When I play I can say all that burns inside. It’s simple without words. The stage is the arena where I feel that it is ok to be myself and that, is the only thing I ever wished for. 
— Maria

MARIA BOVIN DE LABBÉ

I'm a drummer, artist and passionate creative, living on a peninsula in the Fjord of Oslo, Norway.

I started to play drums when I was 12. I had the drum kit in the apartment, on the third floor, in a suburb in Stockholm. All the houses around mine looked the same and we played on the asphalt. After a dramatic period in my young teens, when I struggled with Anorexia Nervosa, the drums became my closest "family", my refuge. They felt physically close, almost like a part of my own body.

I'm a restless soul which might be the reason for my somewhat sprawling path. I always wish to learn more. I've played hard rock, pop, blues, big and, Balkan-inspired music, classical orchestra music, modern chamber music, and improvised music in different contexts. In 1990 I moved to Norway to study classical percussion and chamber music at the Music Conservatory in Oslo, now the Norwegian Academy of Music. After my studies, I became a mom and worked mostly as a "moving" percussionist in different dance projects.

Around 2011 I began playing drum kit again, playing with different local bands and participating in several master classes in Europe and in the USA. In addition, I began studying traditional techniques for hand drums and composition from the Middle East.

My ultimate goal when I play is the total feeling of freedom and peace. It's a sensuous peace that arrives when everything suddenly flows. The music I compose is more soundscapes than songs. I compose them in layers. The starting point is a predetermined groove that I twist and turn until I hear a melody rising from the groove.

As a musician, I'm a mix, a fusion of different cultures and techniques. Drums are often seen as a powerful, masculine instrument and expression. After many years of trying to "play as one of the guys" I understood that I (of course) need to play as who I am. I'm not muscular and strong, I'm light, dynamic and "dancing".

I find inspiration in daydreaming and from writing in my journals where I continuously reflect, draw and pondering about life and what it is that I do. I get inspired by modern dance, walking, sitting by the Ocean or looking up at the Moon late at night. My influences are musicians whose playing are defined by lightness and new-thinking. Bold artists and dancers.

As I see it working as a musician, to learn an instrument is to be on an eternal journey. It fascinates me. Every challenge takes me one step deeper. How I play and the music I compose is the diary from that journey. I wish to be transparent. I love to be on stage, but not to be in the limelight. When I play I can say all that burns inside. It's simple without words. The stage is the arena where I feel that it is ok to be just myself and that, is the only thing I've ever wished for.

Maria.


What I’ve done

  • SOLITUDE. Solo performance at Scenehuset September 2018.

  • LYSFEST. Percussion solo in the Labyrinth. Frognerparken September 2018.

  • Absolute Wall (Kompani Nomad). Riksscenen - The Norwegian Hub for Traditional Music and Dance, Folkemusikkveka, Ål.

  • 5 meditationer (koreografi: Steffi Lund). Oslo University Hospital.

  • Livsrytmer (koregrafi: Indra Lorentzen). The Arts Festival of North Norway, Henie Onstad Artcenter, Akershus county.

  • Balgiduvvon Balgat (koreografi: Indra Lorentzen). The Norwegian National Opera, Oslo.

  • I have long experience from teaching privately in my own studio, at Kulturskolan and Kulturama, Stockholm, at Kulturskolen, Nesodden, Ski videregående, Ski and at The Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo etc. I also teach a drumline of only nurses!

Photography provided by Alfredo Barbuti.