One of the grand prize winners of our music competition is Inga Liljestrom. She is the beautifully haunting voice on hers and Michael Lira's version of A Man of Constant Sorrow.
For the making of the song, Inga explained that Michael sent her the drum track with no instrumentation from Australia. From her studio in France, she sang along with Appalachian mountain music on her mind - evoking an image of herself as a lonely, sorrowful woman pictured in a dry landscape sitting on the verandah of a dilapidated home, strumming a banjo. Once the vocals were laid, she sent the track back to Michael who added the instrumentation. We think her voice captures perfectly the thematic qualities of The Colter Chronicles.
Inga is from New South Wales, Australia but now lives in Paris with her husband and daughter. She has a new album coming out influenced by Appalachian music with banjos, mandolins and violins. You can find out more about Inga and her music at http://ingaliljestromusic.com/.
Here are a few question we asked Inga to get to know her and her work better.
TCC: What inspired you to become a musician?
IL: When I was very young, I fell in love with the music of Melanie Safka, and my mum took me to see her concert. I fell asleep as soon as she hit the stage and woke up when the lights came on at the end! It was heartbreaking! It was then that I secretly decided I wanted to be a singer too. My mum joined a commune when I was 10 years old, and I sang with their band, a rock band I guess with lots of long beards and hippy clothing. I loved it. So this was the beginning! I studied singing at Southern Cross University in Lismore, Australia and began composing my own music after that.
TCC: What are your main musical talents?
IL: I'm a singer and composer. I play guitar, a little bit of ukulele, and program music using ProTools.
TCC: How do you make a career out of music?
IL: Through a mix of performing, selling CDs, singing on ads, TV and film, collaborating, the list goes on! I've also had part time jobs to keep me afloat. For the last few years I have been bringing up my daughter in France, so the work is less frequent. My next step is taking all my musical knowledge and start teaching, as well as continuing to perform and record. I love all these things, so I may as well do them all!
TCC: Besides winning The Colter Chronicles Music Competition, what do you consider to be the high points of your career as a musician?
IL: I can't think of anything I have ever 'won' before! I received some grants from the Australia Council of the Arts to make albums and DVDs and study different types of singing, which has been incredibly helpful and affirming. Performing my original music with wonderful musicians, dancers, performance artists, and film composers has been very rewarding. Some of my favourite performances were at the 505 Venue in Australia, playing acoustic sets. The feeling was magical and intimate. Teaching at a few universities has also been truly amazing too!
Congratulations Inga! And stay tuned to for more about Michael Lira...