What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.

Ever since I was a child, I remember that whenever I listened to music that I enjoyed, I tried to compose melodies with my own voice, which I sang at the same time while I was listening. I mean melodies different than those that the artists performed, but always in accord .Then I got my first guitar and started composing my first musical themes and from that point on, my first songs with lyrics. This whole thing really excited me and filled me with strength since I was able to express myself in a different way known to me till then. I felt free as I could say things that would have been impossible for me to express in any other way. I turned my feelings into music! Back then, at the same time I was attending guitar lessons, music theory as well as solfege.
Although my basic hearings came from heavy metal and although I actively participated in a metal band, my first complete pieces were acoustic. Along with some friends we formed the “Emerald” where we performed the songs which had a better orchestration in our first official CD “Images from a perfect passion”. The outcome was a mixture of ambient, classical and ethnic music which received very good reviews.
Then, musical technology and synthesizers started to draw my attention. I was enchanted by the fact that you can make your own unique sounds and embellish them with effects. I left the “Emerald” and started dealing with electronic music composition. Thus came my personal project “Iris Manta” that counts two albums so far, being “Mental Equations” and the most recent one, “Kilonova”.

Provide us with some info about your latest release…

In the case of the latest release that is “Kilonova”, an attempt is made to decode astronomical events into music. Each track represents a process taking place out there, like for example the homonymous track referring to the violent collision of neutron stars or Stellar sculptures concerning the impressive remnants left behind by a supernova explosion while the mood of the album is more turbulent. The music maker here tries to find himself amidst these natural processes, sense them, express them and describe them.
Of course, in the result greatly contributes the use of analog synthesizers, drum machine, while all the tracks on the whole are instrumental with a slight presence of vocoder vocals. Generally speaking, the style of music tends to be inclined towards synthwave. “Kilonova” is a self-funded album and it circulates in both a digital form and online (Bandcamp, Spotify, Amazon, CDbaby etc.) as well as in physical form CD-R(digipack limited edition of 100 pieces).

Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?

My basic influential source in the composition of music is the profound love for space and the laws that determine it, at least for the time being. Of course, the outcome is closely related to the psychological factor of the given moment.

In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?

The Iris Manta music is purely electronic. It brings to mind sounds from older decades and it is the mixture of different sound colours that one can achieve, owing to the infinite possibilities provided by synthesizers and effects.
When I compose music, I try to make things that remind of no other artist, as much as possible of course, since I cannot possibly know about all the melodies in the world. What really interests me is for all the different feelings to be expressed, to be able to codify music that the listener can perceive. When I have the feeling that what I am making reminds of something else, I give it up and start all over again. In other words, I try not to sound insipid and boring. For this reason I want each one of my albums to sound different whether it comes to production or its style. If you listen both of my albums you will see that the approach is different.
All the above, in my opinion, can draw people’s attention and make them curious to listen to my music, if they are fan of this kind. Besides, we should always give a chance to underground projects.

Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…

That is a difficult question. I am quickly mentioning those that first come to mind as being the most representative ones.
Books : Michael Ende – The mirror in the mirror, Valerio Manfredi – The tower, Elsa Morante – L’isola di Arturo
Movies : Bladerunner 1&2, La grand vadrouille (Luis de Funes), Cinema paradiso.

Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?

For the time being I prefer the studio. Live performing is not a part of my immediate plans. Perhaps in the future…

Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?

When I was sixteen, I had a very funny teacher at school. I imitated her perfectly and I was very popular at school because of that. In order to make my schoolmates laugh, I made up stories about her and recorded them using an old tape recorder .But I also wanted to add various and hilarious sounds that I created using my own voice. This wasn’t enough, so one day I decided to record the sound that various objects made. I went to the stairs of the block of flats where I lived and started throwing my mum’s baking tins down the stairs of the second floor. I recorded each baking tin separately and then I put those sounds together, with the result of which being a funny sound. Imagine each baking tin with its own pitch, in its natural reverb, in a deafening performance!! Ahahaha. That later gave me the idea to make sampling in my own music tracks. In this way I created a psychedelic trance track, rather paranoid but funny at the same time which unfortunately has not been saved.

Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?

Contrary to the preferences and the statistics of the listeners, I would personally opt for two, one from each album: Hypervelocity stars, from “Mental Equations”, since I consider it to be the more mature. I would say that it contains all the feelings of the rest of the pieces, while I find the succession of the themes to be more appropriate. From the” Kilonova” which is the second album, I choose canvas electron. I think it is representative, I really like its basic sequence, it is powerful and in general very close to what I had in mind.

Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?

What I can say for sure is that I have already been thinking about a third album which will surely also have a different approach, always based on electronic sound. Because like “Iris Manta” the music is instrumental, I would like to deal again, like in the past with lyrics and therefore I would like the participation of a singer. I have also been thinking for quite a while now the creation of a video clip, so that is also part of my future plans.

Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…

Photo credits: Chatzidaki Kalliope

Curated by: Christos Doukakis

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