Classically trained soprano Lou Van Stone takes her audience on an inclusive musical journey with blissful, transformational meditative soundscapes and euphoric trance floor anthems. Seven spoke to her about developing her unique devotional performance.
When you talk about a healing soundscape, what do you mean exactly?
My mission is to really touch people through the vibration of music. A soundscape is lush, calming vocals with smooth strings or other ambient instrumentation.
The purpose is to take people out of themselves, to quieten the mind and to take them to a place of deep peace. A lot of the time, my music is spontaneous and composed in the moment.
I tune directly into the audience and deliver the sound that is appropriate for them.
How did you make the journey from soprano and jazz to more devotional style singing?
I guess I’ve always been in the devotional realm, but didn’t realise it.
I started tapping into it about 13 years ago when I first went to India, I then gave up my job in advertising and then went to do a music degree. I studied classical and jazz singing and piano and immersed myself in music theory and technique.
I moved to Sydney and went to follow a jazz career, but the spiritual side of my life picked up momentum and I found myself in India again and going back to the devotional roots. I worked with producer and pop singer Rick Price, he pointed out that in devotional music I would be able to use both the classical, pop and jazz training and merge everything together.
It’s exciting creating my own unique sound and I’m really glad I have the music training, because it certainly makes the process so much easier and I have a richer palette of colours to choose from.
What is the process of song creation for you?
Now, I find the process is magical. I simply meditate and then sit at the keyboard, I wait for the chords to come and then for the melody to appear. Recently this has been pretty instant, it feels effortless.
The melody usually comes as sounds and then I record the chords and idea on my iPhone and then play it over and over again, so the lyrics form, as well as other musical ideas. I’m loving it.
I used to work in advertising writing TV and radio commercials and my whole day was spent trying to come up with ideas to order, sitting in front of a blank piece of paper, it was stressful. Now the creative process is a total joy.
How intrinsic is dancing and movement to your music?
My vision has been to create music for the conscious dance movement and I had been trying to access dance beats and create this sound for a long time.
I’m so happy how it has now emerged and I’m really enjoying working with Simon Hollway on the dance tracks. I want the experience of the music to be total for the audience, so they can feel the vibration of the sound in their whole body and be moved by the beat and the bass frequencies.
So often we miss out on the chance to move our bodies, I’ve had experiences recently at a conscious dance session and have just been in tears as tensions and emotions were released from the body, simply through moving.
If you could describe your perfect gig, what would it look like?
My perfect gig would be very much like the up-coming Kulchajam gig. Taking people on a complete journey, from ambient meditative music, right up into a celebratory dance space.
I love to create an amazing space for people, so they are uplifted in all their senses, beautiful lighting, candles and decoration, delicious oils and incense.
When people enter the performance space, I want them to feel like they have come into a different world and they can leave their outside world behind. The perfect gig would be when audience and performer become one and we all share the journey together.
Friday at Kulchajam in Byron at 7pm, tix are $15 or $20 at the door.