CD ReviewsFeaturedIssuesJanuary 2024

Reverence for the Moment by Daniela Mars

Can you tell us a bit about the launch of your recent album? What inspired you to create this collection of music?

'Reverence for the Moment' has been a real adventure for me and is certainly the most personal piece of creative work I've ever shared with the world. For the first time, many of the tracks on the album were my own compositions, which was both exciting and terrifying. Alongside that, the themes delve into very personal topics, and I hope that by being brave enough (or crazy enough?!) to share these topics with the world, it will allow others to both enjoy the music and dig a little deeper into their own personal reflections, too.

Were there specific musical or non-musical influences that played a significant role in shaping the concept of the album?

The essence of this album is centered on particular moments that shape our lives - moments of love, loss, and transition - that concept means that rather than seeing the album as a narrative arc, it's perhaps more like looking at a collection of pieces of art on a wall. Each piece of art has its own message or story, and while there are narrative threads, the idea of the album is to remain present, to cherish or accept each moment and treat it with the reverence it requires.

How did you go about selecting the repertoire for your album? Were there particular pieces that spoke to you or complemented the overall theme?

I was centered very much on the idea that I wanted to take on a compositional role in this album and that I wanted to combine my music with music by other living composers. In the process of creating the album, it was also a dream come true to be able to collaborate with the composers in the recordings. Featuring Robert Paterson, Rainer Berger, and Paul Smith as performers and composers and collaborating with them was inspirational and great fun!

Can you highlight any challenges or rewarding aspects you encountered while curating and writing the repertoire for this project?

There were so many! It was definitely challenging to work through the process of composing music as well as recording it. Working alongside other composers through the project really helped, and seeing their enthusiasm for the project was deeply rewarding. It was satisfying to feel like this idea could be given wings and soar and that it would be a success because of the challenges that I would need to overcome rather than in spite of them.

Did you collaborate with other musicians on your album? If so, how did these collaborations enhance the overall musical experience?

Yes, as I've mentioned, this was a central idea for the album. As both performers and composers, there were many collaborations, and for me, finding great collaborators can be the most nourishing thing to do as a musician. I also loved being involved in the more 'behind the scenes' side of things - designing the album cover, working with the team at VOCES8 Records, and seeing how much I could do as a producer, engineer, and artist. It really felt like I could dive into all the creative elements of the album, and I loved that.

Your love for auxiliary flutes, particularly the contra-bass flute, is evident in your work. What drew you to this instrument, and how does it contribute to the unique sound of your album?

For me, the contra-bass flute is all about the timbre! It's spellbinding!

Can you share any specific challenges or joys you experienced while working with the contra-bass flute in the recording process?

A particular highlight (and challenge!) was in the recording of 'Crepuscular' - Paul Smith is a singer and works with choirs, so he loved the idea of having me create harmony with myself. With that thought, he wrote me melodies and harmonies to perform where I needed to play and sing simultaneously. It requires so much air! But I think the piece has come out beautifully, and I loved the version we recorded with the VOCES8 Scholars at MPR Studios last November - having voices join me and add another element to the piece was amazing.

Could you walk us through the recording process for the album? Were there any memorable moments or anecdotes from the studio that you'd like to share?

The album was recorded in several different places - often because of the artist I was working with or where in the world I happened to be at the time. Recording with Rainer in his tiny studio late at night was very memorable - the first take had that moment of magic you dream about. It so rarely happens like that!

As an artist, how do you hope your audience will connect with the music on this album? Are there particular emotions or messages you aim to convey to your listeners?

I don't want this to sound too much like a cliche, but I suppose the central point is that life is full of moments, both up and down, and giving them your presence is important. To be there, really living your own life. What more can we do? And yes, in the world in which we find ourselves, it can be so easy to be distracted from doing just that.

While creating this album, did you experience any personal growth or self-discovery as a musician? How has this project shaped your artistic journey?

Confidence as a composer has been a major journey, and I've also loved how cathartic I've found in that process. I'm sure it has helped me mature as an artist and, hopefully, as a human. I think living through the process of making this album has helped me realize that it's important to accept what has happened and is happening now and remain open to what can happen.

Are there any specific goals or aspirations you have for your musical career in the near future?

I've realized that I love composing and that I love traveling, being immersed in nature, and sharing my music in as many different settings as possible. In the next year or two, Paul and I are going to be building more projects together and building our performance portfolio, and I'm excited to be planning other projects too and thinking about the ways I can see as much of the world as possible with my flutes by my side.

Finally, is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers about your album, your artistic journey, or the impact you hope to make through your music?

I would just like to thank everyone who has been a part of this journey with me, not just of the album but also to those who have helped me be able to give reverence to even the most difficult moments. I hope your readers will enjoy listening to the album, and there are some really lovely videos to accompany the album on my Instagram and YouTube pages as well. Every aspect of this deeply personal project has been a labor of love for me, and I'm so grateful to everyone who has helped make it possible.

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