I am interested in most other art forms and often draw, sing, dance, take photos

Maria Carnarius is studying MEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath and has been selected as an Arts Scholar for 2018-19. Maria shares her interest in piano Jazz music, which musicians have inspired her and what she’s working on ahead of Platform, the annual arts scholar showcase.

What is your background in your chosen art form?

I started taking piano lessons from the age of 4 and, until recently, mainly focused on classical music. I mostly played solo pieces, but enjoyed accompanying other instruments as well and have accompanied strings players and singers. I have recently started developing an interest in piano Jazz music, both in groups and on my own, which is what I am hoping to work on throughout the year.

What are you working on ahead of Platform?

I am in a group of two singers, one ballroom dancer and a drummer. We are planning to play three pieces, one solo piece for each singer (“New York State of Mind” and “Seven Nations – Postmodern Jukebox”), and one collaborative piece which will be a duet version of “Cheek to Cheek” as an accompaniment for a ballroom dance performance. At the moment, I am working on learning the piano part in “Seven Nations”, for which we have little sheet music to go from.

If you are collaborating with other students tell us a bit about the process and how it’s going?

I am collaborating with Damon, Roya, Demetris, and Dominic for my Platform pieces. At the moment, we have not rehearsed the pieces as a group but are focusing on figuring out our own parts within the song. We have however agreed on a version of the songs and the style we aim to work towards.

Do you find any links between your creativity and your course?

Mechanical Engineering has many creative elements in the engineering design aspects. However, I find there is not a lot of overlap in the form of creativity required in music and engineering and I enjoy music as more of a “break” from my course.

What/Who inspires, influences or drives you?

I am a fan of classical Jazz artists and their ease of improvisation over a Jazz standard, e.g. Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday or Louis Armstrong. I am also inspired by classical composers who created music out of the ordinary, such as Shostakovich, who tried to push the limits of Soviet oppression of any kind of modern music, or the surreal impressionist music by M. Ravel.

Do you have any other creative pursuits?

I am interested in most other art forms and often draw, sing, dance, take photos etc recreationally. I am interested in any opportunity to learn more about those but have limited time during the semester so usually focus on piano playing.

We’d like to thank Santander for their generous support for this Arts Scholarship.


Posted in: Arts Scholarship Programme

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