Marta Cascales Alimbau is a pianist and composer from Barcelona, with a classical music background but a modern touch. Her work focuses on composing and recording new repertoire for piano and she currently releases her music via New York City Label Sonder House. She has been invited to play for Piano City Milano Festival, Piano Day in London, Amsterdam and Barcelona, as well as performing at Sofar Sounds San Francisco (CA), Kosmoskonzerte #11 in Potsdam (GE), Indies Keeping Secrets Brussels (BE) and Inspira Festival in Barcelona (ES), among many others. She is now preparing her second album titled Anoche, to be released by the end of November.
1. My sister Carla
I could think of legendary artists and musicians that inspire me too, but sometimes we look so far away and we kind of forget about what it’s right in front of us. My sister is my light when I can’t see clear and she is one of those people who will be there not matter what. She is also an artist and it is very inspiring to see how she is working on her passion and following her dreams. We also have a project together fusing music and sculpture and her work inspires my work too. She reminds me everyday that everything is possible.
2. Live Music
Everytime I go to a concert that really moves me, it reminds me how beautiful life is - despite all the negative we can also find. It also encourage me to never give up and inspires me to keep creating
3. Quote: "Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.” - Albert Camus
I have this quote in my room. I’ve been realizing more and more how the present is all we have. I used to think too much about the future, and worry about things that have not even happened yet (and may never will!), so I was missing the present. In my music career, this quote helps me a lot to stay focused and appreciate the exact moment where I am right now: the music I am composing, the concerts I am playing, etc; taking it as it is right now and valuing how it is right now. As the music career is a long journey, sometimes it is difficult to stay patient and accept that things take time. The key to me is to just focus on the present, working hard (and happily!) and trusting that everything will be fine.
4. The sea
I love the immensity of the sea and the oceans. I am fascinated by the constant movements of the waves and the tide, it’s something that never cease. And then its unique deep sound and smell.
Travelling inspires me specially because when you are far away it makes you think about what it is close to you (friends, your own city and culture,etc). It fascinates me how we somehow travel to get to know ourselves better and where we come from. As Gabriel García Márquez says on his poem “Viajar” (travelling): “Viajar es regresar” (traveling is to go back). Then you go back home and have a new perspective, a new look at life and you can appreciate even more what you have around.
6. The silence
I have recently realized how much I need silence in my life. I live in Barcelona, which is a big and busy city, but you can still find some silence. Luckily, my place is on a quite area and I can “listen to the silence”. I realized that I do need silence to compose music; and that somehow my music comes from the silence and creates another kind of silence.
All his reminds me of Aldred Brendel’s quote: “The word 'listen' contains the same letters as the word 'silent'.”
7. A place: Ryōan-ji temple in Kyoto (Japan)
I visited Japan for the first time this past summer and I have a very special memory of the Ryōan-ji temple in Kyoto. It’s a place to just be; be present and observe. It had rained and you could hear some drops of water falling and feel that special fresh smell of the water after the rain, fused with the wood. I felt that I could go back to that place again and again. That time at the temple is now part of me and somehow it will resound on my music and in my life.
8. Waking up early and having coffee in the morning
I love this first moment of the day with myself. The smell of the coffee, the first rays of sunlight and that calm atmosphere in the morning. It's like a ritual to me.
9. Sitting on a piano
Sitting on a piano always feels like home. I specially love it when I haven’t played for a while (while traveling or for any other reason) and then I finally go back to the piano, it feels really good. That feeling of the fingers in contact with the keys… and its beautiful timbre… I love it all. I feel that I can talk through the piano, and there's some things that I can only say through music, that's the magic of music.