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Mourneress - ''The one who experiences grief, the poetess of sorrows'' - Interview

‘’Mourneress is the one who experiences grief, the poetess of sorrows and the wounded soul seeking solace in lamentation. A person will always find something to be sad about - the loss of loved ones or even the loss of himself at some moments. Our life is full of sorrows and disappointments. And I prefer to turn pain and negative emotions into art rather than bury them in myself.

Natalia Drepina is a photographer, songwriter, and poet. A multifaceted artist unafraid to share innermost thoughts and feelings. Her art is an expression of emotions and memories. The new album is ‘’ A Rooted Sorrow’ a haunting album from within the soul where tears and unspoken words are kept, and heartache revealed. It is under the new project name of Mourneress.

‘’I have long felt the need to change the name of my musical project (previously it was Your Schizophrenia to something that more reflects the mood and themes of my work. Since childhood, I have carried sadness within me, like a sisterly spirit to my essence. Even beauty or joyful events always had a certain aftertaste of bittersweet melancholy, nostalgia. Death is also always close to every living being and throughout our lives we always lose someone or something and mourn our losses. I think that death is an integral part of our existence, and it is wrong to be afraid or avoid thinking about it. We need to be able to grieve our losses and honor cherished memories.

Mourneress - this name came to me suddenly and I realized that this word perfectly describes my music and poetry. In fact, this album is one of those that is my way of coping with grief and an emotionally difficult time. Half of this album (tracks 9-14) was written between the end of August and the end of September this year, when my cat Hamlet died. I love animals very much and my pets are always my close friends and my family. I believe that an animal's life is as valuable as a human's. Hamlet was rescued by me in 2007 and lived with me for 16 years. So, this album is a funeral lullaby for my dear friend.

A Rooted sorrow is an incredibly personal experience that she has decided to share with her emotions laid bare.

''Yes, this is a very personal album, a reflection of my life, my feelings. It's like a diary in a way. As I said earlier, this album includes my worries, it's my way of coping with the loss of a pet. And maybe it will also help someone else who feels the same. It's okay to be broken and crushed, it's okay to feel pain and allow yourself to grieve. No one should be ashamed of their feelings. All this shapes personality and makes us who we are.

''For me, music and poetry are incredible magic that can heal the soul. I think that art is needed precisely in order to find release for feelings that overwhelm at some point.

Full of whispered passages and soulful piano, it is an album unlike any other.

‘’Thank you, I'm glad you like it. I love to walk alone, listen to the wind rustle through the branches and grass, in such moments of silence I can hear myself, my inner voice, which speaks in a similar manner, in a whisper, organically intertwined with the sounds of nature. Poems often come to me at such moments of “forest bathing.” I like the quiet timid sounds of piano, strings, voices that don't invade reality, but complement it and predispose to reflection and daydreaming.

And a rooted Sorrow. Are you able to overcome it?

''I don't want to overcome this. This sorrow is an integral part of my essence, my character. If I lost this, I would change too much and I think I would lose myself. I don't feel like sorrow is destroying me, rather I find inspiration in it.

There is a sense of inevitability within the music of Mourneress. Something to embrace perhaps? Does in fact time heal all wounds and is a broken heart capable of healing?

‘’Yes, I accept this inevitability and mortality without fear. It's like dreamless sleep when you're too tired. My lyrics don’t talk about how scary it is to die, but about how painful it can be to part with something or someone, how hard it is to find a way to walk along this thorny path.

‘’I think scars always remain. And together all these scars make up the unique pattern of our soul. Over time, the pain subsides and there is a place for other feelings, new impressions. But nothing passes without a trace.

The beauty in darkness within your music?

‘'It's difficult for me to answer this question. I'm not looking for anything specifically. It just comes. Inspiration is like tides, at some moments it overwhelms you, then recedes to give time to realize, to feel what you have experienced. And then everything repeats. It is as easy and natural as breathing. I don’t know how I learned to see beauty even in sad things, such as withering or death, I just always saw them. And I was just looking for a way to express my impressions.

As an artist all of Natalia’s art is inseparable whether it be performer poet or photographer

‘’Of course, my art is linked and often my projects complement each other. This helps to express my thoughts and impressions more fully.

''I just couldn't choose just one thing - photography or poetry, music, or something else. I love to create. Sometimes I also make strange dolls, crochet something, draw, make videos, weave wreaths. I think that many things can be approached creatively, and this will make the process more interesting. The world around me is multifaceted, just like me, so I need more ways to express myself than just one type of art.

‘’I think visual imagery certainly adds additional imagery to the lyrics and music, expanding the overall experience. Let it be perceived as a journey into the dream of another mind.

‘’Photography gives me the opportunity to add some visual symbols that are important to me. For example, like yarrow and moths, which illustrate “I'm numb in my grief.” At that moment I saw them near the graves, like little lost souls in fading gardens.

‘’Nature seems to me to be a wonderful representation death and rebirth, so in my booklet you will find flowers and grass touched by withering and dead birds, dilapidated moths, skulls and dry leaves, shadows, and silhouettes.

‘’It is no coincidence that my logo is my shadow in the embrace of plants and a moth - this is the image of my deepest sorrow, the echo of my soul.

The experience one feels when listening to A Rooted Sorrow

‘’I think my music allows you to feel the depth of sadness and discover your ability to empathize. Everyone has their own hidden sadness and perhaps this album will become a kind of accompaniment for it. I would like listeners to find inspiration and also express their feelings through art. Pain and sadness don't have to destroy you and irrevocably break you into pieces, you can glue something beautiful from these fragments.

Are these things that give you joy whilst representing sadness?

There is no doubt that being able to allow sadness to be reborn through art gives me a sense of comfort and some joy. It's not about forgetting, but about feeling and accepting. In my opinion grief and melancholy give us the necessary contrast to be able to perceive joyful moments in life. I think that any feelings exist for a reason. And isn’t the most sincere and touching art that is based on sadness, melancholy, grief, loneliness?

The next step creatively.

I'll continue to follow my path because I cannot imagine myself outside of creativity. I can't leave all this behind while I'm alive - I'm creating. I don’t imagine myself as someone else, living a different life. My mind and subconscious are full of inspiration and ideas, and besides personal projects, I am open to interesting collaborations. I'm currently collaborating with some amazing musicians and these projects mean a lot to me.

Top six albums of all time?

It's so hard to choose just six! I'd like to name at least 10 albums of my personal favorites that I listen to often:

Max Richter – Sleep.

Woodkid – Ellis.

CLANN – Seelie.

Darkher – The Buried Storm.

Hildur Guðnadóttir -Without Sinking.

Vladimir Spivakov, Sergej Bezrodny, Dietmar Schwalke, Alexander Malter - ARVO PÄRT: ALINA.

Draconian - Under a Godless Veil.

Olafur Arnalds, Alice Sara Ott - The Chopin Project.

Joep Beving – Henosis.

The Alvaret Ensemble – EA.

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