Persephone’s Dream

Individual Members Biography

About Rowen Poole
Rowen is a co-founder of Persephone’s Dream. Early in his music life (1970-1980s), Rowen worked with bands such as Cobra, Iron Cross, Assassin, and White Water in the Pittsburgh area. These groups played a mixture of original compositions and Led Zeppelin covers. Rowen originally played bass guitar for White Water and later moved to play rhythm and lead guitar after he left the group. Rowen’s influences are Rush’s Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee, Blue Oyster Cult’s Buck Dharma, Golden Earring’s Rinus Gerritsen, Kiss’s Gene Simmons and later Ed Wynne of Ozrics Tentacles. Other bands Rowen was influenced by are Steely DanFoghatSupertrampand Steve Miller. Rowen is currently running a studio and composing music with Persephone’s Dream and lives north of Pittsburgh.

About Laurie Kurdis

About Chris Siegle
Chris has been playing bass since 1993 and started his musical playing life alongside Rowen playing Rush covers in Rowen’s dining room. Chris has been influenced mostly by Rush’s Geddy Lee and has adapted his style ever since 1993. Other bass player influences include John MyungJohn PatittucciTony Levin and many others. Chris has appeared on five of the six albums in the PD portfolio. Chris plays Dingwall and MusicMan basses and every once in a while brings out Tony Levin’s funk fingers. Chris is currently working with Persephone’s Dream and lives in Pittsburgh, Pa.

About Laurie Kurdis
Laurie started her music journey at 3 years old while learning classical piano.  Throughout elementary and high school Laurie’s energy and curiosity for music flourished; it was during college that Laurie’s enthusiasm for music compelled her to up her game.  Laurie found herself spending more time learning and practicing music.  She then enrolled in Berklee Online for which she obtained a piano certificate.  The piano was not enough, though, and Laurie started composing more music and vocalizing her poetry.  Coupling piano with her music writing talent enabled Laurie to start writing with others.  After voice lessons and some networking, Laurie was in search of peers who compose original music as well.  Kurdis then found herself writing and performing three albums with a four-piece original groove-rock band called Charm and Chain.  Throughout the C&C years Laurie also performed for Pittsburgh Piano Day.  Laurie enjoys jamming and improvisational writing.  Some of her influences are PinkFloyd, Blind Melon, Phish, and many funk and Motown artists.  Laurie was attracted to Persephone’s Dream as the band also enjoys writing original music with sometimes unconventional progressions.

About Heidi Engel
Maybe every young woman who sees Disney’s Sleeping Beauty thinks to herself, “Hey, I want to sing opera.” But few have the desire, talent and sheer determination to pursue that goal, much less succeed at it the way Heidi Engel has. This expressive singer/songwriter has performed and worked with many recording artists such as Kenny RogersThe Temptations ReviewDC CooperIQKing’s XBryan Cole, Nancy Stokes Milnes, and country singer Chad Brock. A far cry from when she first stepped upon the musical stage as a highly acclaimed operatic coloratura soprano. She has sung the leads in many operas including performances in NYC. She has most recently released the album “Vikings” with progressive rock band New Eden Orchestra. In addition to her work as a studio session vocalist, Heidi can also be found performing with the Pittsburgh based high-energy dance band Mercedez and the all-vocal group DoubleShot! She comes to Persephone’s Dream not a sleeping, but a singing beauty, and in the band, her opera training and an earthy, soulful pop sensibility blend seamlessly. Keep your eyes—, and ears— open for her inimitable and highly expressive voice, featured both onstage and on upcoming recordings as PD retools for an even more vibrant musical future.

About Jim Puskar
Jim Puskar started drumming in 1980 just when The Police were releasing their third album. Unbeknownst to Stuart Copeland, Jim Puskar was listening and watching with keen interest. Jim loved listening to Copeland’s drums and style which was enough motivation to pick up the sticks. Jim is proud to be influenced by musicians such as Vinnie ColaiutaDennis ChambersVirgil Donatiand many others. Jim has been involved with various musical groups that played both original and cover songs, but Jim’s favorite interest was composing original music. Jim recorded a CD with a group called the Moodswingers in 2011 and later worked with Whitney Ann Jenkins on her first CD release in 2013. Jim has also performed with bands that opened for the Temptations and Steve Morris. Jim is currently working with Persephone’s Dream and resides in Pittsburgh, Pa.

About Jason English
Jason started his journey into music by learning the trumpet at seven years old. Jason continued his trumpet playing while attending South Side Beaver High School in western Pennsylvania. During his teenage years, Jason also started learning guitar and eventually played with numerous rock bands. Jason has collaborated on many musical and video projects and currently writes and plays music with Tiffany Apan. Jason has been influenced by many musicians including Roy BuchananJohn PetrucciSteve VaiJohn McLaughlinEddie van HalenSteve MorseJohnny WinterAlbert LeeTony McAlpineMarty Freidman, and David Gilmore. Jason plays an Ibanez Universe 7-string and a Fender Stratocaster. Both plugged into a Fractal Audio guitar modeler/processor. 

Jason is currently writing music for a solo project and composing with Persephone’s Dream. Jason lives in Pittsburgh, Pa.

About Laura Martin
Laura Martin was born in Madrid, Spain and first explored music using a recorder when she was seven years old. Playing the recorder helped Laura read sheet music, and prepared her for other musical endeavors. A year later Laura picked up a Spanish guitar and started singing with her choir at San José School in Madrid. The love of music further motivated Laura to start playing the piano and composing some small pieces. Laura was recognized by local musicians and fans by winning (several times) first place for “Best Song” while singing and playing her guitar in Madrid. After two years of playing guitar, singing and writing small melodies and compositions, Laura decided to dedicate herself to some formal training and attended Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid to earn her degree for piano. While working on the piano degree, Laura found further interests in new age and jazz music genres David Lanz , George Winston , Yanni as well as obtaining some vocal training. In the early 2000’s, Laura started playing her piano music at local Madrid establishments and eventually recorded her songs in 2004. In 2015, Laura recorded several musical pieces with piano and voice, and she continues to compose music primarily with her piano. Laura plays an 1895 Bechstein Grand Piano Model B as well as various MIDI controllers and synthesizers. Laura is currently writing music with Persephone’s Dream, and lives in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Band Members

Rowen Poole: guitars, synths, lyrics
Chris Siegle: bass, synths
Laurie Kurdis: vocals
Jim Puskar: drums, percussion
Jason English: guitars, vocals
Laura Martin: pianos, keyboards, synths, vocals


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MRR Discography

Anomalous Propagation (Late 2019) LP, CD, & Digital

Latest Release

Previous Discography

Pan: An Urban Pastoral (2010)
Pyre of Dreams (2007)
Opposition (2001)
MoonSpell (1999)
Evening Mirage (1997)

Other Projects

Whitney Ann Jenkins and her Platonic Guy Friends – Down Stage Left (2013) CD & Digital – Featuring Rowen Poole and Jim Puskar:


Persephone’s Dream – Rhizomatic Horizon from Melodic Revolution Records on Vimeo.


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