A quick chat with… Clara Moto
Earlier this year I received a lovely EP by a lady named Clara Moto. Her music varied from soft and ambient, to energetic and more dancefloor-orientated – it was great to have a collection of tracks that were so diverse yet held together by a very definite style. Clara grew up in Austria, where music was an intrinsic part of her life, taking jazz and piano studies at an early age – at 21 she began DJing and soon started making her own music. With her second album ‘Blue Distance’ (a name inspired by Sylvia Plath), I had a quick chat with her… and an exclusive stream of her album track ‘For All Reasons So Sad’.
Having already produced an album, how easy/difficult was to work on this one?
This album was definitely more difficult to make than the first one. For one reason, during my first album I was still studying, did not make a living from music, and did not know if I would even start a career in music. Thus the whole production was lighter, and also faster. However, while working on my second album I put more pressure on myself, since I wanted it to be “better” or more “developed” than the first one. Also, solely living from music was a big step for me, and being self-employed always has its pros and cons.
The album explores remoteness, how does this relate to you personally?
I think I am a very private person, I really need to be alone very often and to have my space, which can be regarded as distanced sometimes. To make music, I especially need this kind of remoteness and reclusiveness – this is when I come back into my energy and creativity space. Playing gigs is great, but sometimes very draining, so from time to time I need to withdraw from everything a bit.
How would you say music has helped you deal with your own ‘remoteness’?
Music can be a channel for emotions and different states of mind. Sometimes I have certain feeling that I can translate into music, which works then as a kind of outlet for me. Additionally, when I make music it is one of the few times when I am really in the moment, so it is also a kind of meditation. Making music means a lot of time you are by yourself, which is really great but can be tough sometimes too.
How did you get into making your own music?
I started DJing when I was 21, and shortly after I bought a Korg Electribe and learned how to use Ableton. My friends in Graz were producing music, so whenever I had a question I could ask them. Still we all were beginners and in Graz there were no big producers we could have asked for advice, so from time to time it was quite difficult to improve our skills as well.
How did you get the equipment you needed and how did you learn how to produce?
With my first student jobs and DJ jobs I could afford my equipment and records. Basically I spent all my money on music. Getting into production was more like practical learning for me, although I was working on my two albums with Soundsilo, who helped me a lot to learn more about sound engineering and track arrangements.
How long did it take for you to get to a stage where you were happy with the music you were making? Or at least confident enough to let other people listen to it?
This is the most difficult part for me: It is very easy to let people I don’t know at all to listen to my music, but I can’t show my work to friends until it is released. I think it would influence me too much if they say something either positive or negative about my music. As I sing the first time on my album it has become even more difficult to let people listen to my music. A track is never really finished, so it is impossible for me to be 100% happy.
Who/what inspired you to set off on your own musical journey?
My parents are very musical, and so is my grandfather, who taught me to follow what I like and to work on it. Music is very important in our family – we have lots of instruments at home and we often have occasions where everybody takes an instrument and jams. Music glues our family together.
What were your options if the music thing never happened for you?
I studied humanities , so not many options!
How important is it for you to produce albums as well as singles/EPs?
I really prefer the album format- it just gives more space and opportunity to develop something. An EP is just really too short for me, but from a DJ point of view I love to listen to Eps, and they can be great dancefloor tools.
And what about Sylvia Plath, which of her works have inspired you?
I have read the Bell Jar and some poems, she has a beautiful, intelligent but at the same time very sad and melancholy output. I am very curious about the movie with Gwyneth Paltrow about Plath’s life.
What’s next for you?
I am going to work on my live show, which will be finished early 2014, and then hopefully play some gigs.
Clara’s ‘Blue Distance’ LP is out now on inFine Records. Pick it up here.
And her LP launch party takes place on 14th November at the Shacklewell Arms info here.
Marcus Barnes’ first book Around The World In 80 Raves is out now, buy it here.Tagged in: Blue Distance, Clara Moto, Sylvia Plath
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