouble I had with tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome (I have that too), I had to get back into playing music.
So in the late 80s I got back into performing solo and with bands, and was pretty successful. The band I was in went far enough to open up for Eddie Money and The Little River Band. But I was discontent. Top 40 music didn't seem the right place for me, and I missed the piano and musical theater.
As the 90s dawned I took a long look at what I really wanted to do with my musical life. I had always wanted to write my own songs, but for a long time my attempts just didn't sound right to me. I guess I hadn't found my "voice." For some reason it finally seemed like the right time, and I started writing in earnest. This eventually resulted in the release of "Labyrinth" in 1995 and "dancerdemonloveranswer," released August of 2001.
The varied and sometimes crazy lifestyle I lead offers me the opportunity to really stretch out creatively. Currently I'm teaching music classes at Harrisburg Area Community College in Pennsylvania, teaching private lessons, performing two or three times a week, both piano and guitar, and working on new material, a lot of it on piano. I currently live in Harrisburg, PA with my amazingly tolerant and wonderful husband Eric, and three cats.
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