Lisa Marie Gabriel calls herself "Lisa the Bard" because she is many things - a poet, a musician, a story teller, a teacher, a designer, a writer, formerly a political activist. In these days of specialization and niche building she sometimes feels a little like a fish out of water for this reason. Lisa is not a specialist. Bard is the best description for a range of creative talents.
This ease with many things she attributes to a childhood blessed with loving and encouraging parents and many exciting opportunities.
As a child, she lived in Germany, Canada and Singapore then later became based in Lincolnshire, England where she received an old fashioned liberal education.
In those days she was already a talented singer with a flexible three and a half octave range, she enjoyed choral singing and would happily hop from tenor to alto to soprano as needed! She gave classical guitar recitals too, but found they made her too nervous and uncomfortable so turned to other forms of expression.
"My main interest was always composition, but you didn't make a living that way in those days without contacts or a private income. I enjoyed performing on the folk circuit (and later in rock and jazz outfits) because the audience gave really positive feedback.
A classical recital audience seems to sit quietly waiting for accidents to happen - it made me uncomfortable - in sing-a-rounds I could take my turn in a supportive and friendly environment. People were expecting to enjoy themselves, it was a wonderful scene for trying out new songs...."
"In my youth Britain's Got Talent and the X-Factor did not exist - even if they had, I would never have considered myself attractive enough to compete. I was persuaded by a very dear friend that working in a store was not going to get me anywhere. I had the qualifications for college and I enjoyed teaching guitar privately. I also had some crazy idea that I could work on my composing while maintaining some sort of income.
I enjoyed my training and met some great friends and then Margaret Thatcher hit. In those days "Last in, first out" was practised ruthlessly and newly qualified teachers were not in protected posts. I was made redundant twice, music being low down on the priority list. Eventually I settled into working part time, teaching privately and gigging with semi-pro bands. There wasn't much time to compose or to write.
Many musicians of my generation practised "commitment" which meant drawing benefit in order to work on what really mattered to them. Being Bohemian is great so long as you have rich parents, an easy conscience or a financially supportive partner - I lacked all three.... I found myself in a position of having to support a partner who was an artist, so I put my dreams on hold for a long, long time."
Flying to Meet the Sunrise was a long project. I wanted to release some of my music into the wild for all sorts of reasons. As I work fulltime this could only happen during holidays and when I lost my engineer I had to learn about mixing myself.
I learned the hard way. I wish I had the college background many young artists have because I am not technically minded and finding your way around a mixer is not easy without guidance. We learn through our mistakes though, and my CD is the result both of collaboration with my engineer and my own efforts. I feel happy that others enjoy my music and I am content simply to be who I am at this point.
For me, I am not an "artist" An artist paints pictures. I am not a "celeb". A celeb is famous just for being famous, often simply because they are chosen to be famous and re-created in a commercial image by someone already famous. I wouldn't want to be a celeb as fame is not a draw for me. I am not rich, although money would enable me to be fulltime in creating dreams in words and sound. I would like my music to be "self maintaining" financially so I can create more though....
I am a musician. I have given my whole life to music as student, teacher and composer. I have mastered more than one genre. I play music of many styles on my guitar and have played other instruments, I create music through the keyboard of a computer, I sing my heart out and occasionally I am even happy with the result.
I am a writer and a poet - my peers have called me a poet's poet and that makes me smile - it is high praise indeed!
There are a lot more songs just waiting to be sung if you listen.
I am a Bard....
"In 2004 I discovered a new voice in poetry. I wrote like something possessed for the best part of three years. This was a period of spiritual growth, poetry was the means of that growth, I was writing the darkness out of me. My poetry was never dark, though, because through this period of darkness I was looking for the Light of the Inner Self.
People were very encouraging about my writing, so acknowledging that in poetry self publication is the only way forward unless you are very well connected indeed, I published three books. My last "A Whisper of the Romantic in the Eye of God" is a collection I am proud of.
For me poetry should be a musical expression as well as an emotional experience - the sound of the words in itself is a form of musical composition. For that reason, my favourite poets include Dylan Thomas, Keats and Tagore."