Laura Altman is a clarinetist, improviser and composer, born and based in Sydney. She has been an important voice on the Sydney improvised music scene since 2007, playing with groups such as The Splinter Orchestra and Prophets, and collaborating with many other Australian and international musicians. Laura has toured Australia and Europe with a range of projects including the internationally renowned trio ‘Great Waitress’, featuring Monica Brooks on accordion and Berlin-based pianist Magda Mayas, who also have several acclaimed CD and LP releases to their name.
Laura graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with a B.Mus Composition (Honours) in 2011, writing both instrumental and electro-acoustic music. She has had works commissioned and performed by Sydney Antiphony, Ensemble Offspring, North Sydney Girls High School and ACRONYM Orchestra and has developed exploratory pieces for primary school students. She has more recently been exploring sound installations.
Laura also plays clarinet in and composes for folk/balkan/jazz ensemble Chaika.
Laura was co-director and co-curator of the NOW now Series and Festival of Exploratory Music from 2010 until 2013, and continues to organise exploratory music events in Sydney. She has co-founded the Sydney exploratory music calendar www.emus.space.
As an educator, Laura has experience teaching private clarinet students, tutoring composition to senior high school music students, facilitating school workshops and also running early-childhood music classes with organisation Bluebell Music.
** please contact for more detailed bio and/or CV **
Monica Brooks and Laura Altman, as is by Lisa Thatcher
“…another stunning little gem from the prophetically titled It’ll be awesome label.”
“It’s feathered floating from the clarinet is one of the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard…”
Great Waitress, Lucid – The Wire, October 2011 – by Andy Hamilton
“…blurring of instrumental identities in a collective exploration of timbral and textural possibilities…”
“…music – or rather, I’d argue, sound-art – that results from careful, minute attention to production of individual sounds…”
Great Waitress, Lucid – Sydney Morning Herald, December 9, 2011 – by John Shand
“If spiders have musical dreams while spinning webs, they might sound like the fragile wisps of sound created by Great Waitress.”
Great Waitress, Lucid – The Free Jazz Collective – by Stef
“Fragile and solid at the same time. Like touching the wings of a butterfly…”
Great Waitress, Lucid – All About Jazz – by John Eyles
“Whatever music the combination of clarinet and accordion conjures up in the imagination, it is highly unlikely it will match that produced here.”
Great Waitress, live at the NOW now Festival, 2009 – RealTimeArts – by Gail Priest
“This trio exemplifies what I find most interesting about improvised music: each musician equally in the moment, equally open to discovery, listening at the very deepest level and choosing their techniques in relation to each other, to create an absorbing, cohesive whole.”
Great Waitress, live at Sound Out Festival, 2011 – RealTimeArts – by Gail Priest
“It was a joy to witness another instalment of the Great Waitress”
Monica Brooks and Laura Altman, live at CAST, Hobart, 2011 – RealTimeArts – by Andrew Harper
“…the time the two players described with sound hung together with a brittle elegance. People who seem to know their instruments well enough not to demonstrate their skill make fascinating players.”