L CON is the newest musical venture for breathtaking vocalist Lisa Conway, known best as the lead singer of beloved Del Bel. On August 6th, L CON will release Distance of the Moon 7″; it’s as ethereal, transcending and beautiful as it sounds.
How did music shape your childhood?
As an only child growing up without television in rural northern BC, music was mostly just something to do. I was lucky to be raised in a musical valley with a strong sense of artistic community, so there were lots of opportunities to perform locally. My dad was a music teacher at an elementary school, and my mum did lots of singing in choirs and at coffee houses, and they’ve always been very supportive of my projects. After receiving a brief introduction into digital recording programs when I was 12 or 13, I’ve been enamoured with recording and making records.
You recently returned from studying sound art and electroacoustic composition in Belfast. First question: what is sound art? Second question: what are your overall impressions of Belfast?
Sound art as a discipline is shape shifting and is still figuring out its exact definitions, but basically it involves varied creative endeavours in which sound and the sonic is the primary artistic medium (it can include installations, compositions, performances, field recordings, soundscapes, videos, and many other things).
Belfast is a city filled with optimism and tough but friendly people, despite Northern Ireland’s complicated history. There are a lot of beautiful old buildings, a magnificent park called Cave Hill, and pubs that are older than Canada. On my adventures into the countryside I saw some of the most rugged and stunning landscapes I’ve ever seen, and now I think I believe in fairies.
When and where do you feel your most creative?
In spaces where I don’t feel self-conscious about being loud, or spreading out scissors and glue. Realistically, I just have to embrace whatever space I have – if I was picky, I wouldn’t make anything.
The receipts in your wallet would indicate what?
I mostly just spend money renting various recording equipment from Long and McQuade.
Which artists/bands made you fall in love with music?
I fell in love with music before I can remember, but I have a distinct memory of listening to “Everything in Its Right Place” by Radiohead at a neighbour’s farm I was housesitting when I was just finishing high school. I had a pretty sheltered musical upbringing, so it was the first time I had ever heard Radiohead at all. I remembering lying on the floor and thinking, “everything IS in its right place…” I felt like I was in a dream.
The first time I saw the Dirty Projectors live I instantly quit music forever because I was so intimidated by their musicianship, but luckily got very motivated to practice and keep playing a few minutes later.
What food brings you immense pleasure?
Fresh bread. And Detroit-style pizza from Buddy’s – it’s seriously delicious.
What makes you smile?
Friends, positive dogs, the television show Father Ted.
What makes you cringe?
Egos. Ringo Starr’s website design.
What are your favourite places/spaces in Toronto?
Humber Bay Park, Ontario Place, the Leslie Spit, Mother India, and Jekyl and Hyde’s on karaoke night.
What are you currently really into? (Film, book, a weird creative project, pop culture thingy etc.)
Magic Shell. It’s a magical type of chocolate syrup that is made of coconut oil and hardens when it touches frozen things. Try it on frozen potato chips and ice cream.
Got a current life motto?
“That’s the way she goes.”
What’s something BIG on your to-do list?
There’s an artist residency in Antarctica that would be incredible to do. I get the impression that going to Antarctica would be the closest thing to going to another planet.
What qualities do you admire most in a person?
Sincerity and graciousness.
What’s on your summer bucket list?
Going to the horse races and betting on a winner.
What advice do you have to give to your younger self?
Pay more attention in French class!