I’m in the process of writing up a piece about Porcelain Raft for a Seattle webzine, the SunBreak. I went to his show at The Barboza almost two weeks ago and have been listening to his music since then; mostly tunes from his latest full album (more mellow than his older stuff) release, Microclimate.
I introduced myself to Mauro after the show and asked if I could email him with questions. He is a pleasant, kind, and thoughtful person and I can’t wait to share my article with you! (Addendum: You can read my published article, “Sonically and Soulfully Adrift with Porcelain Raft.”)
*Responses were not edited in any way. I wanted to leave the text as Mauro wrote it. You can kind of ‘hear’ his accent.* 🙂
Photos: Odawni AJ Palmer @ The Barboza in Seattle, 2015
(Created with the .@instagram layout app.)
OP: During the show, you mentioned that you love Seattle but you weren’t sure why. What three words come to mind when you think of Seattle?
MR: Well I guess it’s something I can’t put my finger on, aside the beautiful nature around it, the friendly people that live in the city, the general not-pretentious genuine interested people have about music, I think what I liked the most has to do with the actual land Seattle in built on. Something about that specific geographic area of US, very powerful stuff I can’t explain.
OP: I noticed you were holding a baby in a recent Instagram photo. What’s your experience as a Dad been like? How has it impacted your creative process?
MR: It doesn’t impact ‘something’, it changes in a total way the way you are, the way you think and the way you talk to yourself. It’s not an impact to an existing life, it’s a brand new planet that unfolds as the days pass by.
OP: I’ve read that your latest album, “Microclimate,” was inspired by the time you spent in places by the water like California. What are some of your current inspirations?
MR: Right now I’m in Rome for a visit and to play few gigs in Italy. There’s this part of the outskirt of Rome where my parents live, a small Church is being built where before there was a dump, people in this very small community aretacking care of a huge garden by the church, planting flowers and all sorts of playgrounds. I use to play in that very spot when I was 10 and it was the most dirty rubbish wasteland, now it’s incredibly green and peaceful. I’m walking and sending time there everyday since I arrived in Rome.
OP: One of the things I enjoy most about your performances is that they, like your music, feel intimate and organic. Is creating an intimate atmosphere an important aspect of playing your music live? Do you seek out venues with intimate spaces?
MR: That’s a great question because I don’t think you can separateperformance / music to the place it was meant to be played. Certain things work because are small, you pump them up to be big, bolder and brighter and they wouldn’t work. So the space where the music is played is the room where the sound was meant to float.
I wouldn’t play bigger room because my music wouldn’t make too much sense otherwise.
OP: Your cover of “Stool Pigeon Blues” was excellent. I confess, I Googled lyrics from the song to find the original version and was surprised to learn that it was an old blues song. How has blues music influenced your own music?
MR: I think I was never influenced by a genre of music but influenced by the way certain music is delivered, those words together with the voice with that intention and so forth.
The soul of the singer. What else there’s left to hear?
Photos: Odawni AJ Palmer @ Sunset Tavern in Seattle, 2017.
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