Lia Pas is a Saskatoon-based Canadian multidisciplinary artist who works in the fields of music, writing, and visual arts. She is an accomplished composer and musician (oboe, piano, and voice), published author of non-fiction, libretti, scripts, three books of poetry, and two videopoems. Her work has been broadcast on CBC and BBC radio, and her fibre art has been featured in numerous online publications, exhibited at medical humanities conferences, and is part of the Sask Arts Board’s permanent collection. She worked primarily as a composer/performer for thirty-five years until she became disabled by post-viral myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) in 2015.
Born and raised in Saskatoon, Lia studied music at York University, Toronto (BFA Hon. Mus.1995) and completed her Master of Arts in Devised Theatre at Dartington College of Arts in Devon, UK (2006). Prior to her arrival at Dartington, Lia lived in Japan for two years and was a long-time student of Roy Hart Voice work training extensively with Richard Armstrong, as well as with Enrique Pardo and Linda Wise of Pantheatre.
Lia’s past sound work explored the voice in all its range, timbre, and potential. She taught Voicing classes and workshops and was a sessional lecturer in the University of Saskatchewan Drama Department. She collaborated with musicians, new media artists, and dancers while working with the Free Flow Dance Theatre as composer, singer, and performer. She directed, trained and composed for the Mysterium Choir (2009-2011) which specialized in innovative, meditative, and improvised choral music. Her two interdisciplinary shows, The Descent of Inanna (2001) and Baba Yaga’s Hut (2002), for which she wrote or co-wrote the scripts and music, and in which she performed leading roles, played to sold-out audiences in Saskatchewan. Her improvised and composed music combines drones, trance-like repetition, and rhythmic play with evocative timbral exploration and extended vocal techniques ranging from low growls to high whistle tones.
In 2015 she wrote libretto and music for La Caravan Dance Theatre‘s dance opera, Fihi ma Fihi but became ill during the rehearsal period and was unable to perform as planned. Her disability means she is no longer able to sing, teach, or perform, but she continues to write music and improvise on the piano.
Lia’s current artistic practice consists of writing text and music interspersed with long periods of the restorative practice of making fibre art that explores anatomy as an imagistic starting point to understand experience. Her past vocal and physical movement practices inform her experiential work making invisible symptoms visible and creating textural and textual fibre art pieces that explore anatomy and symptomatology. You can read more about the shift in her creative practice here.
Last updated December 2023