Ira lawrence

IRA LAWRENCE GAMERMAN plays a haunted electric mandolin that belonged to his estranged grandmother. He debuted his ghostly atmospheric post-folk on "Elegant Freefall' ("#9 Best EP of 2015"- Independent Clauses), had a brush with soap opera stardom in the Philippines on his 2016 concept album "Mapagkawanggawa", and dealt with loss and political strife on 2017's distortedly dark sophomore album "Young & Paranoid". Along with a prolific self-recorded output, Ira played shows at Rockwood, Pianos, Bitter End, Mondo, and Cake Shop in his adopted home of New York. He has toured destinations as far flung as Manila, Melbourne, Miami, Nashville, Baltimore, and Ohio while sharing stages with Twilight Sad, Rachel Angel, Blue Oyster Cult, Red Fang, and Cee Knowledge of Digable Planets. He regularly plays live ambient music for Vinyasa at Daya Yoga in Bushwick. In summer of 2018, he released “CAMP FAMOUS” an album from his auto-tune pop alter-ego, Mr Sunglasses.

Ira’s plays have been performed at The Kennedy Center, Samuel French OOB, #Serials @ The Flea, Short & Sweet Sydney, Collaboraction (@ the Steppenwolf Garage), Source Festival, Single Carrot, The Australian Broadcast Corporation, The Chicago New Media Summit, and Great Plains Theater Conference (among many other places around the globe). In 2006, City Paper voted Ira “Best Playwright Of Baltimore”. In 2009, Dated: A Cautionary Tale For Facebook Users was a New York Innovative Theater Award nominee for best short play. Ira has received playwriting grants from the Maryland State Arts Council and Chicago Union League. BILLY BITCHASS is published in THE BEST 10 MINUTE PLAYS OF 2016 by Smith & Kraus. His immersive theater piece’s GHOST ROOM and Insider Trading Swap premiered at Chashama’s Art Is Everywhere Gala.

In summer of 2017, Ira lead a Music Ascension program- teaching songwriting and recording techniques to elementary through high school students at Indian Head Camp. Ira has taught undergraduate theater and writing classes at Ohio University and Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn. Ira has mentored Young Playwrights Festivals at Atlanta’s Horizon Theater and Baltimore’s Center Stage. In Manila, Ira taught theater games to impoverished youths with Project Pearls and lead workshops on musical writing at the Karnabal Festival. Most recently, he was a roadie for Willie Mae Rock camp for Girls in New York.

Internationally, Ira is 1/4th of AustraliAmerican Theater Collective Everything Is Everywhere (2 Aussies 2 Americans 2 gals 2 dudes 2 goys 2 Jews 2 legit 2 quit) whose performance "Everything Is Everywhere Lie To Your Face" made it's debut at the 2015 Karnabal Festival in the Philippines.

Ira’s podcast work has been produced by Radiotopia’s THE TRUTH where "Biological Clock" won a 2013 Mark Time Award and "Sweets For The Cheat" was a 2013 Audio Verse Awards finalist. Both episodes have been downloaded over 150,000 times.

Ira co-created, co-produces, and co-hosts DANGEROUSLY UNQUALIFIED: A PODCAST ABOUT LOVE (The original serialized Baltimore-centric podcast from Ira G and America's Favorite Amateur Dating Coach: Ryan Dowler).

Ira holds a BA in Theater from Towson University, an MFA in Playwriting from Ohio University, and studied Devised theater at the (now defunct) Dartington College Of Art in the UK. He has been a script consultant for Serbian Filmmaker Milica Zec (Sundance New Frontiers 2015). Ira has been published by Consequence Of Sound, High Times, Eleven Magazine, and Howlround. Ira has appeared on The Wire, The Deuce, Mr. Robot, Step Up, and High Fidelity (HULU).

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IRA LAWRENCE (Haunted Mandolin)

MR. SUNGLASSES (Camp Famous Autocrooner)

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Ira Lawrence played a haunted electric mandolin that belonged to his estranged grandmother… until 2017, when it broke beyond repair at a sleepaway camp in rural nowhere.  By day, he taught songwriting and recording with 8-18 year olds. By night, he adopted an Autocrooning Alterego called Mr. Sunglasses. CAMP FAMOUS, is an accidentally invented, purposefully poptimistic, tastefully cheesy, Autotune experiment for the end-of-summer. Recorded alone in the basement of a theater with no ghostlight, after the campers were asleep, CAMP FAMOUS is a direct product of it’s cheerily eerie environment and sounds absolutely opposite to the emotive post-folk that haunted Ira Lawrence’s two albums and lone Ep

The summer camp was populated by sporty kids in David Bowie shirts who’d never heard Ziggy Stardust. Camp radio playlists were regulated tightly with “STICK TO THE STATUS QUO” from High School Musical in heavy rotation.

I was mobbed by children daily. I couldn’t go anywhere without ten kids at a time SCREAMING OR SINGING AT ME. I was the first music teacher at the camp in decades. I felt like Bieber, but it was also very disorienting and sometimes I wanted to hide. Mr. Sunglasses was my escape. My way of  privately dealing with the isolation of accidental fame and my beloved broken mandolin. I endeavored to be a radio friendly unit-shifter for kids who might never know Nirvana.” Ira Lawrence, 2018

Influenced  by Beyonce, Fever Ray, Max Martin, Johnny Marr & Maus, Katy Perry, Postal Service, Bruce Springsteen, & the suicide of Chester Bennington, 

Mr. Sunglasses sings low-key anthemic Autotune-summersongs about masks, ghosts, and self doubt for children.  The first single, “United Stasis”, muses on complacency in the face of political uncertainty.

GHOST ROOM  is an immersive theater piece where audiences conjure spirits and receive life advice from the dead. Ira Lawrence portrays a masked ghost interpreter and Siobhan O'loughlin is his supernatural spirit. GHOST ROOM was performed at the former Vanity Fair offices for the 2017 Chashama Gala. The video is directed by Cole Smothers and features "Lurking From The Sidelines" - the first single from Ira Lawrence's sophomore Haunted Mandolin album, YOUNG & PARANOID.

YOUNG & PARANOID - the second album composed entirely on the haunted electric mandolin Ira Lawrence received from his estranged grandmother- features cathartic and distorted post-folk songs about ditch-digging vagabonds, bedbugs, killer cops, mimes, and murderers.   After a brush with Filipino Soap Opera stardom on his summery 2016 debut album MAPAGKAWANGGAWA, Ira returned to New York with no fixed address and fell into a deep depression after the death of David Bowie and his non-estranged grandmother Jean Satisky. Young & Paranoid's raw and emotive songs emerged from an ether of loneliness, loss, displacement, fear for the future, and finding hope in the darkest of times.   Young & Paranoid was self-recorded by Ira in various bedrooms and cat-sitting gigs in Brooklyn between Christmas of 2015 and Christmas 2016. It was mixed and mastered by John Jagos AKA Brothertiger in Greenpoint in March of 2017.   It features: NO GUITARS and NO DRUMS ONLY IRA LAWRENCE'S HAUNTED MANDOLIN

YOUNG & PARANOID - the second album composed entirely on the haunted electric mandolin Ira Lawrence received from his estranged grandmother- features cathartic and distorted post-folk songs about ditch-digging vagabonds, bedbugs, killer cops, mimes, and murderers.

After a brush with Filipino Soap Opera stardom on his summery 2016 debut album MAPAGKAWANGGAWA, Ira returned to New York with no fixed address and fell into a deep depression after the death of David Bowie and his non-estranged grandmother Jean Satisky. Young & Paranoid's raw and emotive songs emerged from an ether of loneliness, loss, displacement, fear for the future, and finding hope in the darkest of times.

Young & Paranoid was self-recorded by Ira in various bedrooms and cat-sitting gigs in Brooklyn between Christmas of 2015 and Christmas 2016. It was mixed and mastered by John Jagos AKA Brothertiger in Greenpoint in March of 2017.

It features: NO GUITARS and NO DRUMS
ONLY IRA LAWRENCE'S HAUNTED MANDOLIN

MAPAGKAWANGGAWA- Ira Lawrence's DEBUT ALBUM  "That mandolin does sound haunted in a very good way.” –Jens Lekman  Ira Lawrence is an internationally produced playwright who inherited a haunted electric mandolin from his estranged grandmother in 2014. After releasing his acclaimed debut EP "Elegant Freefall" (Independent Clauses #9 Best EP of 2015), he left Brooklyn for the Philippines with his AustraliAmerican Theater Collective EVERYTHING IS EVERYWHERE (2 Aussies 2 Americans 2 gals 2 dudes 2 goys 2 Jews 2 legit 2 quit) to write, teach, and perform at Sipat Lawin's Karnabal Festival of performance and social innovation.  WATCH SIPAT ON CNN:  http://cnnphilippines.com/life/culture/arts/2016/09/14/independent-theater-in-the-philippines.html  While in The Philippines, Ira visited bombed out hospitals on the island of Corregidor, a sunken cemetery on the island of Camiguin, and almost got cast as a lead in a Filipino soap opera. MAPAGKAWANGGAWA, his debut album, is a self-recorded 11-song musical travelogue informed by Ira’s adventure abroad- exploring alienation from friends, the excitement of being immersed in a new culture, and America’s tenuous history with The Philippines (which at one point was on track to be America’s 51st state).   MAPAGKAWANGGAWA is also a Tagalog word for charitable and philanthropic. So, upon the album’s release in Fall of 2016, one dollar of every album sale will be donated back to The Sipat Lawin Ensemble- the vibrant and audacious Filipino theater company behind Karnabal. The album was self recorded in Brooklyn at Ryan & Molly's apartment between Christmas and New Years 2015 and mixed and mastered by John Jagos aka Brothertiger in Greenpoint. NO SYNTHS NO GUITARS NO DRUMS ONLY IRA LAWRENCE'S HAUNTED MANDOLIN  CRITICAL PRAISE:  “A stringed instrument on an acid trip, being played within a haunted house.”- Soundwaves Review  “MAPAGKAWANGGAWA, is an album of unique and unforced style that cements Lawrence as an artist to be watched“- Artist Direct  "There’s a lot to be proud of on this album: the rhythm, mixing, and the many, impressive sounds Lawrence is able to create using just one instrument are all reason for exuberant celebration. That experimentation is a force to be reckoned with." - The Knockturnal  "These homemade quirks are not merely for show – rather, they help inform the impressive songwriting and musicianship that has gone into this entire work, which speaks volumes of Lawrence’s genuine artistry. Indeed, the lyrics are simple yet poetic, full of meaning to which anyone can relate. Meanwhile, the music is full of hooks, buzzy distortions, and memorable melodies. Accompanied only by his haunted mandolin, Lawrence’s vocals are strong and clear; unaffected and blatant, yet somewhat bent, biting out catchy tunes and anxious, angsty, and optimistic lyrics...It somehow feels old and new, familiar and other worldly, all at the same time. "- NY Theatre Guide  "Fuzzy Mandolin-folk which nestles into the corners of the room a like a happy pet dog gazing in the hope of supper."- Emerging Indie Bands

MAPAGKAWANGGAWA- Ira Lawrence's DEBUT ALBUM

"That mandolin does sound haunted in a very good way.” –Jens Lekman

Ira Lawrence is an internationally produced playwright who inherited a haunted electric mandolin from his estranged grandmother in 2014. After releasing his acclaimed debut EP "Elegant Freefall" (Independent Clauses #9 Best EP of 2015), he left Brooklyn for the Philippines with his AustraliAmerican Theater Collective EVERYTHING IS EVERYWHERE (2 Aussies 2 Americans 2 gals 2 dudes 2 goys 2 Jews 2 legit 2 quit) to write, teach, and perform at Sipat Lawin's Karnabal Festival of performance and social innovation.

WATCH SIPAT ON CNN: http://cnnphilippines.com/life/culture/arts/2016/09/14/independent-theater-in-the-philippines.html
While in The Philippines, Ira visited bombed out hospitals on the island of Corregidor, a sunken cemetery on the island of Camiguin, and almost got cast as a lead in a Filipino soap opera. MAPAGKAWANGGAWA, his debut album, is a self-recorded 11-song musical travelogue informed by Ira’s adventure abroad- exploring alienation from friends, the excitement of being immersed in a new culture, and America’s tenuous history with The Philippines (which at one point was on track to be America’s 51st state).

MAPAGKAWANGGAWA is also a Tagalog word for charitable and philanthropic. So, upon the album’s release in Fall of 2016, one dollar of every album sale will be donated back to The Sipat Lawin Ensemble- the vibrant and audacious Filipino theater company behind Karnabal. The album was self recorded in Brooklyn at Ryan & Molly's apartment between Christmas and New Years 2015 and mixed and mastered by John Jagos aka Brothertiger in Greenpoint.
NO SYNTHS
NO GUITARS
NO DRUMS
ONLY IRA LAWRENCE'S HAUNTED MANDOLIN

CRITICAL PRAISE:

“A stringed instrument on an acid trip, being played within a haunted house.”- Soundwaves Review

“MAPAGKAWANGGAWA, is an album of unique and unforced style that cements Lawrence as an artist to be watched“- Artist Direct

"There’s a lot to be proud of on this album: the rhythm, mixing, and the many, impressive sounds Lawrence is able to create using just one instrument are all reason for exuberant celebration. That experimentation is a force to be reckoned with." - The Knockturnal

"These homemade quirks are not merely for show – rather, they help inform the impressive songwriting and musicianship that has gone into this entire work, which speaks volumes of Lawrence’s genuine artistry. Indeed, the lyrics are simple yet poetic, full of meaning to which anyone can relate. Meanwhile, the music is full of hooks, buzzy distortions, and memorable melodies. Accompanied only by his haunted mandolin, Lawrence’s vocals are strong and clear; unaffected and blatant, yet somewhat bent, biting out catchy tunes and anxious, angsty, and optimistic lyrics...It somehow feels old and new, familiar and other worldly, all at the same time. "- NY Theatre Guide

"Fuzzy Mandolin-folk which nestles into the corners of the room a like a happy pet dog gazing in the hope of supper."- Emerging Indie Bands

"ELEGANT FREEFALL" IRA LAWRENCE'S DEBUT EP  A year after inheriting an electric mandolin from his estranged grandmother Sylvia, IRA LAWRENCES HAUNTED MANDOLIN is releasing ELEGANT FREEFALL six distorted folk songs full of oddly named characters and ghostly melodies. The album was recorded in one day at Galaxy Smith Studios in Brooklyn, mastered by Joe Lambert (who has mastered modern classics for The National, Animal Collective, and The Antlers), and features Photography from songwriter, Joel Michael Howard.   NO SYNTHS  NO GUITARS  NO DRUMS  ONLY IRA LAWRENCE'S HAUNTED MANDOLIN  "#9 Best EP of 2015"- Independent Clauses   "The Americana-tinged folk songs crafted by Ira Lawrence certainly sound embedded with the ghosts of eras past. It’s an electric mandolin played like an acoustic guitar, but with the spirit of a banjo and the reverb of a football stadium – deeply rooted in American folk but also somehow transcendent and worldly. He throws his voice wildly at approximations of notes, somehow slurred and articulate simultaneously. Ira Lawrences Haunted Mandolin is full of quirk and curiosity, with gentle platitudes and oddly named characters who seem to exist outside of time."- No Smoking Media   "Elegant Freefall by Ira Lawrences Haunted Mandolin is the rare 'constraint project' that can be appreciated without knowing what the rules were. These songs stand up on their own as hummable, admirable, thoughtful pieces. I’d recommend this to anyone, but I think it would be particularly relevant for those who are interested in the type of indie-rock that pushes the rules for the sake of wondering what’s out there past them. Highly recommended."- Independent Clauses   "Spectral, fuzzed-out folk"-ThrdCoast  Ira has shared the stage with Classic Rockers Blue Oyster Cult, Scottish Shoegazers The Twilight Sad, Metalheads Red Fang, and Rapper Cee Knowledge (of Digable Planets).

"ELEGANT FREEFALL" IRA LAWRENCE'S DEBUT EP

A year after inheriting an electric mandolin from his estranged grandmother Sylvia, IRA LAWRENCES HAUNTED MANDOLIN is releasing ELEGANT FREEFALL six distorted folk songs full of oddly named characters and ghostly melodies. The album was recorded in one day at Galaxy Smith Studios in Brooklyn, mastered by Joe Lambert (who has mastered modern classics for The National, Animal Collective, and The Antlers), and features Photography from songwriter, Joel Michael Howard.

NO SYNTHS
NO GUITARS
NO DRUMS
ONLY IRA LAWRENCE'S HAUNTED MANDOLIN

"#9 Best EP of 2015"- Independent Clauses

"The Americana-tinged folk songs crafted by Ira Lawrence certainly sound embedded with the ghosts of eras past. It’s an electric mandolin played like an acoustic guitar, but with the spirit of a banjo and the reverb of a football stadium – deeply rooted in American folk but also somehow transcendent and worldly. He throws his voice wildly at approximations of notes, somehow slurred and articulate simultaneously. Ira Lawrences Haunted Mandolin is full of quirk and curiosity, with gentle platitudes and oddly named characters who seem to exist outside of time."- No Smoking Media

"Elegant Freefall by Ira Lawrences Haunted Mandolin is the rare 'constraint project' that can be appreciated without knowing what the rules were. These songs stand up on their own as hummable, admirable, thoughtful pieces. I’d recommend this to anyone, but I think it would be particularly relevant for those who are interested in the type of indie-rock that pushes the rules for the sake of wondering what’s out there past them. Highly recommended."- Independent Clauses

"Spectral, fuzzed-out folk"-ThrdCoast

Ira has shared the stage with Classic Rockers Blue Oyster Cult, Scottish Shoegazers The Twilight Sad, Metalheads Red Fang, and Rapper Cee Knowledge (of Digable Planets).