Take Five with Ciana Proto

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Hi there! My name is Ciana Proto (pronounced like ‘Chana’). I am a nomadic singer-songwriter and theatre-maker. I’m currently working on a collection of songs written about female characters in Greek Mythology. In addition to a release of the album, I am in the process of creating an immersive theatre piece centered around the music! I just love telling stories, and I’m excited to see where these stories go.

Tell us a little about your musical background; how old were you when you started playing guitar, and what inspired your musical desire?

I started playing guitar when I was about 13 so….13 years ago! My sister and I would sing together, but I was always inspired by her effortless musicality. I feel like I picked up the guitar because I wanted to be able to contribute something else to our fun! And I really wanted to write songs about the drama unfolding at my middle school.

Where do you find the inspiration for your music?

It’s pretty hard to find sometimes. I think sometimes it just sort of hits you, usually when you have something you need to say. But most recently… I found myself looking for stories I really wanted to tell, so I bought a book on Greek mythology, and the songs started pouring out.

What is your songwriting process?

I usually start with a short line of lyric/melody that I can’t get out of my head. Then I try to fit it to the guitar and flesh it out from there! Sometimes it all comes out at once; other times, it takes a bit more work. On the songs I’m struggling with, I like to leave it and then come back a day later. Fresh eyes/ears are often incredibly helpful.

And of course, I always run it by my sister.

What’s your go-to guitar for songwriting?

I have an acoustic-electric Ibanez guitar that I’ve had since I was 15. I love it.

Music to me is… .

Music scares me sometimes. There are true geniuses out there who understand music on a cellular level. I don’t know that I do. But I love what music evokes in me… I love that it can serve as this magical conduit for virtually any emotion, if you let it.

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