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Manu Delago is an Austrian Hang player, percussionist and composer based in London. He is highly in demand and has worked with Björk, Anoushka Shankar and The Cinematic Orchestra.

Thanks to Manu Delago

Thanks to Xavier Paufichet
Interview

Emin Sassi
Correction : Valencia Ehrhart

You‘ve become a virtuoso of Hang, how did you come across this instrument?
In 2003, my father saw it at a festival and showed it to me on the Internet and I ordered one without knowing anything. I loved it right away, I usually love all instruments, I’ve been playing one after another one. I’ve always been a musician, but it became my main instrument.

I try to use my knowledge of drums to compose but it can be difficult because there is no other creation of hang so everything I create is new.

Your talent made you Bjork’s protege, how is it working with her on her tour?
She saw a video of me on youtube and she contacted me, but I’ve always been a fan of her music and videos before that. Only a few months later she contacted my manager and we started to work together.
It started with the song VIRUS, I did the arrangement of the melody. She had the idea and I suggested some feedbacks. It was a collaboration. During our work she let me propose more and more things.

What kind of tips did you get from her as an artist?
Being around such an artist is very inspiring. If there is one thing I learnt with her is how much she cares about the whole image. She is very meticulous about the concept on her video, the show, everything surrounding her music. She’s not only a singer, she wants to know how it looks, how it sounds, how people will react.
I think it will be something I’ll apply to my work too.

You’re launching your second album, what is the inspiration behind it?
If people know the hang instrument, they will know the sound but I tried to incorporate electronic beats and tried to clash different things together. I always try to incorporate contemporary and classical elements, clashing them with electronic beats. For me there is more rhythm and energy than in my first album. It’s louder and at the same time it’s more experimental.

Can you describe it in 3 words?
Experimental, chamber, pop

Tonight you’re performing in front of your audience, what should they expect?
I’m hoping that they take something with them that they have never experienced before. That’s my goal. When I go to a concert that’s what I expect.

Which artists do you want to collaborate with in the future?
As I’m a composer and a producer I try to keep up with what is relevant but I also like classical. I really like electronic beats so it’s really about diversity of what you listen.
There are so many artists I want to work with, it’s endless. So I stopped wondering which one I want to work with, I take life as it comes.

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