Lauren Ciborowski's sound advice 

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Lauren Ciborowski began playing piano at age 5 and has not stopped since her mastery of “The Little Tugboat.” Although she was classically trained, she has branched out lately, like that one time she performed in a Fleetwood Mac cover band as Christine McVie. Recent years have found Lauren playing and singing in the world’s least bookable project, Swelter and Burn, a comedic piano duo with songs about things like sexting and sanctimonious yogis. In 2009, she opened an award-winning gallery in Colorado Springs, The Modbo, out of which she produces a musical cabaret and holds performances of all kinds. Lauren has worked as a professional pianist for over a decade, and is an accomplished ballet accompanist and chamber musician. She also teaches piano, and has a very full piano studio of students from ages 5 to 65. We checked in with her recently to ask about some of her favorite recordings.

Essential Saturday night listening: Our household is basically a singalong waiting to happen, especially on weekend nights. My husband has an amazing voice, and I have a lot of very talented friends, so I become a human piano karaoke machine in our living room. Most played: “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Sweet Caroline,” the king’s song from Hamilton, “Piano Man” and Disney love songs, depending on the amount of libations preceding the singalong.

Essential Sunday morning listening: Beware, pianistic answer ahead: There’s something about Mozart on a Sunday morning that’s hard to beat. I love Mitsuko Uchida’s interpretation of Mozart’s sonatas. She offers a delicacy and depth that brings the music totally to life.

First record I bought with my own money: This is a fuzzy memory, but I’m pretty sure it was either MC Hammer’s Too Legit to Quit or New Kids on the Block’s Hangin’ Tough. Pretty embarrassing. More embarrassing still — I once had a life-sized puzzle of the NKOTB. Wait. Why am I admitting this?

“Wish I’d written that” song: I covet many of Garfunkel and Oates’ songs — they’re like my band, Swelter and Burn, if we actually had fans. And a YouTube channel. And places that we could play our R-rated music. Anyway. I digress. Garfunkel and Oates have a patter ability that rivals Gilbert and Sullivan, and they do not shy away from provocative material. Current favorite, “Both Sides Can Laugh.”

“Wish I could unhear that” song: Pachelbel’s Canon. As a gigging pianist, I play a lot of weddings. And if I could die without hearing or playing this piece again, I would die a happy woman.

My latest online discovery: Google. It’s so helpful!

Artist more people should know about: Cheap Perfume. I’m pretty biased, because they’re all my friends, but goddamn, if Colorado Springs didn’t need a little more hyper-political femme punk in its life. You have to see these guys. Seriously.

Guilty pleasure: Cardi B. I admit it. I LOVE Cardi B. She is utterly outrageous, and her lyrics make me gasp. In delight. I just spent 10 minutes trying to come up with a good example, but they’re all utterly unprintable. That’s how good they are.


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