Andrea Murano is a recent and welcome addition to the Hawaii flute community and is the flutist behind our "Talk Story" series.
In this edition, Lance Suzuki turns the tables on Andrea to find out more about her life, work and inspirations.
LS: First of all, thank you for helping us to learn more about the flutists on our island through your "Talk Story" column. Can you tell us about your background and how you came to play the flute?
AM: You're welcome! I come from a non musical family. In fact, I really had no introduction to classical music or the flute until 2nd grade, when my friend began taking flute lessons and she played a tune for show and tell. From the time I heard her play and saw how beautiful the instrument was, I knew I wanted to play it. My parents finally let me in fifth grade, once the opportunity to take band class came around. I was the worst one in my class that whole year, and the next, until my parents allowed me to take lessons and I learned how and what to practice. I haven't stopped working since!
LS: What brought you to Hawaii?
AM: My husband is a percussionist in the Air Force Regional Band system and he got transferred to this band from the Air Force Academy Band in CO.
LS: What have been the greatest sources of inspiration (musical or otherwise) to your flute playing?
AM: Consistent improvement of my skills has always been my biggest source of inspiration to continue working. Even if I'm having the worst practice day, I still try to improve upon some aspect of my playing.
Artistically, I'm inspired by other art forms-dance, in particular, is a big source of inspiration for me. I'm not a dancer myself; however, watching a dancer perform choreography to music has helped me better understand phrasing, nuance, and articulation.
Lastly, I would say the music community, especially the flute community, inspires me always to make better music.
LS: It's amazing the amount of inspiration you can gather from the flutists around you, and I've definitely experienced that as well. Also, it's a big part of what HFS is about. Is there a favorite musical experience that sticks out in your mind?
AM: Performing La Boheme with the Colorado Symphony as second flute was an invigorating and clarifying musical experience for me. First of all, I could not believe my luck - La Boheme is my favorite opera of all time. Honestly, I felt terrified most of the time, but I have never learned more in a week than I did then! The principal flutist and piccolo player in that group are some of the most fabulous musicians I've ever heard, and I take inspiration from playing with them every time I practice.
LS: Are there any flute exercises that you have found particularly helpful?
AM: So many! I love practicing fundamentals. I would of course the entirety of De La Sonorite has been key for me in working toward homogeneity throughout all registers, maintaining a beautiful sound at every dynamic, creating smooth intervals, etc. Aside from that, as you might guess, Taffanel and Gaubert's 17 Daily Exercises is so important for great finger technique. I've also recently begun working from Moyse's Ecole de L'articulation, which has been a huge help to me in my efforts to have more variety in the way I articulate!
LS: This is definitely inspiring me to open up my Moyse books! What are you practicing now?
AM: I am mainly practicing orchestral excerpts to use in auditions, but will be incorporating more solo repertoire and flute and marimba duets (my husband is a percussionist and recently acquired a marimba) in the near future.
LS: I'm looking forward to that concert! What are you listening to now?
AM: I am currently obsessed with Renee Fleming, so I'm listening to her recordings quite a bit. I also love indie folk/rock music, and as always am listening to the repertoire that I'm working on.
LS: Moyse was also obsessed with vocal music and drew a lot of his inspiration from singers, so that makes a lot of sense. Outside of music, what are you passionate about?
AM: Outside of music, I am most passionate about spending time with my husband and dog, spending time outside (paddle boarding, hiking, going to the beach, etc), and learning! I am always wanting to learn more about just about anything!
Mahalo, Andrea, for taking the time to let us get to know you better!