Sunday, 2 October 2011

Simon Lewis of Amanaska Interview

Austrailia's Amanaska (a Sanskrit term for restfullness) combine electronica with music they have encountered on their travels around the globe. If down-tempo, jazzy Balearic sounds fused with Indian, African and Aboriginal vibes appeal to you then you can't go far wrong with Amanaska.

1) Which artists inspired you most in forming your sound?

With regard to the artists that inspired me. They all have a very strong and prominent acoustic and live element to their music. This is something I am passionate about and don't really dig pure electronica so much. Nitin Sawnhey writes great songs and is the master of understatement and space in his music. Karsh Kale is a bit more edgy and heavier, plus a killer tabla player. Pat Methany is and incredible virtuoso and composer and writes gorgeous melodies. As for Peter Gabriel, what can I say............

2) You utilise a variety of instruments the Fender Rhodes piano, Hammond organ, synths, melodica, didgeridoo, accordian and percussive instruments. What appeals to you about electro-acoustic sounds rather than solely synthetic?

The electro acoustic instruments have a unique personality of their own that inspires ways of playing and writing that may not be possible in the synthetic world. I feel a certain kind of 'soul' when I use them that makes me take up half my house and studio with storing them all.

3) A lot of your tracks have been composed on the road collaborating with artists around the globe. Was this something you had planned from day one? Or an idea formed from a collection of spur of the moment jams?

The 'on the road' collaborations were planned but there were many spontaneous events that lead to other collaborations as well.

4) You were involved with the Buddah Bar Ocean DVD which features several tracks composed by yourself. Could you tell us more about this project?

Dj Ravin used my track 'Sleep' from Circles on Volume IX which lead to the label contacting me about being involved with the DVD project. The brief was very simple. The only gave me single phrases as inspiration to write to. Their view was that they wanted me to write tracks inspired by my imagination rather than images or rough cuts they gave me. They then cut the visuals to my music. I ended up spending a week in Paris fine tuning the final edits and working with Alain. One of the tracks they had wasn't working so they asked me to write one for this scene. I did this in my hotel room on the laptop on a two octave keyboard. Great fun!

4) You’re currently working on a new album when do you anticipate this to be released and will there be an accompanying world tour?

The new one is more than half finished but I haven't had the time to put into it to fine tune everything and finish it. I hope to have it ready by March next year and would love to do a world tour with it. I have some serious planning to do!

5) Which artists are currently exciting you?

As I write this I am listening to Shrift - Lost in a Moment which is superb. I saw Seal live in Melbourne last week which was amazing. I would love to get him to sing on one of my tracks. what a voice! Would also love to get Emiliana Torrini. loving John Scofield and Marcin Wasilewski too

6) For people unfamiliar with your music where can they hear your work?

The best place to start is our web-site (click the title to go there). There is plenty of stuff on youtube too. the "Drift' video will give some background into the Indian recording sessions for Circles

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