Lisa Butel and Brent Cross are sound artists living in Vancouver, BC. The couple create experimental music using live vocal looping, vocal sound manipulation, improvised and live sound synthesis and sample collage and prepared guitar.
Their live performances are energized and directed by their love of improvisational aesthetics that they have absorbed and crafted over years of involvement in the Vancouver’s NOW Society’s Improvisational workshop series. Their music bends and drifts, rages and diminishes, layers and undulates and is original in each performance. Butel brings the analog world of live vocals front and centre to the music and delivers vocals from operatic to guttural and machine-like to demonic growls through complex and multiple loop cycles .
The music is a juxtaposition of vocal acoustic sound and analog and digital wave forms. Their sound explores the psycho acoustic properties of sound and attempts to create tension, release and structural fruition via changing and evolving, additive and subtractive synthesis and the affected vocal performance.
Weird Canada Drone Festival(BC), Drone Day 2017- Vancouver Game of Drones, Art for Impact (CBC Plaza, with Jay Hiraybashi from KOKORO Dance In the House Festival with dancer Olivia Shaffer, Connect Electronic Music Festival (SK), NOW Workshop performance finale @ Scotiabank Dance Centre, Vancouver International Dance Festival @ Roundhouse Community Centre, Sistahood Festival, Car Free Day @ Grandview Park MainStage, Parade of Lost Souls @ Parker Street Studios loading ramp , Make Music Festival in Gastown
The album Helispectre explores the relationships that we have with inherited fears. This theme came to the forefront as the couple traveled through Northern Europe and Berlin.
Confronting these fears led to the sounds that were improvised and recorded on the train to Berlin.
Live performance of Helispectre uses sound in the performance space as a tool. Speakers and amps, sometimes distorted and placed in unconventional places during the performance allows the audience to experience the physicality of the sound in a new and revealing way.
helispectre 2017, Lbs– 2015, Her X and the Wildman-2014, audio-lava. dark hum of the butterfly.2010, audio-lava.embers and icicles.2005, Mudlarks1996
Lisa is passionate about the power of voice, communication and movement. Her initial training training came through private classical vocal lessons and a social work degree in Saskatchewan. For Lisa singing is a form of communication that affects body, mind on a subconscious level. She commits both emotionally and physically when performing, and has trained in Somatic Sensory Motor body work to ground and inform her live performances. Her involvement in in community dance performances like Le Grand Continental as part of PUSH 2015, Joe Ink (Move It) , and Mountainview Solstice Performance Group have led her to develop and fuse movement into her ever evolving live performances.
Improvisation is an integral aspect of her performance background as well. She has been involved in Vancouver’s Now Performance Workshop Society where she has learned to develop her extended vocal techniques and become comfortable creating and performing with improvising artists often in real time without traditional musical scores.
The totality of her vocal, body and movement work has helped her develop a captivating performance repertoire that which ultimately affects and inspires others during live performance.
Currently Lisa is utilizing computers and electronics to shape, affect and loop her vocals. By layering vocals and altering the textures of those recorded loops she is able to preserve shape and transform her vocal sounds in real time.
Lisa performs with the improvising choir – VOICE OVER mind Choir conducted by DB Boyko for many years participating in inspiring and radical projects. A recent extension of this choir was to join with conductor Christine Duncan’s choir with Tanya Tagaq at the Vogue Theatre in 2017.
Her vocal influences are varied and include Bjork, Nina Simone, Kate Bush, PJ Harvey, Beth Gibbons(Portishead), Liz Phair, Mary Margaret O’Hara.
Classical Piano informed Brent’s early musical training but he quickly switched to electric guitar. He has studied Guitar and Electronic Music Production at East Vancouver’s VCC College. Advancing into artistic sound production rather than commercial song production has been a natural transition for Brent as he moves easily between audio production formats like ableton Live, Logic audio and Max. His quest and love for new and fresh sound has made him a sought after record producer in electronic and acoustic genres. As comfortable producing beats and sounds for rap music as he is at refining delicate nuanced miking techniques for varied and eclectic acoustic instruments.
Brent scored the feature length film “Cellmates” directed by Douglas Thomson and featuring Ian Tracey. Brent’s production’s regularly receive nation wide radio and internet exposure. Songwriter, Guitarist and Bandleader for FACTOR award winning Roots rock group ‘The Mudlarks”. Brent performed with this group in British Columbia and they were featured at Seattle’s Bumbershoot festival.