An espresso with…
Cristina Mora

March 27, 2018

Heart Landscapes

Let’s discover together Heart Landscapes, the last solo record released by Cristina Mora, a multifaceted artist we interviewed for JazzEspresso.
> Luigi Motta

Singer, composer, music therapist and music and singing teacher. Who is the real Cristina Mora?
Cristina mora is all of this and much more. Seriously, everything is a part of the same profession: to be a musician,there are more sides, and different ways to face this profession: to sing, to compose songs, to teach music and to do therapy through music, everything’s music. As far as I’m concerned, I’m not sure I can explain it by words, but I try: I am an emotional person who wishes a better world, with all the contradictions, the positive and negative things in life; I’m a music lover, and I tried to organise my life around music as much as I could. I’m also a natural creator, looking for beauty, and it’s really hard for me to go on in a world which doesn’t acknowledge anymore the value of creation, which prefers the copy, which doesn’t appreciate art anymore, leans towards the entertainment industry, prefers strength instead of care for detail, speed to slowness, etc. This makes me sad, this world creating nervous, anguished people, with no empathy, and that’s exactly when music therapy comes into play.
Jazz, pop and electronics coexist in Heart Landscapes. Which were your musical references?
I generally like good music, I grew up by listening to pop music, with such artists as Sting, Sade, Michael Jackson and The Beatles… I was temporarily forgetting this musical genre while I was studying jazz, but I retook it after some time, thanks to some friends. In some jazz environments there is a very strict concept about what good music and jazz must be, and I deem this is deeply damaging the music. Music is music and tags are just tags. We shouldn’t be influenced; tags should just be a simple help when you need to locate the artists in a place or another. It was in that precise moment that I began to discover artists such as Björk, The Radiohead or Thom Yorke (The Radiohead soloist), who integrate electronic elements, pop, rock in their music, a music which overcomes tags through their personal researches. In my most jazzy period I was accompanied by artists such as Sarah Vaughan, Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Elis Regina, João Gilberto… And, in the middle, somewhere I can’t locate very well, there were Andrés Segovia, Falla, Debussy, Stravinsky, Paco de Lucia, Camarón… As you can see, there’s a little bit of everything, and I didn’t mention many references, but there really was a lot of music. I have listened to a lot of music and very varied, even if I have to say that, at the moment, there’s so much music on the market that I feel saturated and I end up listening to less music than I should, «the times they are a-changin’…»
Are poetry and literature to be considered as a source of inspiration of your lyrics?
This is natural to me, as I grew up surrounded by an enormous library, by very important literary works, and with poetry as a companion in my childhood and in my whole life; that is because my mother is a poetess and, luckily, she recently was given an acknowledgement, a thing she isn’t used to. In my first album, Bajo La Piel (Freecode Jazz Records), we wrote the lyrics together: I started writing and then she added the lyric touch, the embellishment. My affinity with very high quality poets, from the one side has made me able to distinguish what is real poetry – and nowadays I deem it essential – but from the other side I was afraid of writing anything, as all I wrote seemed bad to me. So in my second album, La Luna Y Otros Espejos, I decided to use already written poems. I think that this method is quite difficult, but I chose to put in music some poems by artists such as Ángeles Mora, Teresa Gómez or Vera Moreno, rather than facing the challenge of writing lyrics. So I composed some tunes such as “Cantos de Sirenas”, “Descalza Entre La Ropa” or “Me Brings the Sun”. I felt the need of writing lyrics in my last work, Heart Landscapes. The music which was coming out needed tailored lyrics and none of the poems I knew was fitting, so I had no other choice but to write lyrics down. Still now, I am very demanding as far as lyrics are concerned, but this time I didn’t allow this to stop me, and I’m absolutely very happy about it.
Networks and streaming for a professional musician: are they a challenge or a curse?
At the beginning, they seemed to be very good media, and they actually have been for a short time, but I think they turned against the artists. Music programmers check if you are active online and if you have many followers, and us, the musicians, we seem to be continually obliged to create “contents” so as the followers do not stop following us. Therefore, we end up being as their slaves, as of the continual need of loading new material. At the same time, this creative “speed” is making contents less deep, as for deepness you should need to reflect, and reflecting, at such speed, is very difficult. The challenge, to me, is to use these media by controlling them, and not to be slave to them! That’s why there are already some studies proving that each time we get an answer to a publication we secrete dopamine, and this creates addiction. This is my opinion as far as use is concerned. Listening to music in streaming has resulted then in a very bad business for music industry. On one side, there’s a loss in the listening quality, as the greatest part of the music is listened to by computers and mobile phones, and the difference between that equipment and a hi-fi system is really very big. On the other side, the records do not sell anymore, you don’t earn a lot with a record, but you have to have it as it’s your visit card; if you don’t have it, you only work in local events, and generally you don’t earn much from them. Moreover, at least from what I see, in Spain people do not want to pay anymore to listen to a song or watch a video, they are accustomed to consume it for free. But to create that song or that video costs a lot of money and time, it does not arise from nothing! It’s terrible!
What are your future plans?
I have several projects on my mind, some already started and others are just a draft, even if I don’t know if they will all materialise. In this moment I continue with Heart Landscapes and some new material is already arising that will definitely be a part of my new album. I’m also involved in Moisés P. Sánchez’ project Metamorphosis. Moreover, on August 25 we will perform in Italy, at Festival di Stresa, with another project by Moisés, Bernstein is in town again, a work he composed as a tribute to Bernstein I like very much. I don’t want to speak now about the projects which are only on my mind, who knows what it will be…
Reservados todos los derechos – All rights reserved – 版權所有 – 版权所有;  An espresso with… Cristina Mora copyright Jazzespresso 2018.
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