Artist Interview: Aoede
Tell us about yourself and your music
Greetings! I am Lisa Sniderman, aka Aoede (pronounced A-E-D), from San Francisco. Aoede was the first muse of song in Greek Mythology. I wanted affiliation with this muse to remind myself to continually inspire and be inspired. I create award-winning quirky folk pop music and original fantasy musical stories to inspire and connect with young adults and kids at heart! If you are a fan of Ingrid Michaelson, Meiko or Regina Spektor, you may also like my quirky soprano voice and songs.
Living with a chronic illness, I’ve discovered music and art are my lifelines; I cannot stop creating! I create, record, and share my original musicals, art and music as a healing path and to give back; to be a light and a muse, and offer support, compassion, connection, encouragement, and inspiration to others. Telling stories, creating recordings and turning them into theater productions makes me feel most alive, purposeful and deeply connected to others.
I have been honored with more than 40 awards for songwriting, audiobooks and stage plays since 2012. Highlights include: Independent Music Awards Vox Pop Winner 2014; International Songwriting Competition 2013, 2012 Winner; John Lennon Songwriting Contest 2013, 2012 Finalist.
Talk to us more about your latest release
“Do You Believe In Magic?” (MAGIC) (Aug 2015) is my third award-winning original fantasy musical for young adults and kids at heart. Think Harry Potter meets Into The Woods! MAGIC takes you on a spellbinding journey to the cursed Kingdom of Wonderhaven where a Muse has a secret, and enchanted books and witches break into song! In MAGIC, the magical Kingdom of Wonderhaven is under a malicious memory curse and rapidly losing it’s magic. Aoede, the Muse of Song, believes she has no use or magic; yet she is plagued with a big secret and is the only one who can save magic and the Kingdom! Audiences embrace the colorful characters, compelling story, infectious songs, danceable duets, narration & full musical score. MAGIC was considered for Best Musical Theater Album in the 58th Grammy Awards! I adapted MAGIC to a musical stage play, directed staged readings Dec 2016 and May 2015, and was honored with several children’s and stage play awards.
What inspired you to write this release?
I am drawn to young adult stories, adolescent struggles and Greek mythology. My musical stories reflect them, inspiring, entertaining and connecting with young adult audiences, who are underserved musically; encouraging creativity and imaginative play. After releasing “What Are Dreams Made Of?” my second musical audiobook (Sep 2013), which centered around the theme of dreams, and after receiving such great feedback and industry recognition, I wanted to continue Aoede’s adventures in Wonderhaven, and I have always been fascinated with magic!
Any plans to release a video?
I have a few highlights videos from my two staged readings, and a highlights video featuring the music from the audiobook with amazing illustrations. I am very interested in adapting the audiobook to film, and right now talking to some animation folks about creating a short animated video of one of the scenes to use to give a flavor of the musical and attract collaborators and funding.
Any plans to hit the road?
I am excited to be in discussions with a youth theater program who has expressed interest in my original musicals about doing a full production of MAGIC in the San Francisco Bay Area in late 2017 or 2018! Will share more as it unfolds…
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
Oh wow! Great question! I guess I use my quirkiness to brand myself. For example, I LOVE hats and am frequently wearing fascinators at awards shows or grammy-related events in my photos that I post on social networks such as facebook. I have a unique niche: fantasy musical audiobooks and musical theater, and have been crazy fortunate to work with a fantastic illustrator on all three of my audiobooks, so the CD artwork also helps me brand my fantasy musicals! I believe I am something of a pioneer in terms of creating and recording full-length musicals on audiobooks, so I use that to help me brand myself!
Who have you been listening to lately?
A lot of fantastic artists! So so many beautiful, talented people making music-some are mainstream bands like Imagine Dragons and singer-songwriters such as James Arthur and Ed Sheeran or on the rise like Alessia Cara, Meg Mac, Andra Day, and many many of my indie artist friends! I’m also listening to a lot of musical soundtracks lately…probably don’t even have to mention Hamilton, Beautiful, and Wicked!
Tell us about your passions
Music and art are my lifelines… I just can’t stop creating! I I am so blessed to have both an amazing partner (who also is my musical partner since he’s played bass for more than 40 years!) and a sweet, adorable, loving wire fox terrier who we rescued 2 years ago. Besides family, which is plenty to get me out of bed each morning, I have been making my own fascinators lately, and finding other ways to be creative. I also spend time with friends and watch and go to movies and shows.
What else is happening next in your world?
I’m embarking on a new world of voiceovers lately, having spent a few months studying the craft of creating characters and taking master classes and private lessons. I also am writing my next musical story: Underworld! I also completed my memoir about how art and attitude got me through the nine years I’ve lived with chronic illness, and submitted it to my publisher. I also have a short companion portrait video that I’m completing to be released with the book. I’m also inspired by and exploring a new project that would invite young adults to share their life challenges through the lens of musical theater.
Thanks for an awesome interview, Lisa!
Connect with Aoede