Not a bad resumee for an Austrian musician to have a collection of anecdotes about himself as a percussionist on tour with Björk. Yes – THE Icelandic pop priestess Björk we all know of. Needless to say, the amazing percussionist and Hang player Manu Delago is a musician who has made quite an international name for himself, enthralling listeners across the globe. Performing live with Björk for her new album “Vulnicura”, the first seven concerts will take place in New York City.
Not many musicians can claim to belong to the best in the world on their instruments. Manu Delago has a lot to brag about, but modesty is a virtue, and he would probably be too humble to admit it. Born in Innsbruck, he studied classic percussion at the Tyrolean State Conservatory with Norbert Rabanser and Gunnar Fras, holds a master’s degree in jazz drumming at the Guildhall School of Music in London and completed his composition studies at the Trinity College of London. Today Manu Delago belongs to one of the few Hang virtuosos in the world and has a very unique and intriguing approach to this extraordinary instrument.
It was the Hang’s hard to define, deep and soft sound that once sold Manu Delago on this Swiss instrument in 2003. However it is not only Delago’s virtuosic techniques that have made him become such an exceptional artist. It is above all his extremely pronounced openness towards different currents and projects and an almost insatiable love of experimentation that distinguish this very busy musician. Thus, Manu Delago feels just as comfortable in jazz and improvisation as in classical chamber music, drum’n’bass or pop.
No wonder that the multiple award-winning percussionist and composer has traveled the world and proven his skills on stage in many internationally renowned venues such as the Roundhouse, the Southbank Centre and the Barbican in London, in the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, at the Downtown Independent Theatre in Los Angeles, and at the Konzerthaus in Vienna. The names of the many artists with whom he has collaborated throughout his career are also quite impressive: Shpongle, Graduale Nobili, the London Symphony Orchestra, Bugge Wesseltoft, Didier Lockwood, Stuart McCallum, Wolfgang Puschnig, Boris Grebenshikov, Georg Breinschmid, and, of course, Björk.
Another degree of recognition is shown with his video on Youtube, which lists almost five million hits for his “Hang Drum Solo” and has become one of the most popular Hang videos in the world.
Besides performing on stage with Björk, Manu Delago will soon be releasing his new album “Silver Kobalt“ (out on April 6, 2015/Tru Thoughts Records), which will be followed by an extensive European tour with his band Manu Delago Handmade. Tour stops include various intimate concerts at special venues around Europe, such as the Bush Hall in London (May 3), Philharmonie in Luxembourg (May 12), and many more.
Manu Delago – Silver Kobalt Preview:
Check band website for international concerts.