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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Paula Shocron and Pablo Diaz: Always In Motion (part 2)

Paula Shocron. Photo by Peter Gannushkin
By Alexander Dubovoy

We continue our Q&A with Pablo Diaz and Paula Shocron today, digging a little deeper into their creative methods and inspirations. 

Free Jazz Blog: How do you approach practicing?

Pablo: I usually practice drums and piano when I’m at home. I have a not so long routine with drums set as well as with the piano. On drums, I have some time for improvising without guidelines, and for researching the different kinds of things that I’m working on: sounds, movements, combination of elements, or feeling. On the other hand, I spend another part of time practicing technique, coordination exercises and other different traditional stuff in order to be comfortable with the instruments every time I play. On piano, I study classical stuff, and sometime I use it for composing.

Paula: Today, my practice on the piano is almost all about classical music. I'm now working on Chopin, Debussy, Ravel pieces. But this is not the only way I practice. I also go to cello lessons, which makes me go deep into sound and expression. These two "Instrument practices" are not separate from physical training and movement investigation. Today I feel really comfortable (and encouraged too) in a rhythm-movement situation. Everything here is interconnected.

Pablo Diaz. Photo by Peter Gannushkin
FJB: What it's been like bringing in a third collaborator to such a strong duo (you and

Paul & Pablo: It’s true we feel very comfortable playing together and we believe we can generate a strong material when we work in duo.

We've play together since 2010, and we've collaborate as a duo since 2014. Besides the musical and artistic framework, we’ve been partners in a personal relationship for several years, and we think that a large part of our musical understanding goes beyond the music. That understanding is not just because of the time playing together, but also because of the time talking, thinking, working on different things, living, traveling, discussing and going through life together; while we’re playing what happens is a result of several things and we trust on that.

Regarding bringing in a third collaborator, I think that it’s easy for a guest to join us, I feel it almost always works. I feel we have great facility to adapt ourselves and our language to different instrumentation.

FJB: What are the "extra-musical" influences on the music, i.e. if any books you've been reading, films, etc. that have had a significant impact?

Pablo: Currently there are some extra-musical things I feel that have influenced me and my way of making music:
  • dance: especially contemporary stuff; I take some classes of training and experimentation in movement, and I work on different interdisciplinary projects
  • reading: I have been reading Pascal Quignard, the french philosopher, and I love his work. I like to find incidental relationships with my work in different readings that I find by chance, which cross my way without me even looking for them; like astrology or philosophy texts.
  • teaching: it’s a way of researching all the time; I like to work on my rhythmic courses at the music school where I teach, and on the seminar where I carry on about alternative ways of playing drums.
Paula: I feel all the things in my life, that are not music, influence the music. Of course movement investigation, dance, performance, photography, and poetry are now part of my current musical performances. Teaching had become very important too. For me it is a creative/constructive/de-constructive artistic platform. It is a way of keeping learning all the time. Besides, in the last years I started feeling attracted to astrology. It is like magic, but the most exciting thing about it is that all is related to all, the "oneness" concept is now like a manifesto to me.