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lifting the spirits with Maria Teriaeva

For our next mood talk, we spoke with Siberian-born, Moscow-based musician and composer Maria Teriaeva. In June, she released her second album called Conservatory of Flowers, which is a culmination of a three-year-long period of experimenting with the revered Buchla instrument. The result is a light and vibrant sound, which according to Maria perfectly resonates with summer. We talk about her inspirations for the album and got a sneak peek to her record collection.

Congratulations on your newest release! What is the idea behind your latest album Conservatory of Flowers?

The Buchla was still a relatively new instrument for me and I was interested in further exploring its possibilities. In the process of working on the album, I understood that my previous experiences of playing the guitar in different bands for a long time still had an influence on my musical mind and soon my Buchla sketches started getting the form of songs. I decided not to resist it and kept on going, until eventually the album was there.

Maria Teriaeva – Conservatory of Flowers

The cover photo is quite exceptional. Can you tell us more about it?

The cover photo was made during the filming of the SØS video. We didn’t actually plan to shoot a cover photo for the album. That was purely random. After a few days, I got the picture from Arabec who was the director of the video saying “Look, it looks like an album cover”. It had been about six months before the release of the album. During that time, I realized that it really perfectly matched my music.


Maria Teriaeva – SØS

What is the best way for anyone to enjoy this record?

When I was planning the release of the album, I wanted to do it in spring or summer, because in my opinion this is the best period to resonate with this music. Nature wakes up, warmth is all around, you spend more time outdoors and you lift your spirit. I would say it works both ways: you can enjoy the music when you have the right mood for it, or you can create the mood by just turning it on. Some music takes time and space.

What sounds are inspiring to you?

I live in the center of Moscow and hear a lot of annoying sounds like road repair works, weddings under the window, a dog that is left at home and plenty of whines. I think that I strive for silence, which I enjoy greatly.

Are you a vinyl collector yourself?

Unfortunately I don’t have a vinyl player, but despite this fact I keep a small collection of records. In general, these are gifts from friends who are musicians and vinyls from trips. From Belgium, I brought home with me: André Stordeur – Analog and digital electronic music #2 1980-2000 and Serge Prokofiev – Ivan le terrible.

What artist or record or track are you digging the most at this moment?
I’m really into Maggi Payne – Gamelan, Hiele – Music These Days pt.1, and the music of Valentina Goncharova.

You also did a limited edition version of the album with an olfactory element. What is the relationship for you between sound and smell?

Smell is a powerful thing. It can take us back or evoke any bright memories from our past. At the same time it’s also very personal for everyone. I thought it could be quite adventurous to try and offer one scent – you never know the reaction. I was interested to invite an olfactory artist to create a special scent influenced by the music of the album. I like the result. It adds an interesting facet to the perception of music.

The limited edition album comes with an incense paper as collaboration with olfactory artist NJ Neumann; when burned it provides an ambient scent inspired by the music.

What role does mood play in your creative process?

I think the mood in my music is one of the main aspects, plus it is also my message. If we talk about the mood at the moment of creating music, any mood works expect for a bad mood. That really isn’t a resource for me. While working on music, I tend to finish tracks right away or in a short time, otherwise it could be difficult to go back into that particular mood.

How would you describe your music?

I once described my music like this: my music is peace, warmth, nature, a freshly baked bun, fresh air, hot sun. It is also a picnic in the forest, or a trip to the countryside for a city dweller.


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