Rich Lauver is a
keyboardist, guitarist, electronic musician, and photographer
living in Baltimore, Maryland. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in
1956, he lived in that city's Scott Township suburb until 1967. While
growing up in Pittsburgh he began studying piano, taught first by his
mother, and then by Esther W. Simmons. When his family relocated to
northwest Indiana in 1967, he was frequently employed as a school choral
accompanist. While in high school he was employed by the School Town
of Highland, Indiana, as a computer operator and programmer, and by
Indiana University Northwest in Gary, Indiana, as a research computer
programmer. He graduated from Highland High School in 1974, and when his
parents relocated to El Paso, Texas, Rich moved to Austin where he
attended in the University of Texas at Austin beginning in 1974.
Originally enrolling as a physics major, after a semester he changed his
major to music theory and composition, with piano as his primary
instrument. His piano teacher at UT was the late Danielle Martin, a former
student of the great Leon Fleisher. While a student at UT, Rich Lauver
began his involvement with the vibrant Austin music scene as a
multi-keyboardist, singer, songwriter, and MIDI programmer in various
bands, in a performing career which lasted from the late 1970s until the
early 1990s. His bands included the critically acclaimed progressive rock
band STRANGER, punk rock band DARK MOTIVE, new wave band THE NEWS, and the
alternative rock band VITAL SIGNS, which was eventually signed to Elektra
In 1998 he relocated to
Baltimore, Maryland, where he is currently employed by the Peabody
Institute of the Johns Hopkins University as an ensemble coordinator,
managing the personnel, rehearsal, and performance activities of the
Peabody Wind Ensemble, Peabody Chamber Winds, Peabody Jazz Orchestra, and
Peabody Camerata. In addition to his duties with the Peabody Conservatory
of Music, Rich continues to compose and record his own music, and has
released five solo albums which are available on iTunes worldwide.
In 2001 Rich Lauver released Trance Figures, a CD of music for
synthesizers, piano, percussion, and mellotron, composed and
produced in his home studio. In December 2004 he released a new CD of
music composed primarily with the Moog modular synthesizer, entitled Shimmer. The next CD,
entitled Moon and Sun, was released in 2006, and marked the first
time he used guitars as the primary instruments in his recordings. In
2007, Rich composed and recorded the soundtrack score for the original
anime motion picture Question, to which he also contributed voice
acting talent. A limited edition maxi-single entitled Chasing a Dream,
released in late 2010 and now out of print, preceded the release of his
latest full-length album Out of the Moonlight in November of 2011.
He is currently recording a new album under the project name Atákuweh.
The Peabody Chamber Winds debuted his
Themes and Variations I from Terpsichore arranged for two brass choirs
and percussion in Spring 2002, and his transcription of the epic 1973
Magma recording of Christian Vander's Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh,
for 12 instrumentalists and 8 vocalists, was performed by the Peabody
Camerata in April 2003. Christian Vander remarked, upon hearing a
recording of the concert, that "it was the closest version to the original
spirit of MDK I have had the chance to hear."
One of his compositions, Who Shall Invoke Her, for piano, two
vibraphones, woodwind quartet and solo voice - based on a sonnet by
American poet Alan Seeger - was debuted by the Peabody Camerata in April
Rich Lauver's current collection of physical instruments includes a Yamaha
P-200 digital piano, which also serves as his MIDI controller keyboard.
His ever growing collection of guitars now includes a Rickenbacker
660/12-string, Rickenbacker 620/6-string, Rickenbacker 650 Sierra
6-string, Schecter Corsair Bigsby 6-string, Ovation CS255 12-string,
Ovation Ultra 2171 6-string, and Peavey Grind BXP NTB 5-string bass, and a Ross model 705 vibraphone.
Virtual instruments include the Arturia V Collection of classic analog
synthesizers, Eastwest/Quantum Leap Symphonic
Orchestra, Eastwest Colussus, Miroslav Philharmonic, Native Instruments B4
II Hammond Organ emulator, GForce M-Tron Mellotron emulator, and
Eastwest/Quantum Leap Symphonic Choirs.
His current studio setup employs a custom built PC with an Intel E6600
Conroe dual-core 2.4GHz processor running Windows XP x64 and Cakewalk Sonar 6 Studio Edition DAW
software, and a Hewlett-Packard ProBook 4720s laptop with Intel i5-480M
dual-core 2.67GHz processor running Windows 7 Pro 64-bit and Sonar X1
Producer Edition DAW software. Outboard
equipment includes Focusrite Saffire PRO 24 audio/MIDI FireWire
interfaces, a Behringer Eurorack MX2004A mixing console, and a Line6 POD2
guitar processor. Monitoring capabilities include a Crown XLS202 power amplifier
driving JBL 4410 Studio Monitor speakers, and Sennheiser HD 280 Pro headphones. Vocals are recorded
with an MXL V69 Mogami Edition tube condenser microphone.
In addition to his musical activities, Rich Lauver is an accomplished
amateur photographer whose work has appeared in numerous Peabody Institute
publications and the Washington Post newspaper.