I am MARA! As a cellist, singer and songwriter, I am happy to present you my debut album, which signals both a musical and emotional new beginning by leaving my classical roots behind me. I went "off the beaten track", followed my intuition, left the professional orchestra playing behind me and tried out new things. Right during the pandemic in 2020 I am celebrating the release of my album. My first six compositions of my own meet the light of day - vis-a-vis my favorite songs and pieces from pop, classical and jazz, proving that all three genres can coexist peacefully and be inspired in a creative way. My music is fragile and intimate - but at the same time also self-confident and questioning. But how did I - a classical musician - get to write my own songs?
I grew up in a home influenced by classical music. There I discovered my own melodies early on the grand piano in the living room. When I was 7 years old I was finally allowed to take a cello home with me, I practiced enthusiastically and soon took part in all kinds of classical competitions. And although the music I listened to was hardly classical but almost exclusively pop (including Tori Amos, Herbert Grönemeyer, Nirvana or Norah Jones), I followed the musical career that was the only one I could imagine as a cellist: I studied classical cello with a diploma in Weimar and Lyon and - like so many others - aspired to a career in an orchestra.
I actually enjoyed playing in an orchestra, I loved sitting in the orchestra pit, listening to the singers on stage and at the same time being part of the whole. But was it really the right thing for me? "You're too creative for an orchestra anyway," said a friend when she saw my apartment with the countless self-painted pictures. She had hit the mark. But how should I be able to live on creativity alone? It seemed incompatible with my need for a permanent job and security. But the desire to be able to express myself freely on the cello never let go of me. I wanted to play like drawing on a white canvas, letting my ideas inspire me. The classical musicians know how difficult this first step is: for years, every single detail had been selected from the notes and over-interpreted, how could I be so presumptuous about wanting to create music myself? The respect for the great composers went hand in hand with the inhibitions that made my own ideas fall silent in the bud. I had to jump over my shadow and transfer my creativity to my instrument. But how?
I found the answer to this during a master class with jazz cellist Stephan Braun. In his improvisations, the musical idea went directly to the audience - without taking detours through notes or musicological discussions. The music suddenly got a completely different meaning for me because it was immediate. It was as if he had shown me what the cello really has to do with myself. Through improvisation I started to find my own voice. I trusted my hearing and sense more and more and it was a revelation that such musical freedom was even possible. Suddenly there were no rules anymore. Instead, there was the certainty that everything I did was right, because it was created by me at that very moment. I knew that this was the only right way for me, because only this would really lead me to myself.
But the change did not come overnight. It was a lengthy process with many doubts, but slowly I learned that I would only get freedom if I went into my fears. I noticed how unfounded they often are and that when I faced them I became stronger and more confident. I became more and more aware of what I really wanted in my life: that was singing to the cello and writing my own arrangements. I turned nights into days because I really wanted to put my ideas on paper before I forgot them the next morning. I took singing lessons and deepened jazz studies, continued to learn songwriting and slowly found my own style. And if I have learned anything from all of this, it is the certainty that our life is a gift and we have unlimited possibilities to shape it according to our own ideas. If we take the path we have always followed, our potential will not grow. But if we always face new tasks, then we grow beyond ourselves and realize that really everything in life is possible.
In the search for myself, I have left the beaten track and I want my music to give you the courage to start looking for your own individual path. Would you like to get involved? You can order my CD here. I would also love to see you at one of my concerts.
Would you like to send me a message? I am particularly interested in when/where/how you prefer to listen to my music and what you feel about it. If you want to know more about me and my projects, subscribe to my newsletter or follow me on Facebook or Instagram. I am very happy that from now on we are walking this track together!