How AUROORA was born
Let me tell you a story.
I met Claudia when I moved to Bristol (UK) from Barcelona in 2006. She struck me as a very interesting woman, and later I learnt that she was looking for a guitarist to accompany her with her new “Fado” project. I had never heard of Fado before, but I agreed to meet up and give it a try. As a Spanish man, with a very similar culture with the Portuguese one, being someone who enjoys family time, good food and wine, and the natural wonders of our beautiful countries, it was not difficult for me to understand fado and play Spanish guitar to her singing. We had a connection straight away.
Claudia’s singing was coming from somewhere else, she closed her eyes and tilted her head up, just like most Fado singers do. I just had to follow her, understand where to stop and wait, where to play with more intensity, where to carefully stroke the guitar or put a note here or there.
In Bristol we never met a person who could play the Portuguese guitar, omnipresent in Fado music, therefore I suggested including other instruments. Claudia resisted the idea at first, just like she has always resisted my suggestions, including (years later) that she leave her boyfriend and come to London with me.
Eventually we formed a band, with a cello, a double bass and a mandolin (the most similar sounding instrument to the Portuguese guitar that we could find).
We wrote songs effortlessly. Beautiful songs. Silencio was one of our first songs, and still a set favourite. It’s like a waltz. Some people would say we were not playing Fado, but because of Claudia, we definitely partook ofhad the soul of Fado music.
I really don’t care what style you want to call it, we make music, add the tag or genre you fancy.
To cut a long story short, under her name (Claudia Aurora) we went to record a couple of albums, we found a manager, and in the space of 6-7 years we performed in beautiful places. To name a few, the BBC Stage at WOMAD (we were in the top 10 bands of the Festival in terms of CD sales!), and these:
Royal Opera House, Muscat, Oman
Kings Place, London, England
Palladium, Malmö, Sweden
SpancirFest, Varazdin, Croatia
Festas do Soajo, Soajo, Portugal
Globaltica Festival, Gdynia, Poland
Jazzkaar Festival, Tallinn, Estonia
Uppsala Konsert & Kongress, Uppsala, Sweden
Savoy Theatre, Helsinki, Finland
Norwich Arts Centre, Norwich, England
Jeonju International Sori Festival, Jeonju, South Korea
WOMAD, Charlton Park, England
Varna Theatre, Varna, Bulgaria
Melt Festival, Gräfenhainichen, Germany (as a guest of These New Puritans)
Well you get the idea.
Life took us to London (she left her boyfriend because we fell in love after all). We married, and we opened a coffee shop there (the famous Cafe Barcelona if you ask me). Make sure you visit and try the custard tarts if you are in the Streatham area.
The coffee shop business, and having a baby girl left us with less time to make music, and this made the project lose steam. So is life.
In 2019 we decided to move to Barcelona to be close to my family, change our life completely and dedicate ourselves to create music again. We left our manager and agent in the UK.
Then AUROORA was born. A duo. A project where I was going to be more involved, as a producer, and even as a sort of manager, as you can tell as I am writing this!
One thing was clear, this better be good, something that people would go “woooaaaawww!”, something different, that it hasn’t been heard in Portuguese music before. The Oracle said so too. I swapped the Spanish guitar for the electric, and Claudia swapped the Fado voice for… well, another voice, more relaxed, still beautiful and full of emotion, but not with the same heaviness and saudade of Fado.
This had to be an uplifting, inspiring music, that a big audience could sing along to, they could clap and have a good time with.
We started writing songs, with a mix of our love for 70’s rock and folk music. With complete freedom, no expectations, like a dream for any creative person. How exciting. The sound started taking shape, and we felt “we are going in the right direction”.
We started filming our own videos too. I would film and Claudia would sing and dance, and then she would film me playing guitar. I love it.
One day, on the beach, a song was “given” to us by Yemanja (Brazilian goddess of the sea), or at least that’s what I believe. She gave me the guitar riff of “Sou Capaz”. It had a sort of U2 feel to it, I loved it. There was something there, this could be the song that opens a few doors.
And here we are, creating music and sharing with the world our story.
Javier Moreno, April 2021