As journalist Trevor Carolan duly notes, the colourful life of pianist/composer Lori-Ann Speed does indeed read like the script for a major Hollywood production. And as with most popular films, her story includes a happy ending: a nomination for a West Coast Music Award for her latest album, In the Wake of a Whisper.
The critically acclaimed album - her third, following a self-titled debut and 1995's In Search of Wings - might not have been made at all, were it not for Speed's courageous struggle against breast cancer. Ultimately, she says, "I decided the best possible medicine was my own music. I wanted the therapeutic effects of one of life's great truths: that our well-being comes when we follow our heart's desire."
It's difficult to imagine that such peaceful, healing sounds arose from such a tumultuous time, but in Lori-Ann Speed's case appearances can often be deceiving. Inside the diminutive frame of the quiet, spiritually centred single mother lurks a warrior spirit that not only prevailed in her bout with cancer but instilled the determination to earn a black belt in Tae Kwan Do concurrent with the healing journey. Eschewing conventional therapies, Lori-Ann chose to fight the disease with natural medicines and a holistic approach to health and wellness that continues to play a central role in her lifestyle and her music.
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