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Paula Shocron: Paths to a New Sound

Jakob Baekgaard By

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PS: I took piano lessons since I was 5. Although I was apparently talented, I started to be more and more stressed when I was entering my teens. The pressure I felt about playing a classical piece "perfectly well" made me sick and scared. I had muscle fatigue and tendonitis in both arms. I had to stop playing the piano for a while. Since music was the only thing I wanted to do, I felt It was a good time to start to compose. When I finished high school I started the career of Composition at the University. There I met Diana Rud, (Composer from Rosario) who was my guide and inspiration during those years. She taught me Composition, Orchestration and Analysis, but also transmitted me her sensibility and passion about 20th Century Music. It was a very important period of my life. During that time, I started to practice Aikido (modern Japanese martial art) which helped me to find for the fist time my own piano technique. This moment was crucial for setting up the basis for dance and movement research, and of course, to start playing the piano again.

AAJ: When did you discover your own musical voice?

PS: I don't know if there was any specific time, I mean, I can't be precise if we are talking about the musical voice, I think it is always moving to somewhere else, as it happens with my own life. What I can say is that I found in free improvisation a huge world of possibilities to go deep in the sound and language, I think this world is infinite and I enjoy getting lost inside it. It didn't happen with traditional jazz or classical music. Now I'm re-starting investigating new ways to produce sound, I started practicing violoncello 2 years ago, and I'm using my voice frequently as a complement. It's like a big laboratory! For me, It is always necessary to be active, researching, discovering things, sounds and ways of expression.

AAJ: When did you record your first album and how did it happen?

PS: I recorded my first album (solo piano!) in 2004, I was 24. I had played the year before in the Festival de Jazz de Rosario, with a quintet (I was replacing the pianist). On that occasion, the owner of local label Blue Art Records offered me to record alone. It was all an adventure, because it was live in the same stage, but without audience. It was some of the "big steps" in my life, After releasing it, I was introduced to the Argentinian musical scene. La Voz que te Lleva had a lot of press and many musicians in Rosario and Buenos Aires started to know about me. However, what I remember most of that experience is learning to let the music go, without regrets, when you make a recording. I still feel the same when I go into the recording studio.

AAJ: What have been some of the musical high-watermarks for you so far in your discography?

PS: Another important one was the Gran Ensamble, a little orchestra for 12 musicians. It was all an experience to make this recording and, of course, to write the music and rehearse, and everything! I did it after taking a lesson with Oliver Lake in NY, (one of the few jazz musicians I took lesson with) he encouraged me to record, gave me a lot of advice, and then, when it was finished, he wrote the liner notes, it was very nice of him! Finally, Anfitrión and then Tensegridad were both big steps, they are the gates to this (always) new free world. AAJ: Which of your compositions do you consider among your most important?

PS: I think each composition is (or was) important at the time it is (was) composed. I never played (and liked) a repertoire for so long. Once it was recorded I turned the page and looked for something new.

AAJ: You have released four albums on Rivorecords 2011-2013. At that time, you played a lot of standards, but when you released the album Surya in 2014, it was a freer expression and that process has only increased with the SLD Trio. When did the transition to a free expression happen to you? Do you find that you could still go back to the standards or is it a phase that will never come back?

PS: Today, If I look back in the past, I realize that I've always been looking for a free expression. However, I had several stops in my way, classical music or traditional jazz were some of them. What I do feel is that I won't come back to those old stops, but I'm sure there will be new ones...

AAJ: Could you describe the communication that is going on in the SLD Trio. How long have you been together and how did you meet? What kind of music are you striving to make?


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