February 19, 2012
Singer, Songwriter, Artist ...
Lisa Perry talks
about her upcoming
music and art show
By DELANIA TRIGG, Assistant Editor
Gainesville Daily Register
Gainesville — She’s shared the stage with big name
bands and performed nationwide at fairs, receptions and
other special events but Lisa Perry’s artistic roots are in
the solitude and beauty of the West Texas canyon country.
Perry is set to showcase her music and her art during
an exhibition planned for 7 p.m., Thursday at the Butter-
field Stage Theater in Gainesville.
The event will include wine and light refreshments and
will feature Perry’s guitar and jazzy vocals as well as her works in watercolor and embroidery.
Tickets are not required but donations will benefit the Butterfield Stage Players.
Music, art and nature are closely linked in Perry’s world.
“My maternal grandmother in Post, Texas would take us out to the canyons and we’d draw the things we saw,” Perry said. “My dad’s mother was into working with thread and textiles.” Embroidery has been one of her favorite mediums for a long time. “My embroidery art is kind of the result of things both my grandmothers were teaching me when I was young,” she said.
Her works are her own designs — she doesn’t purchase preprinted patterns or embroidery kits — and Perry isn’t reluctant to tackle complex themes and subtle details in her embroidery. “They are totally my creations which I’ve drawn and composed,” she said. Some of her best works include an embroidered rendering of Van Gogh’s Starry Night and a portrait of an eagle — a gift for her brother. Embroidery can be a painstaking art, Perry admitted. A Grand Canyon piece festooned with seraphim vignettes took 11 years to complete, she said.
Making hand sewn projects is also taxing to both eyes and muscles, she said. Perry uses a lamp fitted with a magnifier for detail work but said years of intricate stitching prompted her to find another outlet for her talent. “After the project that took 11 years, I was thinking maybe there’s an easier way,” she said.
Perry chose painting. Nature is a theme she visits time and time again, especially in her water color works.
A devoted gardener, she said she finds inspiration in nature. The flowering plants she nurtures often become subjects for her paintings. “I grow the flowers from seeds and bulbs and when they bloom I take the pictures,” she said. “My paintings are done with the pictures as a reference.” Watercolor is a user-friendly medium, Perry said, adding, “I love the way the water moves.”
Thursday’s exhibition will also focus on Perry’s music — skills she’s honed since she was a teenager. “I was drawn to music,” Perry said. “I’ve been playing and writing music since I was 16. My brother is (also) a musician and we played together.”
In addition, Perry was influenced by her grandfather — a cook and musician on the Santa Fe Trail. “My grandfather and his brother played for barn dances,” she said. “My grandfather played the fiddle and my uncle played the guitar. They always said the horse knew the way home.”
She’s played Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, Okla. where Johnny Lee and Bob Wills once took the stage and opened for headliners including Asleep at the Wheel and Jerry Jeff Walker. She’s also shared the stage with Bonnie Raitt, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, John Hartford and Vassar Clements.
Perry is the author of hundreds of songs many of which are on her original albums — Canyon Rose, Fractal Rose, Angel Rose, Nostalgia Rose and Tropical Rose. She said her music would best be categorized as “Adult Contemporary.”
“I’ve been influenced by so many different types of music,” Perry said. “I believe people enjoy the fact that it is unusual and that it draws from a variety of styles.” While living in central Florida, she was influenced by steel drums and percussion. She also said she loves listening to old jazz standards and nostalgic songs from the 1930s and 1940s.
Perry said she believes music has healing powers for both body and soul. “Music has the power to touch people’s hearts,” she said. “To carry them off into esoteric landscapes. It has the power to move blockages that we human beings accumulate and store without realizing what we are doing. Music, at its best, can help dissipate those blockages and refresh our energies.”
Lisa Perry’s art and music performance at the Butterfield Stage is co-sponsored by the Gainesville Daily Register. The theater is located 201 S. Denton St. in downtown Gainesville.
Leesburg songbird wants music to heal, inspire
By CHET CALLERO
Singer Lisa Perry is in touch with the abode of God. How can anyone tell? A good measure is the heavenly way she performs a song.
The Leesburg mother of three boys describes her musical performances as "vocal acrobatics." That's really too simple an explanation for what happens when she's on center stage. Perry is a versatile and inspirational songbird. She is also a songwriter, musician and entertainer. She started to sing professionally when she was 16. She worked for years in the Midwest, playing concerts in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Colorado.
She has opened for such stars as Jerry Jeff Walker, Jimmy Buffet, and Willie Nelson. She has shared stages with Bonnie Raitt, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, John Hartford, Vassar Clements and Asleep at the Wheel.
Perry is the author of hundreds of songs, some of which are showcased on her albums Canyon Rose, Fractal Rose and Angel Rose. She loves to listen to old jazz or nostalgic songs form the 30's and 40's. As a big fan of Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughn, she performs songs from that era. This aspect of her repertoire makes her a good choice to provide entertainment for weddings, receptions or background
She says, "I have been influenced by so many different types of music. I believe
people enjoy the fact that what I do is unusual and that it draws from a variety of
styles." Her style has been described: Lisa Perry's music is rich in melody,
harmony, message and inspiration. Her original songs represent a blend of influence from nature, angels, her garden, mountains, Native American symbolism and ritual, nature spirits and fairies. The songs, whether in live performance or recordings, are full of healing and peacefulness, joy and motivation."
"Angel Rose is a group of spiritual songs," she says of her latest CD recording. "I'm hoping it will be the kind of music that will cause people to pause and reflect, and be a comfort or an inspiration."
Perry also has a Christmas album that features a few original songs, but is mostly composed of traditional music.
A review on Perry's style states: "Lisa Perry has taken on serious topics in her music, but she doesn't preach at you. The songs have hauntingly beautiful melodies and are filled with harmonies and strong instrumentation."
"Sound is a powerful tool," Perry said. "It can move blockages and align or balance our fields and chakras as well as enhance our sense of well being. That intention goes into every performance I give. I also incorporate what I have learned in Reiki about the transference of energy when I sing. I want everyone who hears the music to receive some kind of healing or enrichment or awakening. Music is a perfect mode for that kind of energy transference. The music rises up and moves through me. It really has a life and energy all its own. I am the channel, the resonant field."
For Perry that means an almost unlimited commitment She says that in most of her recordings she does synchronized multivoice harmony. On many recordings she performs three different voices. On others, she sings as many as eight voices.
Her renditions of nostalgic songs are enchanting to hear. It's especially delightful when she sings such favorites as "On a Clear Day," "As Time Goes By" and "Till There Was You."
Perry has been doing a variety of performances in Central Florida. She has appeared in Orlando at Barnes and Nobles and Borders book stores and at the Lake Eola Band Shell. She has performed concerts at Clermont's Mulberry Inn and Arbors and Eyebrows in Mount Dora. For the past few years she has played Christmas music at Venetian Gardens during the holiday season.
Why does Perry sing? She says, "I think for a number of reasons. Probably the main one is that I can't not sing. It's very important to me, in terms of relief, in terms of expression of who I am. In terms of spiritual guidance and practice. In terms of just keeping myself open as a creative and artistic person. I have to sing.” Her voice and style have an ease and gentleness uncommon in today's roll call of entertainers. Her singing expresses a lilting layering of musical sounds. Hearing her perform may help you to understand what she means when she says, "I have to sing." And chances are, it will probably add joy to your life, because she does.