Lisa Saunders and Liv Mircea may be separated by an ocean, but that isn't stopping the determined duo from making big waves in the chill out / lounge genre with their downtempo musical project, Ashes and Dreams.
Lisa lives in Winnipeg, Canada while Liv lives in Weston-Super-Mare, UK.
"It feels like Liv is always right there whenever we're creating musical ideas, recording, and coming up with our musical contributions to this project," says Lisa. Essential tools to divide the distance and master their melodies include Cubase recording software, file sharing services like DropBox, and near-daily emails.
Parted by an ocean, but connected by music, Ashes and Dreams spent two years writing and recording songs for its debut, 12 song CD, Heart of Stone, released in February 2015. The album includes a mix of serene, dreamy tracks and uplifting, soulful tunes, that are seamlessly linked by Lisa's warm, hypnotic alto voice and Liv's distinctive guitar work. From the military-inspired anthem "Left Right Left" to the laid-back title track, "Heart of Stone", Ashes and Dreams has its own undeniable style in the chill out realm.
Spring 2016 sees Ashes and Dreams release it's follow-up double CD, Non-Stop Chillout Pop volumes 1 and 2, a musical experience comprised of 24 songs. Nature's elements are a strong focus on the 2016, with songs like "Fire and Ice", "Cold Steel" and "Come to the Water".
Represented by the Believe Digital record label, Ashes and Dreams looks forward to expanding its musical reach. The band's earlier recordings received global airplay on stations like Ocean Radio Chilled, Chilled Lounge Grooves, Stingray Digital satellite radio, DJ Ampz' The Deep Chill, CKUW's Shop Worn Angel, and CBC Radio. Lounge Masters International also selected Ashes and Dreams' deep chill track Heat Down Low for its world-wide compilation CD Lounge Masters Vibes vol. 12, released in June 2014.
With Ashes and Dreams, Lisa and Liv expand their musical calling, and renew a friendship that began in the late 90s. Lisa and Liv first met in Toronto, and briefly played in a band called Leave You Tomorrow together. Eventually going their separate ways, Lisa ended up in Winnipeg, becoming a singer/keyboardist with jazz-pop band Arbra Hill and groove-alternative project Thrift Store Love. She also ventured into film scoring and composing, co-writing the soundtracks for two Canadian feature-length films, On the Edge of Crazy and Swimming the Dream.
Liv ended up in the UK, where he delved into his work as a songwriter, music producer, and eclectic composer of film music.
In fact, their earlier connection is where the name Ashes and Dreams comes from. It's part of a song title from one of Liv's old songs that Lisa loved, called "Stars, Ashes and Dreams". The song title also helped give birth to the band's motto - Ashes and Dreams: For anyone with a past who dreams of a better life ahead.