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Maria Rodés interview

24 March 201410 min read

Despite her youth, Maria Rodés carries on her back a remarkable career that has gone through various projects such as Oniric, Convergència i Unió or now a magnificent album in which the song revisits classics as "Marinero de la barca" or "Tres puñales". In the middle of her presentation gigs, which took her last week to an absolute success in such a majestic place like the Palau de la música catalana and in less than 4 days of arrive to Teatro del Arte de Madrid, we spoke to her this risky project.

Maria Rodes 1

– If something has been highlighted by the people who listen you for the first time is the closeness and sweetness of your voice. However, with the styles that you approach on this new adventure, the tradition has always been committed to the contrary. Have been complicated the vocally experience of getting closer to two styles as the couplet and couplet, which are usually sweeping and passionate?.
A premise of the album was just take the songs to a more personal level, less interpreted. I am interested in the contrast generated by singing some lyrics with as much dramatic weight from the privacy, seeking the expressive on the subtlety. 

– The same happens with the music that go with them.. How do you get to combine in such a harmonic way as genuine instruments like castanets or Spanish guitar arpeggios with synthesizers and keyboards?.
Probably, materialize these types of arrangements has been the most difficult thing. I wanted to keep the folk sound and that it coexisted with more of my own arrangements of my previous albums, without tipping the scales towards any side. The idea was to link the two worlds (Popular song and mine), who for me have in common the feelings they have as source of inspiration.

– For all these elements that we discussed. You foresaw at the beginning of the adventure that the process would be more complicated or simpler than it has finally been? What were the biggest challenges that you have faced along the creative process the project?.
I thought it would be easier. In the beginning, my idea was to let the songs almost naked and slowly we went cheering up with arrangements. What has been getting more complicated was to carry they to a personal level, with which I identify, without entirely losing the traditional sound. 

– Are “copla” lyrics especially easy moldable to other styles? In the last 10 years we have had different approaches by people like Martirio, Miguel Poveda, Pasión Vega, Buika or wonderful version of Pony Bravo "Ninja de Fuego" ..
I identify with many of the lyrics and this has been one of the main reasons to jumping into the pool. Regarding vocabulary and poetic construction there are obvious differences, but at the level of what they want to say, I see some parallels.

Maria Rodes 2

– In this aspect, Are you afraid that the purists of the “copla”, anchored in nineteenth postures when the song was "Spanish Song" will be very aggressive with this job? Can you imagine Justo Molinero (famous spanish radio speaker) presenting any of your songs on Radio Tele Taxi?.
The other day I was interviewed on Tele Taxi TV and recently called me for “copla” tv program on Canal Sur (Andalucian TV)! Many purists probably will not like it but perhaps any other. Who knows? Anyway, I did not intend to offend anyone! haha 

– In the same way, do you think your image in Catalunya will be damage due to making an approach to a style so socially stigmatized? At our editorial department we joked with writing this album would have been great in the Convergència I Unió project with Duran i Lleida (Catalonian politician) dress like Concha Piquer..
Hahaha! No, it seems to me that art must not be politicized. The songs I sing, speak of grief, fear and love. I will propose the idea to the rest of the members of Convergència, I feel great.

– We've read that you arrived to this project attempting to flee dramatic lyrics and the initial idea was to cover songs from American movie from the 50’s .. What a big change from the original idea! What are the causes for this first idea became in this project?
I had this idea for the first time when I was recording "Una Forma de Hablar" with Ricky Falkner few years ago. I commented him this and he suggested me to do the project with songs form Spanish cinema. In those days I did not see it clear clear to, but few months ago the idea came to mind ago and I get excited about it. The project we did with Refree, singing old songs and Catalan texts with subject like bandits, also helped to fuel my interest in folk music. 

– Focused deeper into some tracks on the album.. Let me tell you first that when I imagine Albert Pla as a beautiful blond sailor, the like beer I had an immediate smile..
Me too! I think that the role is very good. A small touch of irony and a nod to the theatricality. 

Maria Rodes 3

– In "Tres Puñales", the first single from the album, freely rhythms are reminiscent of Omega from Morente and Lagartija Nick. Subconsciously is this yet record the reference when approaching to the more traditional styles?.
The truth is that I had not ever played it in deep .. It was a chance or a trick on my subconscious … 

– Personally, I'm in love with the cover of "Marinero de la Barca", where arrangements go through styles such as waltz, Havana and ending in a jota .. How did you approach this particular song?.
This song is the strangest in structure. The original cover is beautiful (sung by Imperio Argentina) and is apparently a rarity among the coplas. I found it interesting reinforce the difference between the different parts. Maybe the journey inside of the song led me to this type of arrangements. 

– Once the project is completed, do it have served to you to value now more musically to great singers like Imperio Argentina or Sara Montiel and erase prejudices (if you had) about them?.
Yes, it especially helped me to eliminate prejudices about Spanish typical music and to have a broader view of music. Also, I discovered them as great singers and artists beyond whether or not I always agree with its interpretative proposals. 

– 5 years ago I saw you in a concert at FNAC Triangle Barcelona curated by the great Half Nelson with Oniric during a series of concerts that scannerFM addressed some interesting debates about the health of the independent scene of Barcelona. What remains of that fragile artist?. After Oniric, your solo project, Convergència y Unió and copla project, What can we expect from you in the future?
I have in mind an instrumental album based on the work of my great uncle who was a great astronomer and Jesuit (whom I never met) and I'm also working on my next record where I temporarily leave the acoustic guitar. 

Victor Ramos

Fanático de la música desde que mis padres me ponían a Eydie Gorme y Los Panchos o el Discotuna por la A2. Intenté tocar varios instrumentos, pero soy muy torpe con la mano izquierda, así que ya sabéis el resultado final. Fan del britpop, Post-punk, el rugby y el baloncesto...

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