…and the Doppler D – Effect

Sound Talks With…Emanative

One of the best aspects of being part of The PotCats and The Doppler D – Effect is that sometimes we get to communicate with the very artists that inspired us to create our platform. One of those creators that motivated us is indeed Nick Woodmansey a.k.a Emanative. Nick, for us, is the perfect example of a modern multidisciplinary musical genius that creates art in the form of sound waves that are perfectly organized in the time-space realm…the sounds that Emanative brings to life are sounds not only for the ears and the mind but also for the soul and the collective wisdom. Now, take a deep breath and enjoy this journey to a world seen from Emanative’s eyes.

When did you realize that you wanted to be a musician and what were the first steps into the path of becoming one?

I was brought up in a very musical household so I was always around music and always loved music. My dad was a big influence being a successful drummer and musician himself, he was happy to teach me things and let me rehearse and play on his kit in his studio from when I was very young. I remember him playing guitar and me playing along when I was probably between 6 and 8 years old? I have always been interested in all things artistic, not just music, but I think it was when I left school and was playing in various bands I decided to pursue the musical pathways instead of art school, and that’s when I first oved to London.

When was the first time you felt the desire to make your music sound different from the so-called standard?

I played for years as just a drummer in other people’s projects and I kind of reached a point where I had to decide to pursue the path of session musician or artist, producer and bandleader. I encountered many things playing for others that didn’t resonate with me personally, be it band politics, decisions made by those in charge, and a lack of creative input required and allowed. I also had faith in my own taste and choices and wanted to work in a situation where musicians involved were valued for what they bring to the table and were encouraged to creatively invest in the music. My personal tastes are extremely broad and eclectic and this doesn’t always help with promotion or marketing, but I feel it’s at least refreshingly honest, and I don’t need to be liked and admired by everyone, I just want to create art for the people who appreciate and dig it.

We would like to know a bit about your creative process. What’s your approach towards the creation of new sounds?

It really depends on the project actually, I don’t have only one way to approach these things. Sometimes it’s a full nine piece band live in one big room. Other times it can be starting from my programmed beats or live drums and building it up. And recently things have been starting from improvised jam sessions and then working on the most magical moments captured.

Where do you think ideas for experimental sounds come from, from the inside (the soul and the mind) or from the outside (the world around us)?

This is a good question! I am personally often inspired by music I hear or music I would like to hear. So that would mean both inner and outer. Instinct, imagination and inspiration in equal measure. Often it’s something I can envisage and it has possibly not been done in my way before this time, and other times I simply have a strong desire to do something in the style of (something I know and love)

The results of your collaborations with other musicians and producers are just impressive, they are so diverse and at a mind bending musical level. What is it like to be the magnet at the core of collaborations with so many great and different musicians with whom you’ve worked along the years?

For me, this is actually such a massive compliment, so thank you for that. I have definitely been blessed with amazing band members and collaborators as well as a strong enough urge and feeling that something magical can be created if I’m trusted by whomever to bring something to fruition.

The thing about experimenting with new ideas is that it is unknown territory, and that is sometimes slightly nerve wracking – as you never truly know if it’s not just taking a direction that is simply one’s own taste or desire and that it possibly doesn’t translate or come across to anyone else?

Being at the center of any of these collaborations is what gives me pride for sure, I feel certain that these things wouldn’t happen or come in to being without me instigating and seeing them through. I am also very aware of the fact that they wouldn’t come into existence without the input and equal creative expression of my chosen collaborators!

My skill doesn’t lie in being a multi-instrumentalist or something, I am a drummer and percussionist with a good ear and a willingness to get experimental with other artists. For every amazing collab that has come into being, there are as many ideas and collaborations that sadly never happened.

Many musicians tend to isolate themselves from the world. Do you think a musician should always share ideas and collaborate with other artists or isolation and retrospection is also a way of finding the right soundwaves?

It’s a personal thing, whatever works at the time. You have to go with what works for you. Sometimes, this is achieved with others and sometimes this is a solo mission. For me, a good balance feels healthy.

We, The PotCats, as music selectors have noticed that globally there’s a radical change in sounds and styles during and after the years of the pandemic. Albums, singles and EPs created during and after isolation periods tend to be somehow different. How do you think these periods of isolation and uncertainty have influenced music? Do you feel a difference in your own music before and after?

Well obviously this had a deep emotional impact on everyone worldwide, so it’s inevitable that it would be expressed through music and art. For me personally, and on a more positive note, I did get a lot more time than usual to be making music, and a lot more time in nature. My surroundings and where I live is very peaceful anyway, but during this time it was absolutely beautiful and quiet. Therefore and as a direct result of this I was listening to much more ambient and mellow music.

A forthcoming ambient Jazz project with Jessica Lauren (under my direction) was born, and I was working with John Haycock as part of a mentorship program From my position as Trustee of The Steve Reid Foundation. Mixing some of his music for his recently released album Dorian Portrait was a joy!

Since things returned to normality, I have had a strong urge to get back into playing LIVE and this has led to my own kind of self-discovery and realization that improvisation is a key part of what inspires me the most. Much of the music I’m currently working on has originated in heavily improvised sessions.

Where do you feel more comfortable: On stage or in the studio? Why?

Generally and for many years I would have said that ‘studio’ was my preference, but as I was just saying before, these passions are now aligning themselves in equal balance. I enjoy the drummer and producer roles equally – but I generally prefer drumming and producing together, creating my own music.

What’s the craziest track you guys have ever listened to?

We listen to a lot of crazy experimental music so that’s a tough one. Not sure I could narrow it down to one track. I have had my head back in a lot of free jazz records recently! Art Ensemble Of Chicago “Oh Strange, Pt. 1 & 2, Alan Silva “ Skillfullness”, Don Cherry “Eternal Now”, Sun Ra “The Heliocentric Worlds Of Sun Ra Vol. 2” e.t.c.

AI is inevitably getting deep into our lives and arts development. What are your thoughts about the use of AI in music creation and live performances? How do you think it will change the creators’ and listeners’ experience in the future?

To be completely honest, this is not a subject that inspires me whatsoever. I would have to say that I’m organic all the way – and by that I mean that any music and art has to have an individual spirit or mind behind it with something to communicate and express, a soulful intention originating with a human spirit. This is something that is tangible and perceivable, and I think you will miss it if it’s not present (at least in the music I enjoy) In general I guess it’s quite an unknown and potentially scary concept, and again has much to do with the intention behind it.

What are your plans for the future in terms of production and creation? Any collaborations, concerts, singles or albums in the near future?

I’m currently working on a huge amount of new music. I’m probably experimenting quite a bit with what truly inspires me, so I’m allowing it to take as long as it needs to blossom and come to fruition. I’m working on an E.P. with Danalogue (from The Comet Is Coming) and this is coming together very nicely indeed. Just drums and synth, and a large amount of it started life in one improvised jam at his studio one evening. Dan is an absolute don and it’s an absolute pleasure and an honor to be working with him, it’s going to be very cool.

Another interesting and rather spontaneous project I’m working on involves Polish jazz bassist; Wojtek Mazolewski, Manchester saxophonist; Alabaster Deplume, Brazilian guitarist; Marcelo Frota, Italian percussionist; Vince Vella, and myself on drums and percussion. After an impromptu live performance on the spare of the moment recently at Total Refreshment Centre, we decided to get in the studio and improvise and create some music together, and it was a refreshingly raw and beautiful outcome.

Myself and Liz Elensky have started working on some new material as a follow-up to The Volume Of The Light and this will start to take shape very soon as we involve other musicians and artists. The Jessica Lauren record (for Olindo Records) just needs me to finish mixing, but there is already one epic piece mixed and mastered which features Martin Moscrop (A Certain Ratio) on trumpet and Raimund Wong on tape machines and dub effects. Myself and Sarathy Korwar recently recorded some drums and percussion together – two drum kits plus percussion and it’s early days to be able to say what this will evolve into, but there are some magical moments captured. We were recently commissioned by The Jazz Cafe here in London to do an interpretation of Sun Ra’s “Space Is The Place” with the full nine piece band. We were once again honoured to be asked to repeat this performance in Belgium on August 31st for Feeërieën 2023 (Warandepark, Brussels) I have some recordings of us working on this material that may also see the light of day at some point.

What do you think is the role of experimental music and musicians in the creation of a better world and the development of the human race?

Experimental music is primarily created by musicians and artists who generally think and create outside of the box, this is in itself is a very valuable, therapeutic and necessary perspective for people right now (and always) I would like to agree that a positive freethinking message that blasts people out of their heads and inspires a force for good is the best healing remedy possible, more powerful than any politician in my observation and experience.

Music Is The Healing Force Of The Universe!

If through science or any other method we manage to prove the existence of a creator or great designer of the universe and you were chosen to pick the background sounds for the encounter, which of all the songs ever made by humans would you choose for such an event?

Deep question… Well, perhaps I imagine myself pulling together a huge orchestra of amazing musicians and co-creating something together to the best of all of our abilities. But perhaps for here and now, the closest we will get to this is knowing that it’s all about love and a kind of oneness with mankind, the human spirit and all of nature and life. If we hurt each other we hurt ourselves, if we love each other we love ourselves. We can create a background soundtrack to this concept whenever we choose to, perhaps this would get us one small step closer. I wonder if Science will be able to solve this if it needs spiritual things to be provable on material universe terms and conditions?

Here some of our favorite tracks by Emanative:

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