About

 

Gre...like the space between yes and no, midnight and sunrise, black and white. 

Liz Gre (fka Sankophoenix), is a vocalist, new music composer, and aspiring ethnographer who finds comfort between the sides of records. She aims to unearth and tell stories with her music. Whether simple or complex, universal or rare, she serves as the vessel.

Photo Credit: Patrick Mainelli 2019

Photo Credit: Patrick Mainelli 2019

Photo Credit: Alysha Mickles 2019

Photo Credit: Alysha Mickles 2019

Artist Statement

My work is inspired by personal life experiences as well as contemporary theater, improvisation, the acoustic sounds and rhythms of soul instrumentation, and the unexpected melodies often found in classical music.

I am a storyteller. I use music and performance to explore life’s essential and most difficult questions. I think of all my pieces as unfinished—a series of experimental creations that blend genres and instruments with lyrics. By characterizing them as unfinished, I always approach them as if they could be built upon. With that mindset, new and exciting elements emerge utilizing the strengths and character of those I collaborate with. 

Typically, my lyrics begin as short thoughts and poems, often in response to both unexpected or even mundane happenings. I utilize writing to understand my experience. Melodically, I focus on simple tonality and dynamics (the "louds" and "softs" of music) to convey the message. I utilize head voice and classical singing techniques to express feeling without words in ways that are comparable to jazz scatting. In my performances, all of these things come together with plants, lighting, and projections to create an immersive experience. 

Often, opera is understood (or misunderstood) as an elite and inaccessible art form. One that is only valued by the wealthy and white. Ultimately, I want my work to communicate that opera and classical music are indeed for the Black diaspora to utilize in the same ways we use all art forms.