According to multiple reports from friends and collaborators on social media, multi-instrumentalist, writer, and recording engineer Lauren K .Newman has died at the age of 41.
A fixture of the Portland music scene since relocating here from Pensacola, Florida, Newman juggled multiple musical projects including her one-woman post-rock project LKN, the improvisational metal duo Palo Verde, and the experimental ensemble Painted Debris. Along the way, she also contributed articles to Larry Crane’s Tape Op magazine, and handled the engineering, mixing, and mastering of both her own music and that of several other local bands.
The cause of Newman’s death is not yet known, but according to people who knew her both here and in Florida, she had been battling health issues for some time, including Crohn’s disease. And as her former bandmate and friend Conan Neutron posted on his Facebook page today, she apparently “had more serious health problems than she let on, but didn’t want to be seen as a ‘musician with a disability.'”
As word of her death has been spreading online, her friends, fans, and collaborators have been leaving tributes to Newman on social media, including former Atriarch bassist Joe Wickstrom who called her “absolutely authentic,” and Jason Hartman, a member of the band Vanishing Kids, who said, “She was so incredible at any instrument she touched. Her playing was pure magic, a wonder to behold.”
We will update this post with more information as it becomes available.