Maria Coma, Stardust

Maria Coma, Stardust

In the last decade, Maria Coma has made a name for herself as a high-profile musical innovator, having collaborated with Pau Falvi in ​​the duo u_mä, in which, as a singer and pianist, she has developed three solo albums, and more and more serious pop art. For the fourth album, it was necessary to wait 11 years, but here we have Acoustic Roots, a radically different work, where almost the only source of sound is his voice and his body, be it heartbeat or breathing. And other resonances and vibrations.


What happened to Maria Koma all this time? He went first to London, where he spent a few months, and then to Berlin, a city that opened the doors to new learning and where he resided for a decade. “I connected with people who worked in the world of performance, dance and movement, which is a very hybrid world. It’s hard to find a profile here. For me, Berlin is the mecca of this. I trained there to focus on body and mind,” the discipline of the human body and movement, While researching the body and the voice,” explains the singer, who is no longer just a singer nor a pianist, but let’s face it, a voice artist, he set out to “go beyond and clarify that it is defined by the phrase ‘I am a musician’.” “I wanted to discover sound, to see how it is put into the body… I’m not a pioneer in this. Meredith Monk has understood the body as an instrument since she began.”

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Bone density

These self-produced vocal roots were born as “a single, moving voice, taking advantage of space and playing with different types of microphones to capture body sounds”, recognized as “the first musical instrument”. With this title, it was premiered in 2022 at the Fira Mediterrània, in Manresa, while she was planning the album, which is the son of this proposal, but arrives in other ports. Australian boxer Senju provides the only source of sound outside.


The communication microphone has been a key ally. “I wear it in different places on my body. Bone is the densest tissue and is the one that transmits vibrations, sound and energy the most. And with a contact microphone, that is transmitted. If I put it on my sternum, I wear it in different places on my body,” he explains. With a heartbeat, which is very rhythmic. If I raise it, I feel breathing.” He points out that this is realized in the interior landscape, “a theme that conveys the merging of the body with nature: earth, fire, air…”

In the track that gives the album its title, Maria Coma asks for a kind of universal forgiveness “for not caring enough about certain things or not realizing where you’re coming from.” The song “describes the need to root down and learn about one’s roots.” Presentation letter, last January, Crystalline, is “the piece that has more of everything: the pure sound and the beatbox, and I love that the sacred comes out in the video, because the bones represent a lot of things on this record.”

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The influence of Georgian polyphonic music can be seen in songs like Fireflame, and the album concludes with the only foreign song Tonada de luna plena by Simone Diaz. “A song that peasants sing to cows. I liked it, and it’s a simple way to end the album.”

Stardust


Sonic Roots delivers an unprecedented sonic experience with its floating dance layers, turbulences and valleys. A disc that is not completely linear. “If you create a playlist with relaxing music, you can add some songs to it, but not all of them.” Does it carry a philosophical message that music is in us? “It’s nice to think about it, but I did it because it’s important to me and to share it, not to send a message or lecture,” he muses. He believes, “passionately,” that “we are all part of the same nature, that we come from stardust and all that, and that through art, when the expression is authentic, we connect with that essence.”

The setting of her trilogy, Linòleum (2009), Magnòlia (2011), and Celesta (2013), is far away, and upon her return to Catalonia (she now lives at the foot of Montseny) she says she feels “like a tourist in a new country,” because “everything has changed, both the scenes and the scenes.” Or Barcelona. And some other things. “Then there were very few girls who led projects, and in recent years I see that many more have emerged and that they have been given more space. I always felt for beards,” she laughs.

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Vocal Roots shows are taking shape: starting on July 14 at the Eufonic Festival (Castell de Miravet), on July 18 at CosmoCaixa’s Cosmonits and on the 25th at Refugi Sonor (Tarragona).

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