A Thursday Evening with Lauren Turk

Written by: Nora Guerrero

Lauren Turk on the ukulele.

Singer-songwriter Lauren Turk has something to say, and a lovely voice to use to her advantage. Turk, a University of Illinois alumni, joined us at the Krannert Center of Performing Arts in an intimate small concert session. Her presence is energizing and tranquil. She has a voice that could fill a larger venue, and it’s one that deserves to be heard by many.

I first arrived as Turk began to speak to the audience and prepare us for her next song on the piano. I surveyed the stage and saw three different instruments: the piano, the ukulele, and the keyboard. In her biography, she is described as a multidimensional musician, which she definitely honored. She set herself up on the piano, and spoke about how the following song came to be. Touching on women empowerment and a greater cultural equality for all, she introduced the song named “Higher”. Her full and soulful voice carried throughout with the piano playing in the background, a truly beautiful combination.

“Letting go is an act of self-love.”

One of the best characteristics of a musician is their ability to be conversational with the audience and connect with them right then and there. Turk brought up topics of self-love, romance, relationships, unrequited love, and even social/political issues. She is an artist at the core that uses one of the greatest weapons of all, empathy. One of her other notable songs was called “See You Again”.  Turk prefaced this song by noting how cells have a certain gene that allows them to consider themselves damaged and therefore, self-destruct. A form of “program-death” can also occur in one’s relationships or in other life situations. She was vulnerable and personal sharing her own experiences in saying how “Letting go is an act of self-love.”

“Good is coming”.

My favorite song of the night was called “Rise and Shine”.  Turk dedicated this song to the Syrian refugees and the White Helmet rescuers. She played this song on the keyboard, and began to create sounds from her mouth. Each sound would then loop and she’d lay over another sound. The trio-combination of the sounds was exquisite and interesting to watch firsthand. After watching her Youtube video of this song, I wish she would have played the violin as well. I believe this piece captured what sets Turk apart. She’s passionate and well aware of what’s going on in our world, and uses her voice to translate that over to an audience.

One piece of advice that Turk handed over to the audience was to “continue to show up to your dreams”, even when it gets hard. She emulates positivity in the face of adversity, and establishes that “Good is coming.” You can listen to Lauren Turk on her websiteYoutube, Spotify, and SoundCloud.


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