Continuing our interview series, celebrating 20 artists for Sound UK's first 20 years, we recently caught up with the wonderful folk singer and musician, Lisa Knapp.
South London based folk singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Lisa Knapp has been much in demand touring the length and breadth of the UK and across Radio and TV since her remarkable debut, Wild & Undaunted (2007), marked her out as one of the brightest and most innovative players in a newly invigorated British folk movement.
What do you remember about the projects we did together? And what was your most memorable experience?
I have great memories of researching and playing on a barge with electronics artist, Leafcutter John, as we sailed up the Grand Union Canal. Such an unique opportunity and brilliant to work with an artist so completely out of my own sphere.
We created an entire set from scratch using research, field recordings, writing songs, using recordings, live sampling under water - all sorts of really inventive things.
I am also really enjoying our current project (more to be revealed soon), again working with different artists always makes one learn so much.
It’s been a long journey this one for obvious (Covid) reasons but I’m really looking forward to where it will lead when we are, eventually, out of this pandemic.
Did these projects help to develop your creative practice? If so, how?
Absolutely yes. These projects gave me different perspectives both in artistic thought and practical approaches.
Working in different environments and with new collaborators has given me confidence to think differently.
I’ve also found these projects to be incredibly supportive environments in which to stretch myself and try new things.
What have you been up to recently?
Things have been very disruptive but I feel they are, kind of, getting back to some sense of normal, at least for periods of time.
I recently recorded and released an apocryphal Christmas carol and I am looking into new songs. I’ve been doing a little bit of songwriting too.
I launched a Patreon which has and continues to keep me on my toes. I’ve also been teaching singing online so, yeah, things are ticking along.
In 2021 Sound UK launched a new artist development programme to help develop and test ambitious creative ideas. How important do you think initiatives like this are and the work Sound UK does commissioning artists?
As an artist I cannot stress enough how valuable having the opportunity to take time out to play and experiment is - and how vital it is in the development of new work.
Being able to research and develop unhindered leads to key new ideas being born. This in turn brings new perspectives and valuable insights into the artistic sphere.
What role can a producer like Sound UK play in helping artists to realise their potential?
I think the creativity with which Sound UK birth new ideas for collaborative ventures gives artists an opportunity to flex and extend beyond comfort zones.
Collaborative ventures always broaden horizons, enabling exploration from new perspectives, which often reflect back artistic thoughts and perhaps even talents one may previously have not been aware of.
What does the coming year have in store for you? What are your future plans?
I’m hoping for a solo release this year and there may be some other collaborative work in the pipeline too!
What are your hopes for music and its audiences in a post pandemic world?
I think if there’s anything positive to come out of the pandemic (which may be stretching it!) I think it's the value of community one gets in being a performer or an audience member and participating in real live events.
It’s one of the many ‘normal’ things in everyday life that we took for granted so I hope that when we do get to perform or attend an event that we all remember how fragile, special and important these experiences are.
Visit Lisa Knapp's website to find out more about her work.