“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything” Plato.
Talent is something that either we are born with or we acquire with years of practise and experience. Both Laura and Javier and talented – in their own way – and together make the perfect combination between harmony, improvisation and method.
Between some tunes and arranging his guitar, Javier tells Laura which songs they are going to practice for the Open Mic Night (OMN) presentation; while he figures out the best entrance for the song, Laura warms up her voice and gets ready to enter with the first note. I was mesmerised, to be honest. I knew that Laura could sing, but I didn’t know that she could sing like that.
The Spanish community in The Hague in very big, so it was kind of natural for Laura and Javier to have met and make music together. They met in one – of the many – OMN in August 2012 and decided to make some nice music together by covering the most memorable songs in the genres of Jazz, Bossa Nova and Blues. Although they have not played much, they are already well known in the OMN circuit.
“Making music is something too personal” Javier Moreno
Maybe what you are about to read is going to sound very cliché but Queen was the inspiration behind Javier’s passion for the guitar, and their song “Break Through” was the catalyst that motivated him to get his first instrument at the age of 11. After playing for the black metal band, Drakma, he took a break from music and dedicated his time to his studies.
This teacher from Murcia (south-eastern Spain) improved his technic in Jazz and mastered this style; while in Spain, he received a job offer at the European School in The Hague, where he now lives and met his music partner Laura.
Seeing Javier playing his guitar is an experience itself. He he is so focused in what he does, carefully listening to his instrument’s tunes; he reminds me of those miniature artists while painting them with astonishing detail. No wonder why he is regarded as a good musician by the OMN community.
“The Open Mic gives you the chance to meet wonderful people” Laura de Marcos
Originally from Madrid, Laura is talented in every way. Not only she is a great designer – whose creations are about to be open for the public – but also has a beautiful voice and a magnetic charisma, that make the perfect ingredients for Javier’s guitar. Laura has always been into music, singing for glee clubs at school and more recently for the Koorenhouis choir in The Hague.
“Singing with the Koorenhuis was a wonderful experiences for me with regards to learning and singing methods, but it lacked the contact with the public that I enjoy so much with Javier in the OMN”, Laura said. Indeed, the OMN is a place where charisma and improvisation walk hand in hand, but that is not problem for her.
The day she stood in front of the crowd at the OMN in November 2012, Laura made the microphone her own and surprised everyone in the room, even people that knew her very well and from a long time. Then, she became a key member of the Open Mic Night circuit and, along with Javier a fantastic jazz and classy Spanish duet.
Jazz with Spanish spark
During their act at the Open Mic Night they nailed it. Three songs was more than enough to hypnotise the entire crowd. While everyone else sang rock songs, Laura and Javier broke the mould singing “Bye-bye black bird”, “Smile” and the always Sinatra’s favourite “Fly me to the moon”. It was incredible to see how the whole place stood quiet to pay attention and listen to this very talented pair. You just have to see it to believe it.
Both Laura and Javier believe that practice make perfection: listening to the songs all over again, playing that difficult riff until you finger hurt and you know it by heart. Getting together for practice and then for performance is a way for them to travel away from the everyday stress, to relax and think things through, and to create something they love: music