Luna Pearl Woolf’s Grammy-nominated classical album features a chorus of cruel laughter and other un-calm sounds.
By Anna Russell
March 15, 2021
When Luna Pearl Woolf, a composer of distinctively unsleepy classical music, first moved to Montreal, she liked to listen to Leonard Cohen in her car. Woolf lives on the north side of Mt. Royal, a fifteen-minute walk to Cohen’s grave, and she used to climb the hill to visit it often. “People leave little gifts, little hearts and stones,” she said the other day. Last March, Woolf was dealt a bum hand: long covid. She picked up the virus at a benefit in New York—“one of these big charity things, where there’s ten people at a table and it’s so loud you’re leaning in”—and still has symptoms. If her heart rate gets too high, she has to stay in bed for days. Still, Woolf has written thirty-five minutes of music in the past year, none of it calming. “I really feel like music exists on this plane of emotion and conflict and intensity that’s very hard to capture in normal life,” she said. “Which is to say, I don’t particularly write music that’s good for relaxing.”Continue reading “The New Yorker | When Your Muses Are Leonard Cohen and Bernie Madoff’s Wife, Ruth”