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Paula Shocron: Paths to a New Sound

Jakob Baekgaard By

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PS: As you can see, I'm quite a restless person... I've always been involved with cover artworks, but it was since we started NDR that it happened more often. I think independent musicians, (independent artists in general) are going through self-management times. You have to work hard, not just with your music, but also with everything referred to recordings, concerts, tours or press. I'm learning a lot about this experience. It is very difficult to find an explanation of the connection between visual art and music, I have a lot of limitations in drawing! The only thing I can say is that my starting point is a sensation, or a thought about the music, then I trust in the movement (of the pencil, of my hand), of course they are all abstract drawings...I love taking photographs too, so I also use them for covers or booklets.

AAJ: How would you describe the current musical climate? Do you find that it is a good time for jazz? Where do you see yourself in the landscape of jazz?

PS: Thinking of the musical climate, I feel we are in the middle of a big transition, I'm from the generation of live music, I mean, I used to go to concerts to see what was happening musically. Today it is very different, everything is on internet, you can listen to music on your computer or smartphone. Besides, people lose attention more easily than in the past, they can be concentrated to listen to one track, but not a complete record. As a musician I feel we must fight against it constantly, trying to keep the live music spaces and trying to make people go to those spaces. As humans, we are material (made of bones, muscles, skin, viscera, etc), so the music needs to be material too, not just virtual...we can use virtuality to spread our music to the world, but virtual and material will never be the same! On the other hand, I started to question being a "jazz musician," I know today the word "Jazz" includes a lot of musical genres, but here, in Argentina, this particular world is very conservative, even the musicians! Moreover, you can have gigs on jazz clubs only if you play (kind of) traditional. It becomes hard if you are not playing that music and the audience is really small. Despite all of this, I took the decision (after a long way) to get out of it and I felt much better. Today, I prefer to think of myself as (trying to be) a free musician, and, (why not) a free performer, fighting to break boundaries between musical worlds, and between all different artistic fields. I feel we are in a time where we need to think global, of course many people are doing it and many people are resistant to it.

AAJ: If you had to mention some of the important musical voices of our time who would that be?

PS: It is hard to me to mention some important musical voices of our time, I can mention the ones who are important for me... My appreciation of women's role in music has increased in the last five or six years, I felt alone for a long time as a female musician, so I started to search for inspirations, and a lot of women appeared, Pauline Oliveros, Connie Crothers, Joëlle Léandre, even women in other musical scenes, for example, Björk ...I think they all found their own way and they have a strong voice in what they do/did. I've also met a lot of female musicians in the last three or four years, they were all inspirations in some way, musically, but also mentally, politically and spiritually.

AAJ: Finally, could you tell something about your upcoming plans and projects, including tours? Where is it possible to catch you playing?

PS: I have a lot of recordings coming out in the near future. Some of them are trio with Pablo and other musicians like Guillermo Gregorio, Christoph Gallio or Kristin Nordeval. We will probably have one more release in collaboration with Andrew Drury, which includes Pablo but also cellist Cecilia Quinteros and saxophonist/clarinetist Luis Conde. Besides, I'm now working on the mix of a personal project based on the relationships between being classical pianist in the past and being a free improviser in the present (and studying composition in the middle). I created a musical landscape with a homemade recording of myself practicing the Goldberg Variations from JS Bach (like the old tapes in concrete music) and then I recorded piano improvisations in a studio in dialogue with the tape. I'm very excited about it.

I expect to be touring in Europe with Pablo in February 2019, we are setting up the dates for some concerts in Germany and Holland. I will also be playing in Buenos Aires and other cities of my country, like Bariloche, Córdoba or Rosario.

Selected Discography:

Paula Shocron/German Lamonega/Pablo Diaz: Tensegridad (Hat Hut Records, 2017)

Paula Shocron/William Parker/Pablo Diaz: Emptying the Self (NendoDango Records, 2017)

Cooporative Sound: Cooparative Sound #1, #2, #3 (NendoDango Records, 2017)

SLD Trio: Anfitrión (NendoDango Records, 2016)

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