Virtual Nelsonville Music Festival Interviews: Lisa Bella Donna

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Early on in the COVID-19 crisis, the 2020 Nelsonville Music Festival announced its cancellation due to the infectious disease outbreak. In its place, Ohio University School of Media Arts & Studies Director Josh Antonuccio and Nelsonville Music Festival Executive Director Tim Peacock created the Virtual Nelsonville Music Festival, an online presentation of the popular festival, which is being produced by Stuart’s Opera House, WOUB Public Media, the Scripps College of Communication and the Ohio University School of Media Arts and Studies, in partnership with OU Performing Arts, the Ohio University Center for Entrepreneurship, and the Haden DeRoberts Foundation. Under the direction of Antonuccio, Ohio University students and recent graduates are on location around the region with school faculty Andie Walla and Brian Plow filming performances for the virtual fundraiser supporting Stuart’s Opera House. WOUB producers Adam Rich and Evan Shaw are providing post-production on the project, which will go live on Stuart’s official YouTube page August 21-22.

In addition to gaining critical audio and video production experience, students and recent graduates are also learning the ins and outs of music journalism, promotions, and publicity: interviewing performers and creating a myriad of content related to their unique experience. This interview was conducted by VNMF Publicity/Promotion team Lauren McCain, Weiler Harmon, and Madyson Lewellyn and was produced by WOUB’s Arts and Culture producer Emily Votaw. 

Lisa Bella Donna

Jumping head-first into the music industry when she was just 15 years old, Lisa Bella Donna has since traveled around the world as an internationally acclaimed artist, sharing the genius of her compositions and multi-instrumentalist talents. Although she has said she enjoys moving around with her musical styles, she is commonly known for creating unique and electrifying soundscapes with the usage of synthesizers.

Donna credits an intense astral projection she experienced years ago that suddenly allowed her to hear sounds in a new way. She dove into the study of physics and how sounds could affect and make a person feel, which she now uses to inspire her signature auditory landscapes. In this interview, embedded above, the “synth sorceress” discusses her musical inspirations, her upcoming work inspired by her young daughter’s storyboards, and what it was like to play live music again in the COVID-19 environment.