“I don’t know if it’s me that found interest for music or if it’s the music that got me. I belive that the music, that lies somewhere, uses the musician as a filter to be shown to the others”.
Clara Luna was born in Barcelona in 1980. In the Guinardó neighborhood, in a house filled with music by her parents on the weekends. “At home we had everything, my father use to listen to copla, then sardanes for my mother, Cuban Christmas songs, classical music, jazz… there is a big background on my hard disk that comes from those early years”. When she was five years old, she asked a piano for Christmas. She received, however, a teacher who, seeing her skills, advised his parents to take her to the Music Conservatory of Barcelona.
Years at the Conservatory: “I was lucky to study with Mercedes Molero, one of the bests, she devote herself to the music with passion, enthusiasm and in the most respectful way”
Clara studied the intermediate grade (plan 66) with Mercedes Molero and Ramón Coll,
trainning herself as a classical piano interpreter, but she also tried to stay close to the contemporary music, working with Albert Sardà and Ludovica Mosca. The artist enjoyed playing in her eight of piano exam and the teachers recognized that they haven’t had that fun for years in an exam. “I’m glad they said that. That’s what I expect from music, this flow”.
Changes:“I had justfinished part of the piano career and I was asking myself if I was going to do that for a living. I understood that the next step was starting to exploremoremodern music, jazz and to sing”
The singercombined her last year of piano with her first contacts with modern music. She joined the Taller de Músics de Barcelona studying jazz, voice and piano. As she didin’t want to leave the wholeclassical pianolessons, she continued to receivesporadic lessons by the Brazilian pianistLuiz deMouraCastro,who encouraged her tofollow hisinstincts. He also introduced her to many Braziland otherSouth Americancomposers that, little by little, will catch the singer, while she was introducing herself into the jazz world, studying with teachers whooffered hertools to expressthrough thevoice andthe modern harmonies, such as AnneFinger,XaviMaureta, Jorge Rossyand PereArguimbau. She also receivedmasterclasses in variousseminars by LucianaSouza, Claudia Acuña, Michele Weir, Dick Oatts, Seamus Blakeand BillStewart. During thoseyears, she found interest indifferentvocal techniquessuch asVoiceCraft, working with VivManningand HelenRowson,andVocieWorkSomathicwithTheoBleckmannandLoVettriJeannie. The singer, restless, always seeking to expand her knowledge, also worked withMonicaFrancoFussiandMiralles.
LunarProject: “It was the first time that I was building something by myself. When I look back I’m very proud that my first album was only original music”
She had theopportunity to workwith people likeBobbyMcFerrinwith the EnsembleVocal del Taller de Músics (Barcelona Jazz Festival, 2002), with JoanAlbertAmargós(Festival de Músiques de la Mediterrània 2005). Clara alsoparticipated in theOriginalJazzOrchestrafor 4years underthe command ofMartinVicens, and sangwith the Girona Jazz Project withPericoSambeatasdirector.She also workedwith the choreographerDavidCampos,in the show “En Clave de Jazz”. In 2005, Clara forms Lunar Project, her first group,with other students in the Taller de Músics de Barcelona, where she began to compose her ownoriginal songsand they finishedfinalists ofJazzSala Montjuïc, a fact that got the interest of the NewMoodJazz for recording their first album “LunarProject,Supernova” (NewMoodJazz,2007).Clara leads thisproject for overthree years, becoming knownin thejazzcircuit, performing in festivals such as the Festival Internacional de Jazz Heineken, and received theEnderrock awardfor the best 2008 musical proposal.
Finding her own way: “I tought that I had already collected enough tools from schools and that from that moment I would go and get them by myself”
At that time, Clara Luna cut links with schools, and she decided to search for her own way of music. This research stopped twice in Brazil. “I went to many concerts there, spoke to the musicians, and I caught myself finding another way to experience the music, less rational than the way I had learned. In Brazil there’s music everywhere and seeing that dissociate me from Conservatory. I still remember seeing some kids getting out of school, and just look at the swing of their steps… How not to make good music after?
New York and Coleing Porter: “New York is 24 hours energy. Any artistic expression gets increased there. I came back with a wider look. And with an extra of confidence after making jams with great musicians!”
In 2009, Clara Luna decided to spend a couple of months in New York City where she studied with musicians as Steve Coleman, David Berckmann, Theo Bleckmann and Jeannie LoVettri. She takes everything she can from the city’s energy and decided to keep visiting it often, after meeting the Spanish double bass player Javier Moreno, with whom she shares a project that tries to link the music and the sounds from both sides from the Atlantic Sea. When she returns to Barcelona, she records her second album with Xavi Maureta and creates the show “Coleing Porter” as a tribute to the music of this great composer, arranging the music and experimenting with not exactly jazz instruments –like the sawthat is played by Pepino Pascual in the album-and to seek for new colors and textures for a music that was created for Broadway, but “like all music, if you treate it with respect and affection, you can go beyond the laws of space and time and make it feel from anywhere”. This album has a little bit of tango, amalgam, delicacy, power, simplicity… and it’s share with luxury partners such as Jordi Bonell, Adam Kolker, Pepino Pascual and Martí Serra.
In Barcelona Clara has worked with musicians like Gemma Abrié, Nadia Basurto, Arecio Smith, Santi Careta, Jose Alberto Medina, Abel Boquera, Roger Más, Carlos Falanga, Laia Fortià, Clara Peya, Marco Mezquida and many more. Musicians from the same generation of her who are determined to make their music a way of non-conformist express and who want to experiment, create, and continue to transform the musical reality of the country. She has also participated in smaller formations, like the voice-guitar duo she forms with the guitarist Albert Vila. This project has made her work with her voice in a different way. “The proximity with the other instrument makes the two of them acquire other roles, both make melodies, harmonies, silent moments, and tell stories together. Stories recorded in the album “Moments”.
After 10 years in the sector, her endless will of growing lead her to make another project with her visions from music, the most personal until now, where she strip everything off to show who is and what is in Clara Luna’s mind, how she feels, how she gets excited, how she plays… and let the music go inside her and go back out as original compositions or some versions of songs that have been important in her musical career. She can’t stop working in new projects that take her everytime more inside, looking for the essential from the singer, that she demands more and more.
”Jazz has been my vehicle of expression so far as it once was classical piano. There are just diferents ways to shape my artistic needs. But really, it doesn’t matter how it’s call my music aesthetically. I like to innovate. My way of understanding life is through music and that’s the best I can offer”