Maria Faust, the 38-year-old Estonian composer, saxophonist, bandleader, and resident of Denmark, has already made remarkable musical waves that have sent her and her bands on trips to concert halls and music festivals around the world.
Maria Faust grew up under the Communist regime in Estonia, where she was classically educated, and yet gladly compares her music school to a “barracks for child soldiers.” At the conservatory there, she didn’t feel that there was room for her, musically. Mozart was supposed to sound like Mozart, and Bach like Bach, which left her yearning for something different. In Tallinn, jazz and improvisational music took hold of her, but in order to develop further, she had to leave the country. With the help of the Danish Cultural Institute, Maria Faust came to the Southern Danish Music Conservatory. Even in her new surroundings, she felt did not fit into the world of jazz. “I am a child of communism! I did not swing. I marched! So, I finally just tried to be faithful to myself. It was a choice I made.” A conviction which she holds onto stubbornly, even to this day.
In early 2016, Maria and the Danish singer and composer Kira Skov travelled to Estonia, where they discovered a region where time seemed to stand still. Breaking new creative ground together in an abandoned Russian Orthodox Church without electricity or water, they recorded their collaborative spiritually oriented masterpiece, IN THE BEGINNING, with a large band and Estonian Choir. The Danish newspaper Berlingske awarded the recording 6/6 stars and called it “a unique work of great sacred beauty ... The recordings that Skov and Faust have come home with are simply formidable.” As of November 2017, the release has been nominated for 3 Danish Music Awards: Jazz Release of the Year, Vocal Jazz Release of the Year, and Jazz Composer(s) of the Year.
MACHINA, like Maria Faust’s earlier releases, starts with what she herself describes as “memory analysis.” As a tool, she gets inspiration from both personal and collective memories and the subconscious. Maria Faust says that she sees “the water as a symbol of a natural and unpredictable force of oppressed feelings like anger and sorrow” and she asks “why should we suppress these emotions, while we emphasize, for example, happiness?”
1 Salacia 04:21
2 Undine 03:53
3 Sirene 04:17
4 Alien Hand 07:51
5 O, My Dearest Knife Part I 02:49
6 O, My Dearest Knife Part II 04:32
7 Medusa 05:54
8 Aurora 06:18