“Band Spectra is the project of Robert Manning, a disabled musician from Southeast England. Using the moniker Band Spectra, and with the help of Arts Council funding, Robert has produced an album of notable collaborations with the intention of celebrating and raising awareness of disability and diversity within the music industry.
Band Spectra was born in early 2020; a therapeutic endeavour following a passing recommendation by a neuropsychologist to use music as an aid to assist increasingly evident difficulties with memory, concentration, language, reasoning, and various other aspects of learning and understanding brought on by his decline in health with Multiple Sclerosis.
What started as nothing more than a passing exploration into hardware synthesis and a personal enjoyment of various iconic 80’s drum machines, quickly blossomed into a neoteric passion. Hiding from an increasingly volatile world with his family, building (online) friendships with the like of Dave Sanderson (Producer: 65 Days of static) Olugbenga Adelekan (Bassist: Metronomy) and Leo Abrahams (Guitarist: Solo, Brian Eno etc.) with the simple concept to collaborate with seminal artists, break through significant barriers and help to showcase disability within the music industry.”
I decided to share this album before I read the bio above. It makes the album such an amazing endeavor and I am glad I can share it with you. There were many talented musicians working on this album and it is clearly heard. I like the 80s synth vibes in the song, also the album is quite an interesting mixture of various genres. Every song has its own flavor and mood and creates together a really special collection.
My personal favorite from the album is the last song Freckless which has a really nice video as well:
Overall, the album has so many great songs and I bet everyone will find their favorites. If you are a fan of 80s music, this album will suit you very well.
I have reached out to Robert and asked him our 3 Qs.
What inspired you to start making music and what keeps you making music?
Band Spectra began as a therapeutic endeavour following a passing recommendation by a neuropsychologist to use music as an aid to try to combat a decline in my health as a result of Multiple Sclerosis. Recognising the frustrating lack of visibility and significant barriers faced by disabled musicians within the music industry and with the help of Arts Council funding, I made an album of remote collaborations during a challenging period of shielding, with the intention of celebrating and raising awareness of disability and diversity.
What was the most challenging thing in your music (artistic) path?
Without doubt, finding the right collaborators. There is a lot of networking, emailing, waiting. I have been very lucky working with the likes of Catherine Anne-Davies (The Anchoress), Mary Leay, Olugbenga (Metronomy), Leo Abrahams (Brian Eno), Angelica Allen (My Midnight Heart) and Nathan ‘Tugg’ Curran (Basement Jaxx)
What would you dream to do if anything was possible?
Spend a couple of hours in my late parents’ company, tell them everything they have missed, hold them, thank them.
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