Old vs. New

SOUND MILL was a site-specific, multi-channel sound (+ light) installation by Guelph-based composer and sound artist Lisa Conway at the 2021 Guelph Jazz Festival. 

“Shaped by river flow and the changing of the light, the generative ever-shifting soundscape is inspired by the repetitive rhythic patterns involved in the milling process, as well as James Goldie’s love of botany. The sonic palette featured layers of hydrophone recordings (taken below the surface of the Speed River), recordings of grain, and analog synthesisers. The Limestone Room involved granular synthesis processing determined by the pace of the Speed River’s flow over the last decade, while the Plant Room provided more of a sound bath experience –– as the daylight faded to night, an EQ filter linked to an arduino light sensor slowly opened to allow more frequencies to pass through.” – Guelph Jazz Festival

Walking up to Goldie Mill I can’t help but think of what a perfect juxtaposition composer and sound artist Lisa Conway has created: the old and the new. With the sun slowly setting and the smell of the last days of summer in the air I take in what surrounds me. A flashing, modern entanglement of neon white lights accompanied by beating sounds bouncing off the old ruin’s walls, the acoustics ideal. I watch the white light and notice its flashes are in sync with the drum-like beat. I walk further into the ruins following the fog that has been gradually growing under my feet into a room of illuminated trees of pink, blue and green. A group of young children dance in the light and try to catch the uncatchable fog. The sound vibrations feel warmer under the trees, and I can’t help but feel connected. – Janelle Mitchener, GAC Volunteer  

Lisa Conway, who works under the name L CON, is a BC-born, Swiss-Canadian songwriter, composer and self proclaimed sonic adventurer. Working primarily out of her studio in Guelph, she is a celebrated musician and composer, who has collaborated with artists and organizations on projects all over the world. GAC is grateful for Lisa’s support as a mentor in the Guelph Emerging Artist Mentorship Project. Learn more about L CON at https://www.lconofficial.com

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