Natalia ‘Saw Lady’® Paruz has spent more than two decades bringing the rare art form of playing music on a carpenter’s saw to audiences around the world.
Natalia was chosen for the ‘Best of New York’ lists many times, received citations of honor from the New York City Council, the New York State Senate, New York State Assembly, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a Medal of honour from Paris, France.
She can be heard on popular movie soundtracks such as HBO’s ‘The Jinx’, ‘Time Out of Mind’ with Richard Gere, Fox Searchlight’s ‘Another Earth’, ‘Dummy’ with Adrien Brody, etc.
Her three albums include, ‘Playing on the Edge’ – a compilation of music from different movie soundtracks she did, ‘I Saw the Future’ – a classical album and a Christmas one titled ‘Hark!An angel sings’ can be found on multiple streaming services.
She performed with the Israel Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta, with the Westchester Philharmonic, Royal Air Moroccan Symphony, Manhattan Chamber Orchestra etc., at prestigious concert halls such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Madison Square Gardens.
Here are a few questions we asked Natalia, watch the complete interview above!
Mohid Moosani: Natalia, I would like you to introduce this amazing musical instrument, “The Carpenters Saw” to our audience and tell a little bit about it, how is it used? How does it sound?
Natalia Paruz: I play an unusual musical instrument, called the Musical Saw, yes! And it is an instrument that a lot of people don’t know it exists but…you do hear it in movie soundtracks so, it is quite possible that even though you don’t know what it is, you have heard it.
There are movies going back in time that used it for example, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s List with Jack Nicholson. His musical saw was all over the soundtrack right. The movie, Cabaret with Liza Minnelli and Joel Gray has a scene in the middle of the where you see Liza Minelli walking into the cabaret space and you even see the saw player playing. You don’t see his face, you just see the body and the saw, so it has been around for a long time.
Even before… uh it was used in movies like the ones that had sci-fi elements, like when the flying saucer comes down what you hear is the saw sound.
Mohid Moosani: How long have you been playing the Saw, and have you appeared in any movies you created soundtracks for?
Natalia Paruz: I have been playing the Saw for about 20 years now and I’ve played for many movie soundtracks for in most of them you don’t see me. But there is one movie where you do see me and that’s Dummy with Adrian Brody.
And in that movie, there is a scene… it’s an audition scene and they made me wear a hideous pink dress and they had me play the song. So, you can actually see me playing but in all the other movies uh, for example, um Time Out of Mind with Richard Gere there is a scene where he’s walking through Grand Central Station devastated and you hear the Saw.
Mohid Moosani: I believe the Saw is an overlooked instrument, maybe people don’t find it as cool or fancy like a guitar or a keyboard but this instrument certainly has its own place.
Natalia Paruz: Yes, especially in movies! And the cool thing is that it’s capable of creating different ambiances. The ones we’ve just talked about were eerier um and like spiritual even but it’s also capable of creating like funny ambience.
For example, when I played for “When Jack Went Glamping” it has a comic scene…they’re camping and there’s this donkey. And the donkey is creating mischief so what they had me do is they had me play the saw not using a bow like I usually do but instead I used a mallet and that creates a more percussive sound that is kind of funny and comedic so that helped enhance the comedic side of this game.
Mohid Moosani: What inspired you to become a professional Saw player?
Natalia Paruz: It might be baffling to some that one can regard it with such tenderness. An instrument that is usually associated with blood baths and deforestation but that is precisely why I love it so much!
Because for me, playing the saw has a poetic meaning as well as a musical one. Showing that everything in life has a destructive side as well as a creative one and it’s your choice which one you want to use!
Moosani is a night owl who is either binge watching his favorite shows or scribbling on his notebook writing short stories. Often showing up late at work and gulping down 6-7 cups of coffee is his usual practice.