We are extremely privileged to bring you the totally unique sounds of Ash Mandrake, a solo performer who performs what amounts to a totally new form of Soundscape Opera with his hand-made guitar and loop-machines! You can hear In the Belly of An Ice Giant from his album Footprints from a Tribal ID in our 2013 Faerie Festival Special, SP37.
The tradition of the travelling minstrel, and the itinerant bard is alive in England.
For Ash Mandrake, the last 8 years as a self employed business man within the UK have been deeply rewarding. Ash lives in vehicles and tours constantly, taking his unusual live show the length and breadth of England. Finding pockets of humanity around the country and attracting an audience who are delighted by a show which is eclecticly diverse but also coherent; both diverse and coherent, like the life of any open minded adventurous person.
Ash Mandrake was born and brought up in Manchester. He started playing guitar at 14 and this interest continued through university, where he sang and played in rock bands. For more than a decade, he lived with the uneasy tension between a true passion for creative expression and a powerful drive to achieve academically. He studied hard; science, humanities, management. He worked globally, in industry and universities; as a computer programmer, a teacher, examiner and manager. But he also worked for a while as a stripper/kissogram, and studied fine art part time. Eventually, something had to give. And in 2005, Ash gave in to just being himself, making music, growing pumpkins and making hats. What a relief !
Ash has had no formal training in music or milinary - He is self taught.
Ash's studio work is comprised a solo and band EP and an album Titled Footprints From A Tribal Id. It took three years to manage the data and mix for this album. It is poetry over opera and is roughly a palindrome, with tracks representing birth and death at the beginning and end. The beauty and harshness of winter are respectively celebrated and fearfully acknowledged, as the tribe are guided by their bard through harsh despondency and darkness. The centrepiece, Shade and Flake is a battle, out of which the tribe emerge to heave the sun from the horizon and then celebrate it’s joyful magnificence.
A new album for 2013 Nov
My album "Footprints from A tribal Id" was mainly about choral textures. I've never recorded using the lower neck of my 10 string guitar in the studio. I'm hoping to do this during August of 2013. I'll be working on a new album with Steve Forward (Essex) - The 10 string will feature prominently.
Taking the act to Europe
I'm working on building a tour of Northern Europe for June/July 2014.
Ash has 2 albums available.