Ana Mangot: At some point I've decided to make my own music [2/2]

Two weeks after the first interview was released, we finally share the complete story of Ana with you. You can find the first part of the interview here.

Ana describes herself as a “vocalist, tune maker and other stuff doer.” Tell us something about your music enthusiasm.

I've been interested in music and the arts in general since I can remember. I'd browse through my parents vinyls and would have more fun with that than I ever did playing with children's toys. I mean, think about it: chose between Pink Floyd or Barbie... the equation was clear for me. I was like 3 year old, and I'd listen to all types of music: classical, opera, Joan Baez or Pink Floyd, Bauhaus, Alan Parsons, Hip Hop, Soul, never cared about labels... the list goes on and on and one day I found this "Voice of the Xtabay", that album by Yma Sumac. The voice of that woman just blown my mind! That taught me from very early what was possible with one's voice. Later on, Peter Murphy became also a very important influence voice-wise and I simply kept on growing from there. For the most part, I'd join bands as a vocalist. Punk, Jazz, Gospel, Heavy Metal bands... kind of tried them all. But we always did covers or the guys weren't very committed to create originals and that "visual part of the sound" seemed to not be there either, I always felt there was a missing link.

At some point I've decided to give a try with making my own music, which for I knew nothing about. I never studied music theory or anything so I kind of started "poking around" with Ableton, Cubase and so. Technically all that could be done wrong I probably did, yet I'd have an idea in my head and kind of put it down somehow, but I wasn't always able to get it all out the way it sounded right for me. I always went by ear and it was pretty difficult to "find" every sound I had in mind. I did not had enough skill. Released most of it under gazillion weird alter egos... some went places, others are lost on the matrix. Life got in the middle for me before I could concrete much and had an almost 10 years hiatus to find myself coming back to it now, almost unexpectedly. In the meantime I was offered to do stuff but it never worked out. I have a collection of unfinished ideas since 1992 and wasn't sure where to get started so it occurred to me that I'd go for licensing to the media industry, keeping myself busy in the "doing and learning on the go" and everything else would come around.

What's truly most important to me is that the sound I produce conveys ideas and emotions, in such a way that evokes something to the person who listens. The beauty of it is that it may change from person to person, being their infinite interpretations of what you do. One kind of "passes on the art", hopefully speak to someone's heart through something as simple as headphones or whatever: ears to heart I guess. I just find it fascinating that we can share emotions in such a beautiful way. 

What project are you proud of the most?

I wouldn't say proud but excited maybe, and that would be exactly what I am working on as we speak! A couple of months ago, I took back some master tracks I had dropped in 2016. They were just sitting on my HD. Gotta say that my way of remixing other people's music is a bit particular. Before I even start working with the stems, I try to understand how the work has been done, the concept behind it. The original artist's mindset. Like getting myself into the other artist shoes to see it from their perspective so that I have a wide open view for me to see where I can "expand" that initial concept. Simply remixing feels like a waste of creative possibilities, so I like to come out with something that honors the work and yet adds a new layer to it.

But this time, as I was going through the original artist work, I had the most unexpected reaction to their sound. Something simply "clicked" and the next thing I remember is that I am not only re-working the original track but that I found myself in a flow of writing down new music at a speed that I've never experienced before or even thought of being possible. The new music feels so different to any ideas I ever had, those were always pulling me back like I had to make them better before they were ready but the new songs feel right almost as they come out with only minor tweaks. Like they need to be polished rather than refined. Émotionnaire has now a second itinerant member and we are working on the 1st album. This record seems to have a life of its own. In a way it represents the outcome of a variety of personal experiences... coming out in such a cathartic way. I don't know, maybe I just found that chemistry between the ideas on my head and how to put them down. The fun part of this project is that we don't have any specific plans on what the music has to be like... which makes it magical, the fact that there is no expectations to cover, and if the music does well, it really means the interest of the people is real. We all should be making music by instinct, because it feels good and because it is fun. It should be an adventurous experience. It is like being 12 again and being declared old enough to drive or something. New found enthusiasm with no backup plans and it only took me 26 years to find it out, that is what makes my actual projects so special!

 

How would you describe your studio?

Very minimalistic! Actually, I don't have one.

When last year, everything started moving on the direction of me getting back into music, I had no gear anymore, even all computers I owe were nothing amazing, like an office laptop with bare capacities and that beast I still have: a Power Mac G5 which is not working with half the things and the most important: I was broke... there were some decisions to be made.

How could one with little to no gear still be able to produce anything decent? That is when I started looking deeper into the realm of plugins, VST's and what portable options were actually even serious to consider. Then I started talking to some old friends and colleagues and as Alan Parsons reminded us of on a Masterclass "Necessity is the mother of invention". It was very convenient for me to hear that on that particular moment. Always remember what Uncle Alan tells you.

I had some "baggage" yes, but it is fair to say that I am new to the game with lots of things to learn and it felt like the right thing to do: Make the most of what you have and if you're able to pull it off with almost nothing, go and get the fancy toys cause you deserved it!

Got myself an acoustic guitar since most ideas for me come out usually first with a guitar. Right now my only tools are an old laptop, a Power Mac, an iPhone, a 32 key midi controller, an old Yamaha Keyboard that I kind of fixed so I could hook it into the phone and have a full range of keys (surely not portable!) and a mike that I can plug straight into the phone and carry around. Everything else I borrow or figure it out. This actually shows how powerful software can actually be. By no means I say that real instruments or hardware should be replaced, but it really shows the great addition a plugin can be and how much flexibility they add into the game.

So it was born out of necessity but it became also a pragmatic decision not putting together a fixed studio, at least for a while. 

What do you think Audified should change?

Audified has proven to be an ever evolving company and that is the best foundation for any real change. Of course there is always things that can get improved. Since we seem to have here such an amazing community with like minded people who actually is humble enough to want to improve and help others improve, I'd probably revamp the website a little bit to support that side of Audified.

What made us a good friends of yours?

I really really like your products and I believe that the way you work, the open mindset you approach things with and the fact that everyone in there are so cool, together with the Beta testing experience did the trick hahaha.

 

 
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