Phil Manzanera talks about Roxy Music and his album with poet, Anna Le Does
Phil Manzenera was/is the great guitar player from Roxy Music. His distinctive guitar style in the band’s early albums has been highly influential on the punk and post punk and onwards generations.
He is about to release a new project ”ËNth ENTITIES: Phil Manzanera Doesmusic/AnnaLeDoes Poetry’ with the poet Anna LeDoes’. He provides the atmospheric backing whilst Anna provides her stark and powerful poetry on top. It’s a highly effective and original work. The album is out 30 April 2012. Buy online here
Phil Manzenera talked to LTW! about the album…
1. How does creative process work- does AnnaLe provide the poem first and you put the music to it?
Yes that’s it! . I recorded her reciting the poetry and began the process of seeing whether I could write some music for them. I initially played back her words from my laptop and got out an acoustic guitar and just played anything that came to me and recorded it on my iphone. Then I listened back to it and I thought ”Ëthis has got potential’, I found that she had a natural rhythm which I could lock in to, so I went to my recording studio, and with the aid of Mike Body, the engineer, I started to construct a fuller musical picture. And that’s how all the tracks were done, me reacting to Anna’s spoken words and the meanings of her poem. The idea was to blend Anna’s words into my musical context
2. How did the creative relationship come about
I was at a Talking Musical Revolutions evening at a pub in Shoreditch and heard AnnaLe reciting her poem on Jimi Hendrix and was captivated by her insight and the power of words!
3. Is it difficult to make musical pieces work with poetry as opposed to singing?
No its easier in some ways, as you start with something positive that doesn’t have a top line melody so you can be freer with the music.
4. It’s interesting some of the poems/songs are homages to iconic musicians- is there a reason for this? Did this affect the music you created for those pieces?
Anna Le was asked to write poems for three ”ËMusical Revolutions’ evenings about these musicians. I certainly thought about the genres that they worked in and tried to create a sympathetic musical context for her words about them
5. What other projects are you involved with at the moment?
I am currently writing a follow up to the Corroncho album I released last year. Its an all Spanish sung album based on Latin issues.