Laurie Mayer

The co-writer of Falling Free track talks with us about how this song came out and how her longtime collaboration with William Orbit was born.

Laurie Mayer is William Orbit's longtime collaborator. Their song Falling Free ended up on Madonna's MDNA album. Laurie during the interview with us reveals if it was the only song written for the Queen of Pop and tells us why she admires William so much.

You are one of the writers of Falling Free. You wrote a melody with lyrics or just a melody?

I wrote the top line melody. Joe Henry wrote the wonderful lyrics, and William Orbit wrote the backtrack.

Tell us more about the process behind this song. You had this melody in your mind and then you record it with your voice, using piano?

William had a backtrack with a good groove and some chords. I'd been writing top lines on several tracks that he'd started. I wanted to do something with this one but it wasn't completely coming to me. Joe Henry wrote awesome lyrics, they had an obvious meter. Reading them made me think differently about the melody. I used a Korg keyboard with various plug-ins while I was writing. String sounds and piano. But only as a support, really. Mainly I hammered it out with my voice with the mike in my hand.

Did you wrote this track with Madonna and her MDNA album in your mind or it was for yourself at first?

I wrote it with Madonna in mind as my dream destination for the song, but didn't know at the time it would get to her.

Have you ever submitted any other song to Madonna in the past?

I believe I was a co-writer on a track or two that were submitted to Madonna a few years ago. I write often with William Orbit and he has an ongoing song dialog with Madonna. There was another track that he and I co-wrote, that she was considering for the MDNA album. It's a great track but it wasn't quite in keeping with the rest of the songs.

You work a lot with William Orbit. Could you tell us more how and when you met and started working together?

We met in 1980 when we started a band and a production company. We've been working on and off together since then.

What do you admire the most about him?

I admire so many things. He is a remarkable producer and a master of vocal production and his arrangement styles are unique. He's a joy to work with and a brilliant, intuitive communicator in the studio.

Do you remember the first song you wrote all by yourself? How did it feel?

I remember doing that. I felt sad! My cat was run over by a car and killed so I had to write a song for him.

When it comes to your musical idols – who does inspire you the most?

One of my early idols was Patrick Cowley for his fearless, fabulous electro disco songs, and his work remains a source of inspiration.I also listened a lot to great electro pioneers like Terry Riley and Klaus Schulz, but was more into the whimsical sound that Cowley made. In recent years Piero Piccioni's has become a constant reference. A life long love has been Scott Walker… the unexpected chordal paths, surprising melodies, uncompromising lyrics...

As a musician and songwriter you have this incredible sensibility which is pretty uncommon when it comes to mainstream singers – but do you enjoy anyone from this mainstream pop world?

I enjoy so much from the mainstream pop world…Usher, Beyonce,Die Antwoord, Madonna, Britney, Rihanna. I listen more to hip hop than pop…. Tyga, Janelle Monae, Snoop Dogg of course, T.I., E40…

Tell us more about your remastered Black Lining album which was released just last year.

Rico Conning and I had been wanting to re-master it for some time. The remastering was subtle but it meant a lot to the sound and we really wanted it extend spatially like it does now. . I've got a lot of new work that I'm organizing to release, but I just couldn't get on with the finishing of it until I'd made those Black Lining corrections that had been on my mind for so long.

Courtesy of

We simply adore the title track! It feels so dreamy and calming... There's a certain happines in your music but not meant in an obvious way. Is that your goal while making it?

In the track you mention, (I'm so glad you like it) that was indeed the theme while making it. That sort of eschatological ground with hopeful edges prevails through the album, but it's something that happens organically during the process of a track. If a track starts out with a dark and challenging identity, the next step is to balance it with some lush melody and bright frequency, or vice versa.I usually feel like I need to touch on the full spectrum for a composition to be complete.

You also try yourself in photography as we can read (and see!) on Twitter. Is that something you want to develop skills-wise or it's just for fun?

I've been a photographer for almost as long as I've been playing music. I did it professionally for a short time and then not so much when I went digital. I am just now getting back into it and also shooting videos to go with tracks, some mine and also for other artists.

We can only wish you all the best for this new year - let it be full of success for you and all about developing your passions!

Thank you and I wish all the same for you!

You can order Black Lining album HERE.

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