We spoke with Liza Anne about her subconscious relationship with insects and arachnids, growing up on an island, her feelings toward birds and working through imaginary physical injuries through dreamwork.
I am full of nostalgia towards every emotion I’ve ever felt. This is my best and worst quality, wrapped into one package.
We asked Liza what each of these forms of insect or arachnid life remind her of.
Elementary school. I stepped in a fire ant hill.
Visitation from afterlife, even though I don’t know how I feel about there being much after life.
Respect for matriarchy is a portal into magic.
I wish I wasn’t so scared of them.
I used to find ladybugs in my hair as a child.
Prayer and slow, intentional movements.
I’d like for you to consider the conception and manifestation of an idea when you write music. Can you make a graph or diagram of how the initial creative spark develops and develops? How does it end up becoming a song, which ends up on a record?
If I were to make a graph of this, it would assume that I have an understanding of one of the most abstract and distant things and intuitive experiences I will ever be a part of. Yes, there is a certain rhythm to the process — I feel something, I want a space where that feeling is valid and understood then I pair those feelings with words and movement of sounds. A song is born. But, I think the magic of it all to me is that I couldn’t explain it in words or map it out in a diagram or picture — it would trivialize something that is complex and beyond thought. As well, it is different every time. I will do it until I feel I don’t need to anymore and will never do it if there isn’t some emotional necessity and weight to it.
From there, I’d like for you to consider that final product, that song you now have under your belt. Can you describe how your relationship with that song develops, as you get sick of it or love it more and more? Is this more of a deterioration process or ripening process? What would you liken it to?
It depends on the song — I usually have a bit of fear or reverence towards whatever I have written. The older I get, I’ve realized my songs can feel like spells or summoning. Lately, I have just been terrified that what I write will, in fact, happen. Sometimes I feel emotions before the proper environment for them is reality.
I am not sure if that is my intuition or me creating my own later insanity. But, more than any other emotion, I feel love towards whatever comes out of me. Because that thing heals me. I am full of nostalgia towards every emotion I’ve ever felt. This is my best and worst quality, wrapped into one package.
My constellation is more of a small supercluster with different stars and universes for different spaces and times in my life.
Please tell me about birds.
I am not sure how I feel about them. I can tell you about them, of course. But I think you’re trying to have me convey how I feel about them — and that, as with most things I feel, changes constantly. Some days I am amazed and others I am frustrated and others I am afraid. At any moment, if one flew straight for my face, I am not sure how I would respond.
Have you ever daydreamed about yourself as any nonhuman form of biological life? If so, what? Why did you feel akin to this creature, or consider it as yourself?
Yes. A house cat in some Parisian apartment. I think that all of the most important things I have learned about myself I realize are the qualities and assurances that cats have always been. I respect their autonomy — I long for a continuation and exploration of my own. They are unbothered by most anything and spend so much time laying around. But, it doesn’t seem lazy, rude or unhealthy — it seems like self-care.
I’d like for you to consider a few people in your life who have proved the most influential. Can you arrange these people into an imaginary constellation, describing the powers each one has and how they work together to create you?
I have always thought of this idea of human connection being the space in which divinity is found, so I am all here for the idea of that connectedness being the power that creates me. When I think of God, I think of Her as being between and within and not above and abstract. That being said, my life to this point has been met with very specific forms of connectedness that have acted as some sort of portal for me into deeper bits of my highest self.
Regardless of positive or negative, I am a walking museum of whatever connectedness I have shared with others. I think there are some moments within my “constellation” that I have let draining energy come too close, but the older I become, the more sensitive I am to who I let into that sacred space. I would say my constellation is more of a small supercluster with different stars and universes for different spaces and times in my life.
Do you remember some of the first emotional or mental sensations you ever felt as a toddler or infant? Did you ever have an inkling that you were a new person, with family members who love you and are glad you’re here?
I’m not sure if I remember them actually, or if I know them because of the way I appear in photographs and videos. The further away I get from childhood, the more space my psyche has to twist them into some sort of ego-trip into false knowledge of self, you know? In light of earliest memories, I don’t know. I can remember lots of feelings of deep, gut-centered heaviness and physical pinches of pain in my chest — looking back, I think it was a combination of my development of empathy towards the world and then an impending existentialist mood that would carry well into my adult life. Writing it all out like this makes my childhood seem dark and melancholic. I don’t think that was the case at all; I just am keenly aware that my first experiences with emotion were more tilted towards the abyss than other five-year-olds.
Now, please tell me about islands.
I grew up on an island, so I think of them now with this very specific sort of nostalgia. I could never live there again, but all of my early formation happened so close to water. I am thankful that I was somewhat close to nature during that formation and not removed from the pace of things. The longer that time moves on, the more difficult it is for islands to stay islands. I like the concept of some place being completely secluded and off from influence of some major construct or idea, but that isn’t the case with any place, really.
Finally, we love lists and technical data at North of the Internet. Can you please make a list of items, thoughts, dreams, anecdotes, or anything else of your choosing for us?
Well, I’m not sure I have a long list, but this last week I have had a strange continuation of dreams in which I experience some sort of physical condition.
A list of bad dreams I have had this last week in little to no detail at all:
My left arm going numb. I woke up to realize I slept on it all wrong.
Vague memory of not being able to speak.
Blind in my right eye.
Broken right wrist.
Brain injury, but I didn’t want anyone to know about it.
Bleeding from my right ear.
Curated by: Morgan Enos
Conducted by: Email
Published: January 10, 2018
Total questions: 10 + 8
Word count: 1331
Reading time: Four minutes
ant, apartment, arachnid, bee, beetle, biology, black widow, butterfly, collarbone, constellation, construct, dragonfly, ego, existentialism, France, guitar, housecat, insect, knowledge, Liza Anne, mantis, memory, moth, Paris, photograph, self, Skeleton, songwriting, star, supercluster, tarantula, universe, video, Winona Ryder, wrist
About the curator
Morgan Enos is a songwriter and journalist originally from California. His curatorial work for North of the Internet aims to strike a deeper place in his conversation subjects — the dreamy subtext to the linear everyday. Morgan also frequently writes power pop records as Other Houses about joy, outer space, frustration, chess and spiritual light. He resides in New York, where he continues to creatively fire on all cylinders.
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