Saturday, February 1, 2014

Manuel Mota 13 questions

Manuel Mota October 22, 1970, experimental jazz & blues guitarist from Lisbon, Portugal.

Mota started playing guitar at 15. He is known for his very personal language in guitar playing. His music is part of a tradition rooted in blues and reveals a multitude of influences and historical references being at the same time actual, with an enigmatic sense of timelessness. In the late 1980s his discovery of experimental music, jazz and all the underground activity of that period inspired him to turn his work public, which happened in 1989. Between 1989 and 1997 he studied and experimented with prepared guitar, mainly acoustic, and focused his work on drone music, influenced by Phill Niblock and La Monte Young. Since then his interests shifted to the development of a personal language for fingerstyle guitar and started working in a regular basis with bassist Margarida Garcia.

photo: Joao Ricardo
He studied and experimented with prepared guitar and created drone-related pieces. Since aproximately 1997 he shifted his interests to the development of his fingerstyle guitar work. That is still his main focus of activity. Founded the record label "Headlights" in 1998 and almost exclusively released his work there, his latest album being "Foz", released with Toshimaru Nakamura in 2013.

His artistic activity has been mostly underground and that is an important cause for aspects that are inner part of his work- unadorned directness, simplicity of means and lo-fi home-recording are notable examples on that.

He collaborated closely with Sei Miguel from 1997 to 2005.

His recent collaborators live or in recordings were, among others, Margarida Garcia, David Maranha, Noel Akchoté, Lee Ranaldo, Okkyung Lee, Jason Kahn, Helena Espvall, Chris Corsano, Tetuzi Akiyama, Toshimaru Nakamura, Terre Thaemlitz, Phill Niblock (from whom regularly interprets the music since 1995), and he's part of the art collective Osso Exótico.

Has been working with choreographers and dancers, film makers and
visual artists; Among others, Aydin Teker, Vera Mantero, Nuno da Luz,
Pedro Barateiro and Francisco Tropa.

"You can hear exactly why Derek Bailey spoke so highly of Mota: the guitarist has quite simply created a world of his own."
Dan Warburton, The Wire


Which was the first record you bought with your own money?

I was eight, got The Police "Regatta de Blanc", took it home, listened to it next to my father, which convinced me it was not good. Then I went to the shop and exchanged for Kiss "Dynasty" because I liked the cover. But didn't dare to show my father then. And I remember just enjoying two or three songs of it. Maybe the money wasn't mine, but those were the first I choosed.

Which was the last record you bought with your own money?

Laura Nyro's "New York Tendaberry". It's the third or fourth time I buy this record because I always give the copy I have it to friends, because I love it so much.
I bought some more after this one, but they were presents to friends. I like to offer records.

What do you expect from music?

Not more than I get. It makes life better if not good.

Which work of your own are you most proud of, and why?

Sincerely, I'm not proud of anything I did. I'll stop working when I feel it.

What's the importance of practice in music, in your opinion?

I don't distinguish it from playing a concert or recording. Since I play an instrument, practicing is all I do. Like living, it's just a question of trying to do it better, trying to feel good with one self. That energy will pass to everyone around you, I believe.

What quality do you admire most in a musician?

I admire a musician who can transmit his effort to be a nicer and more complete person in his (her) music.

What’s the difference between a good guitar and a bad guitar?

A good guitar is the one that inspires you to play better, and doesn't betrayal you with unreliability. But it needs to offer a bit of resistance on this process. I'm playing now with a Fender Jaguar and a Gibson Firebird, and both fit this bill perfectly!

What are the challenges and benefits of today's digital music scene?

For my own practice, it makes recording and editing easier. Also, created new sounds. But I wish internet wouldn't exist like this. Too much polution.

Manuel Mota on Myspace

Define the sound you're still looking for.

It's always changing a bit, but I think my main references in terms of sound are Charlie Christian and Peter Green. So, concrete, physical, defined, fat and spacey. But I reserve the right to change (and suffer).

What's your preferred device in the sound chain?

I think maybe amp, but miles away from the guitar.

Why do you love the guitar?

I can't explain. It has something to do with my history and with what became important in my life.

What dead artist would you like to have collaborated with?

Laura Nyro and Billie Holiday


    Environmental Analysis Report 


      I Wish I'd Never Met You 


        For Your Protection Why Don't You Just Paint Yourself Real Good Like An Indian 




            Ernesto RodriguesGuilherme RodriguesManuel MotaJosé Oliveira - Assemblage ‎ 

            Creative Sources2003



                Ernesto RodriguesManuel MotaGabriel Paiuk - Dorsal ‎ 

                Creative Sources2004

                  Outubro (Solo Guitar Playing) 




                      Ernesto Diaz-Infante / Manuel Mota / Gino Robair / Ernesto Rodrigues - Our Faceless Empire ‎ 

                      Pax Recordings2010

                        Manuel Mota + Jason Kahn - Espírito Santo ‎ 




                            Dias Das Cinzas 



                              Dromos Records2012

                                Noël AkchotéManuel MotaMargarida Garcia - ZDB-Trio and Solo ‎ 

                                Noël Akchoté Downloads2012

                                  Manuel Mota and Noël Akchoté - Lisboa 2011  

                                  Noël Akchoté Downloads2012

                                    Ernesto Rodrigues / Jonathan Sielaff / Vic Rawlings / Leif Sundstrom* / Gust Burns / Manuel Mota -Seattle ‎ 

                                    Creative Sources2013

                                      Toshimaru Nakamura And Manuel Mota - Foz ‎  

                                      Dromos Records2013

                                      Singles & EPs

                                        Manuel Mota & Margarida Garcia - Untitled ‎ (File, MP3, Single, 128)

                                        Tu M'p32002


                                          Noël AkchotéRichard PinhasTetuzi AkiyamaManuel Mota and Raphael Rogiński - Five Guitars ‎  

                                          Noël Akchoté Downloads2013

                                            Manuel M. Mota 

                                            Ilinx Records1994

                                              Manuel MotaAfonso Simões - Ao Vivo No Espaço Centro De Desastres ‎  

                                              Dromos Records2010

                                                David Maranha / Manuel Mota / Ricardo Jacinto - @ Palácio Pombal (Carpe Diem)  

                                                Not On Label (Ricardo Jacinto Self-released)2012

                                                  Live At Natal Dos Experimentais 2011 


                                                  Afonso Simões, David maranha, Manuel Mota e Margarida Garcia

                                                  Osso Exótico Live At Appleton Square

                                                  Dru David maranha, Manuel Mota e Riccardo Dillon wanke