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The World Disappears is nothing if not an ironic title for 22-year old Torontonian Larra Skye's debut album. Given her prodigious talents, the caliber of musicians who lend their skills to the CD, and the stature of the industry veterans guiding her career, it would seem that the whole world could indeed be appearing for this gifted, young and bilingual singer/songwriter's taking!
Larra has had a lifetime of experiences that have been conducive to finding her unique voice as a musical storyteller, and also achieving success as a creative entrepreneur. On the shelves of her family's bookstore were Larra's tools for learning to play guitar and inspirations for writing songs. Her older siblings are accomplished singer-songwriters; sister Rosanne Baker Thornley's 1995 CD, Courage, was distributed by Sony. By age 11, Larra was singing and learning the nuances of harmony in a professional children's choir, and at 14 was writing and regularly showcasing her original material at a Newmarket coffeehouse.
Throughout her high school years, she played trombone in a variety of jazz ensembles and concert bands, and also fronted the six-piece folk-rock outfit Mars Violet that played the 2002 Women's Voices Festival in Ottawa. In addition to providing experience as a band leader, Mars Violet was also Larra's showcase for her own original songs in French and English.
In 2002-03, Larra studied at Ryerson University's prestigious journalism school. Here, in addition to exploring another creative vehicle for her writing skills, she developed a powerful understanding of how to use the media to reach the masses. A Canada Day backyard jam that summer led to her connection with songwriter/producer Gerard P. Finn (Damhnait Doyle, EMI) several months later. Their songwriting and recording partnership flourished, and shortly thereafter she decided to take a one-year leave from her studies, move to Hamilton and work with Gerard.
They returned to Toronto last year to complete the The World Disappears, whose other co-writers include Eric Boucher, Adrean Farrugia, and Mladen Solaja. Recorded at Reaction Studios in 2005, it features some of the most respected and sought-after jazz musicians in Canada, including: pianists Farrugia and Boucher, drummer Kevin Brow, bassist Jim Vivian, trumpeter Kevin Turcotte, saxophonist Bob Brough, and guitarists Geoff Young and Matt Stevens. It will be released under Larra's independent label, AudioMaiden Music, with publicity and promotion by one of Canada's most visionary jazz and arts impresarios, Jazz FM 91.1 host Jaymz Bee, along with publicist Catherine Fawcett and the rest of Bullhorn Media team.
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