“The corsets that hurt are those that you don’t know you’re wearing.” | Entertainment | The USA Print

“The corsets that hurt are those that you don't know you're wearing.”

“I have no conscience or criteria,” Clara Peya says sarcastically when asked why she has recorded so many albums in such a short time. The last one, thirteenth in a fertile career, is called Corset , and unfolds through 13 songs in Spanish and Catalan with as many voices a bouquet of emotions dominated by pain and the desire to abandon it, to learn to evolve through the notes. “Playing and creating heals me, it’s my medicine,” says the pianist from Palafrugell, winner of the National Culture Prize of Catalonia. She recognizes that she has suffered throughout her life, a suffering that she has exorcised through music composed with minimalist timbre that she will present tomorrow the 15th at the Mercat de Música Viva de Vic.


“I am a big fan of voice timbres, I look to find voices that have identity, magic”

Are you happy when you play or compose?

A lot, and much freer than in real, normal life. Less judgments, less burdening my head, it is a place where I allow myself to experience emotions much more.

Is that what your latest album, Corsé, is about, getting rid of that weight?

Yes, especially in real life, of everything that is expected of us, of everything that has been imposed on us and we are expected to be, of the frustrations this generates in us. It tries to be a place to find a little calm and answers to all the things we impose on ourselves.

What do you impose?

The most important thing is not the corsets that I know I wear, but the ones I don’t know, the ones I don’t know I wear. These are the ones that do real harm, and we have to discover them and fight them little by little. We are in a moment where everything is very liquid, immediate, but emotional processes require time that we do not have. This is where the need to evade, to cover things up, comes from, the lack of ability to emotionally confront everything we need. All as a consequence of the social norms and constructs that have been imposed on us and that we also impose on ourselves because we are here.

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Are there more mental problems now or is it that there is more talk?

They have always existed, but now everything is very wild, the arrival of networks has done a lot, a lot of damage. The mother idea of ​​the album is the violence that is exerted on us and the concept of perfection, but in reality it talks about something else, it talks about desire, it talks about movement, death, time, all the themes that I have later distilled. Starting from thinking about the concept of perfection, I have thought a lot about the concept of imperfection, which is what is really interesting, fertile. Imperfection is what keeps us alive, if we were perfect we would be dead because perfection is static, it is inert, timeless, it does not coexist in time, it does not desire, because it already has everything.

Clara Peya

Clara Peya shows her hands to the camera

Miquel González / Shooting

He says in his songs that “not all fish know how to swim” or that “my suit is not for dancing.”

I have thought about and rethought this album with Miquel Missé and Clara Serra, they have helped me shape and understand what I want. The songs are very poetic, and two things that are interesting for me when listening to a song is that no one explains to me what it is about, I want to make my own experience. The songs are made by the people we compose so that someone receives it, distills it and sees what it provokes, and if I explain too much to you, I am restricting you. But at the same time, what I like is that it has a framework to think about, a general concept, and from here each song is yours, do what you want with it. I like to compose a song and have someone explain to you how they felt or received it. Sometimes it has nothing to do with it, and how nice it is, because in this way we also separate ourselves from our own work.

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The album hides pain and reflection.

There is one thing that I really like, which is the contrast between something beautiful, sweet, calm, like open the light when he sings Momi Maiga or Sílvia Pérez Cruz’s lullaby, but what he is saying is heavy, even the words he uses can be violent. It is also part of my personal evolution and, I hope, maturation process. I am less and less angry, and therefore less angry with myself, I have more empathy with what surrounds me.

Hit the flowers with a hammer

It is violence, and there are many war words, the rope, the cut, the prop, violent things, because it is also part of my personal evolution and, I hope, maturation process. I am less and less angry, and therefore less angry with myself, I have more empathy with what surrounds me. I have been very rigid, very intransigent with my way of thinking and with what had hurt me, and suddenly letting it go, relaxing it, people bring me closer. I think that passing through here was necessary and very fertile, very interesting.

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He has a different voice for each song.

I am a big fan of voice timbres. It also happens to me with instruments, although it is more difficult because each instrument has its sound and is more difficult. The same thing happens with voices, I try to find voices that have a lot of identity, magic. It is also true that sometimes I hear a song like the lullaby, sung by Sílvia, and I think it could be hers, not the composer’s. It is the ability of the people who have sung, but also of Adri González and Didac Fernández, the two musicians who appear live and who have also produced the album with me, to understand where the song has to go. Alex Serra, Leo Ritzi, even Ferran Palau seem to have made the songs their own. There are people who sing have a lot of personality. If Albert Pla sings you a song, this song is Albert Pla’s, it is no longer yours. With so much personality, with his way of expressing himself, with the voice he has. The voice will always win over another instrument.

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What is the songwriting process like?

I compose them on piano. Then what ends up happening in the production is that the piano may be a little more hidden or in some parts it is not there. In this album there is minimalism and rawness, it has few elements, it is not very loaded with harmony or other things, I think it is a fairly mature album, trying not to put more than what it touches.

Do you listen to the albums you’ve made before?

I listen to them with compassion and sometimes I’m surprised, but overall it’s a disaster. The solo piano ones seem more timeless to me, and by not using words they are more of a refuge. But playing with people is much better than playing alone. There are solitary experiences that are cool, but in general shared art is cool, I like to collectivize.

Where did the idea for ‘Fallen Angel’ come from?

Of the people who have died due to social pressure, suicide, overdose, police pressure. It is a tribute to all the mothers who have had to pass through here. He thought about the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, how they accompanied each other. I have several people around me who have lost children, and I do not know what this pain is nor will I know, because I will not have sons or daughters precisely to avoid passing through here.

He had already dealt with the theme of suicide in the play Harakiri

I have a lot of empathy with people who have this need, I can understand it perfectly. If the world were gentler, it would be a place where we would want to stay, but it is very wild, and that is why we need to accompany more people who have a case nearby, and talk more.

What reception do you expect from this album?

I would like it to serve to generate questions, to undo some knots that someone has and to be able to connect emotionally. I have known for a long time that I make a type of music that is not commercial, I am a pianist who does not have a very expansive intention.

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