Vocalist in Motion
Improvisation and composition – Laura Totenhagen oscillates between these two poles of musical structure formation like very few other musicians. As a singer, she has immersed herself deeply in the variety of possibilities and nuances that her alto voice offers beyond the realm of ‘beauty’. The shrill and dark, noisy and entropic are as much a part of her repertoire as the delicate touch, the soft radiance, the clear peaks. This is especially true during improvisation when she uses all the shades of her voice. Her sense of structure is required first and foremost for her own projects, above all for the quartet »Totenhagen« and the all-female a cappella quartet »Of Cabbages And Kings« or for the pop-oriented solo programme based on electronic effects, which she performed for the first time at a show by London fashion designer Paula Knorr in February 2018. Before Laura lets her voice be heard, she has long since set the direction for her music as the main supplier of materials and a sensitive composer.
A classical career: born in 1992, Laura Totenhagen came into contact with music at an early age. First piano lessons and later on she switched to the oboe as the instrument of her choice. She is talented, she is diligent, she is consistent and straightforward. She performs from early on, with first concert tours and CD recordings as part of the Bundesjugendorchester (national youth orchestra of the Federal Republic of Germany). As a young student at the Cologne University of Music she intensifies her classical studies. However, at some point during her youth she starts writing and singing her own songs. She attends jazz concerts and is fascinated by the possibilities that present themselves here. She studies jazz vocals, sings in the Bundesjazzorchester (German Federal Jazz Orchestra), is supported by the Studienstiftung and has been awarded various prizes. She completed her Master’s degree with distinction in February 2020 and started teaching at the Hochschule Osnabrück immediately afterwards.
Laura Totenhagen is an experienced musician, a very multi-faceted one, who understands how to make feminist influence and social commitment perceptible beyond the inner references of her music, through the choice of lyrics she sings and the authors she uses, and how to keep her music receptive to continually new stylistic influences.