Carlos Maya Q & A
Carlos Maya is a talented composer and musician, known for his beautiful neoclassical piano compositions. In this interview, he shares more about the inspiration behind some of his most popular works, including “Grace,” “Sparrows,” “The Reckoning,” “Tata,” and his future releases.
From the emotional power of nature and personal experiences to the challenges and growth that came from the pandemic, Carlos’s music is a reflection of his own journey and the world around him.
Through his compositions, he aims to bring listeners to higher planes of existence and connect with them on a deep, emotional level.
- How did you first become interested in composing music?
I started composing as a challenge from one of my piano students, its something quite hilarious because my student is a great consumer of this neoclassical piano music so he was challenging me to compose something alike. A couple of weeks later I have already finished my album “Isolation songs for piano”.
I think I complete the challenge with a certain advantage LOL. I compose this work during the quarantine of 2020.
- What inspires you when you compose your pieces?
When I’m at the piano I improvise a bit, try to find any musical idea to work with, I play here and there on the keyboard until I get something to work on, but in my mind, during this process, I try to maintain an “emotional image” that keeps me inspired, this image could be a memory, a philosophical idea, something that keeps me forward in the creation of the music. Most of the time these images are memories and experiences from my personal life.
- Your composition, ‘Grace‘, is simply beautiful. The melancholy neo-classical piano motif and grace notes really touched my heart. Can you tell us more about the emotion and feelings that went into creating this song? How did you capture such a powerful and evocative mood in your music?
Thank you so much for your kind words! Grace is one of my favourite compositions. The creative process for me is something spontaneous, I really do not think so much when composing, it’s just something natural to me, like breathing… So the music is revealing to me by itself. I think that the composer when he is truly compromised to the development of his art works as a medium to higher planes of existence and bring from those planes these evocative ideas to the world. I see the creative process as something religious and spiritual.
- Your song ‘Sparrows‘ is truly a work of art. The meditative and sweet contemporary classical piano sound, combined with the melancholic harmonic episodes, really spoke to me on an emotional level. Can you share more about the inspiration behind this composition? What inspired you to write about these delicate and graceful creatures and how did you capture the sweetness of their chant in your music?
I often got inspired by nature, in fact, nature is a reiterative theme in my music, it reflects something mysterious and magical to me. I’ve always loved these little birds, they bring me memories from my childhood, in my parent’s house, when I was a child, these little birds were chanting and fluttering all around. “Sparrows” reflects these sweet memories.
- The song ‘The Reckoning‘ is truly a masterpiece. The highly dramatic and meditative sound, combined with the dark and sad themes, really spoke to me on an emotional level. Can you share more about how your personal conflicts during the pandemic influenced the creation of this song? How did you use your own experiences and emotions to craft such a powerful and moving piece of music?
The pandemic was a great test for all of us, it tested our strength, courage and love for our fellowmen, personally, the confront to the loneliness and isolation was overwhelming but, among the difficulty, it allowed to me the growing of my music artistry… it was my way to deal with loneliness. “The Reckoning” reflects these major events that happened in our lives, and how we managed to keep going forward trusting in God and in ourselves together as mankind.
- “Tata” is a beautiful and thought-provoking single that captures the essence of mother earth and her enduring love for us. The repeating pattern in the lower register symbolizes the earth’s constant movement and stability, while the graceful themes in the upper register add depth and meaning to the composition. As an artist, you have clearly put a lot of thought and emotion into this piece, and it is no wonder that it is one of your favourites. Can you tell us more about the symbolism and themes that you have incorporated into “Tata”, and how you hope listeners will connect with and interpret the song?
Tata is a short word that is related to the great great grandmother, this word is widely used in South America. Tata also has a great meaning in the prehispanic culture. I wrote Tata having in mind the legends and ancient histories of this prehispanic culture, in those legends the Earth or “Madre Tierra” show itself as the eternal provider of life, wisdom and sacred experiences. Basically, everything that involves the human experience is being provided by Tata. This song works as a tribute to her.
- What was it like recording your project at the National Museum of Colombia with a Steinway piano model D?
This Museum is iconic, is very representative of the national history of my country, having recorded there was an incredible experience, playing in this auditorium and with this outstanding instrument was one of the most beautiful experiences in my life, is very clear why Steinway is the favourite instrument for most pianists in the world. Luckily for us, we were able to capture not only the amazing sound of this magnificent piano but also the great acoustics of the auditorium. Loved it!
- ”Lotus” is a stunning single that captures the powerful and transformative nature of the lotus flower. The idea of emerging from the darkness and into the light is a central theme in this piece, and it is clear that this concept has a deep and personal significance for you as an artist. Your music is infused with the idea of resurrection and the beauty that can come from overcoming challenges, and this is reflected in the delicate and uplifting melodies of “Lotus”. Can you tell us more about how this idea of resurrection and the symbolism of the lotus flower has inspired your music and influenced the themes and emotions depicted in “Lotus”?
Thank you! Your words depicting Lotus are so touching. Lotus is one of my favorite pieces. This idea of redemption is, just as you said, totally present in my complete work, and Lotus is a great example of that idea, I deeply think that the human experience: life, is a journey of total inner redemption, where you learn, live and experience but also where you have the responsibility to put in order your relationship with yourself, with others and with God. So, Lotus has this deep meaning, a journey where you are in one place searching for the light that forever shines on.
- ”El Regreso” is a truly inspiring and moving piece. Can you describe the creative process behind the composition of “El Regreso” and the personal significance of the song to you? How did you approach improvising and developing the idea for the piece, and how did the title come about? What does the song represent to you, and how does it reflect the idea of returning to a place or time of happiness?
When I’m composing sometimes I feel the music speaks for itself, as I see it, is like the music portrays a specific picture that is revealed little by little. This happens many times, and “El Regreso” revealed like that… is a place, an emotion, a season of the heart that we all deeply miss in our lives. A return, a memory, a place, a journey to the home of childhood, my final idea is that you put your own experience into the music… and make the musical experience yours only.
- We at the label are absolutely blown away by “Terse.” It’s such a beautiful and emotional piece, and your talent as a composer and pianist really shines through. We’d love to know more about the inspiration behind the song. Can you tell us more about the themes you explored in “Terse” and how you captured the idea of a brief, yet a marvelous moment of joy? We’re really looking forward to hearing more about your creative process and the personal significance of this song to you.
Thank you so much! Terse… is just a moment, a brief moment of contemplation, where you just feel satisfied in the present… Analyze the rhythmic pattern of the beginning of the piece and how it makes contrast with the melodies of the right hand, the development of this conversation between both hands develops to the climax of the piece, making more contrast and movement… these figurations in my music allows to the listener to immerse into his own mind, and that is something that I love to do, make the people feel and think the music.
- Can you tell us more about your upcoming album/project MMXXII and what we can expect from it?
MMXXII was a very important project for me, this season was the first to be released in its entirety with the Record Label Raighes Factory, having counted on their support was a great accomplishment in my life, also the music I composed for this season MMXXII is full of meaning and compromise, this is what makes MMXXII so important for me!
- How do you hope your music connects with listeners and what message do you hope it conveys?
I always felt that the most important purpose of an artist is to touch people’s hearts and move them from the inside, that’s what I want to do, the music has great power, an individual moved by the inner emotions of their soul becomes a better person; connecting with the beauty of existence and the creation of God is one of the best experiences for a human being.
- As a member of the Raighes Factory label, what do you enjoy most about being a part of the family?
I am absolutely grateful with the Record Label RAIGHES FACTORY for believing in me and believing in my work. They have shown great compromise and love for my music, so I do not have enough words to express my gratitude! Raighes Factory has many great artists also, so for me, being in this big family is one of the greatest achievements of my life!
- Are there any other upcoming projects or collaborations that you are currently working on?
Of course! Right now I have 10 new pieces already composed and I plan to release them in June or July of 2023! Stay tuned!
- How do you see your music evolving in the future and what are your goals as an artist?
I really hope to make a career with this neoclassical genre, I feel that my music has had a beautiful receiving from the listeners, and I have great expectations with it!
Thank you, Carlos, for sharing your thoughts and emotions behind your beautiful compositions with us. Your music is truly a reflection of your personal journey and the world around you, and it has the ability to connect with listeners on a deep, emotional level. It was a pleasure to learn more about your creative process and the inspirations behind your works. Thank you for sharing your talent with the world.