Maria says that her parents never pushed her to play, and this perhaps is what allowed her the freedom to become so attached to the piano. True to character, she soon developed her own style of learning and practicing. Although she chose to spend many hours a week at the piano, she frequently neglected to do the assigned homework, and preferred to practice her peices at quadrouple speed, she also avoided reading the score at all costs (which she later would pay for at times in her adult life).
Maria's teacher Liviu Galbinski, expressed being both awed by her persistance and budding talent yet exasperated by her stubborn defiance to do what was expected of her at the same time - a sentiment that would be experienced by other well meaning teachers in the future. Needless to say, by the age of nine Maria had already composed several precocious songs, many of which were fodder for later works.
When Maria was twelve, the family moved to the States amd settled in a Lone Pine, a town of 2,000 people in the California High Desert. For two years, she received very little formal training. Without the structure of lessons, she moved further away from the score and became more involved with exploring the keyboard, and experimenting with sound. After the family relocated to Port Townsend, Washington in High School, Maria was fortunate to meet Gwendolyn Moore, a concert pianist who had recently relocated from Los Angeles. Gwen spent the next several years teaching Maria a style of playing called "weight technique" and educating her about the complexity and subtlety of sound.
During her time in Port Townsend, Maria began to perform both solo and classical orchestral works. Between 1994 and 1996 Maria performed Beethoven's 1st Piano Concerto, the Schumann Concerto and Mozart's 21st Concerto with the Turtle Bluff Orchestra, composing Cadenza's for each event.
Maria graduated in 1998 from Antioch College with a degree in Music still without being able to read from a score. Maria describes her collegiate experience, "Thoughout college, I was either a "genius" or an "idiot". There were professors who wrote me off because of this "reading deficiency" without giving me a chance, and professors who praised my "unusual talent" and ended up compensating for the others by boasting about my unconventional learning methods." I sometimes regret that I was so determined to read from a score a child, but at the same time I also believe that the approach I took has ultimately allowed me to develop an understanding and relationship with music that helped me become a better player and composer. So in the end I wouldn't trade my situation."
In the past several years, Maria has continued to move around,travelling and spending time in Kenya, Thailand and Eastern and Western Europe; she now lives in Portland, Oregon where she's presently enjoying learning how to play the fiddle.
The final product in this CD captures Maria's firey, somewhat iconoclastic personality, combined with a musical complexity that stems from years of training, sound experimentation and life experiences.
1. Hidden Falls
2. Cinimod's Lament
4. After Martinis
5. Elephant Reverie
7. Art Serata
8. Souvenirs D'andalousie
9. Fish out of Water