Lisa Crawley stars in ONCE: The Musical
Lisa Crawley stars in ONCE: The Musical
Melbourne based multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Lisa Crawley grew up teaching the other kids in her class how to play the recorder. Three EP’s and two albums later, she’s charming audiences across national and international stages performing her extensive repertoire of original music. On the odd occasion, she still finds herself busting out her recorder.
Five minutes with Lisa Crawley
The Kiwi artist talks to MiNFOOD about her lead role in the upcoming musical ONCE: The Musical.
Is this your first musical production, and how did it come about?
Once is a musical based on the film which came out in 2007. Like the film, the music and lyrics are by Glen Hansard (The Frames) and Markéta Irglová. The book for the musical was written by Enda Walsh. I was living in Melbourne and saw that a friend posted the audition notice on Facebook. I’ve been a fan of the movie and music for such a long time and loved the stage show in Melbourne so sent in a video audition. I left Melbourne to take part of a Musicians in Residence programme at the Banff Centre of Arts and Creativity in Canada (where it was -31 degrees) and from there got a call for a second audition so did this via Skype whilst songwriting in a little cabin in the snow. I went to Los Angeles for a few months after Canada then to Auckland to get started for the show.
What is the storyline?
On the streets of Dublin, an Irish musician who is ready to give up on his music and a Czech immigrant, ‘GIRL’ (that’s me) are drawn together by their shared love of music. Over the course of one week, an unexpected friendship and collaboration quickly evolves into a powerful but complicated love story, which is underscored by lively and emotionally charged music.
Tell us about GIRL?
‘Girl’ lives and breathes music. She is more focussed on the transformative and emotional side to it rather than caring about being famous or in the limelight. She is a young mother originally from the Czech Republic who would do anything for her friends and family. She can be very light and fun but is also very headstrong and knows when to be assertive and persuasive! We have many similarities actually, I have sought out living overseas to seek out opportunity, I am at most ease when playing music, and love to be a part of people believing in their music. We are similar in that we both can’t afford a real piano. Some differences to myself and ‘Girl’ – I don’t have kids, or a mother that kisses my love interest on the mouth, and I don’t always remember to say ‘Hello’ to the piano before playing it.
Why does your new single ‘Girl With No Name’ resonate with this character?
I wrote ‘Girl With No Name’ early last year before I knew about the auditions for Once. The song title is fitting as in the show we never actually find out the name of ‘Girl’ (or Guy). All the other characters have names. Thematically, my song is about seeing things with fresh eyes after taking a step back from a situation. In the show ‘GIRL’ has a husband back in the Czech Republic who doesn’t seem to appreciate her in the way others think she deserves to be appreciated and loved – she tends to put the happiness of those that are close to her before her own.
Where did your passion for music come from, when did it start?
My passion for music started at recorder lessons at the age of four, and from there I picked up other instruments – clarinet, piano, voice and a few others along the way. I play by ear a lot and I find it hard to shut off my brain from hearing notes, frequencies. Music challenges both the left and right side of my brain in different ways depending on what I’m up to. From an artists perspective, I love being able to articulate what I’m thinking or feeling with songwriting as I often struggle to do so in the moment.
What new music are you currently working on?
I’ve started working towards my third album. Since my last EP ‘Up In The Air’, I’ve released four singles and have another one out soon. I’ve just come back from spending a few months writing music in Los Angeles with a variety of people – the majority was with a wonderful producer called Rob Kleiner who has worked with some amazing people. I’m planning to release my third full-length album later this year.
What inspires you and your music?
Travel, people-watching, heartbreak, anxiety, love, strength, weakness, weather, humour, hindsight.
Lisa Crawley will be performing in ONCE: The Musical at the ASB Waterfront Theatre from June 27 – July 14.