Hey there. I’ve DJ’d many a party and performed my own songs at many a venue. Loved being part of the intimate festival experience on stages over the years (Glastonbury, Big Chill) and mesmerizing 90’s chill-out rooms with ambient tunes and dreamy vocals into the wee hours (Fridge, Mass, Pendragon, Samsara). Later low key local gigs inc Dulwich Festival, Dulwich Picture Gallery with celestial and seductive songs. I’ve also loved the visual side of graphics, script, and making video film clips of some of my tracks as many songs are stories or just a celebration of life and colour – such as the trance dance “Beautiful”- bursting kaleidoscopic spectrum of spring flowers and then the slower more sensual flowers in “Honey” to the autumnal landscapes in “Kiss the Wind” and the Twin Peaks/Hitchcock-esque “Now it’s Dark”
The albums here, feature songs old and new, drawn from personal experience – longing & intimacy, wonder, angels, a need for inner space, and zooming out to outer space. A desire to express both the complex emotions and joys of love to the euphoric urge to free the spirit.
The compilation Dark Side of the Room though is at times heart wrenchingly sad… “we all have moments at the end of the day where we sit alone in the dark side of the room, where life catches up with us, where you try to hold on, carry on, and move on – it’s about picking up the pieces”.
Many tracks feature real instruments whilst embracing technology. I start songwriting with my grandmas old piano (and since i was 13). Recording later if possible on a Grand piano, I have some unusual instruments such as the autoharp (heard on “soft”) & monochord (a 26 stringed instrument producing a drone and harmonics, i use as a sound practitioner and as heard on “Kiss the Wind”) . I love the emotion a string quartet swelling around brings to “Angels” or the Viola on “You’re Gone”. I hope my craft of storytelling shines through these songs as you listen and maybe a line or two resonates with you in some way.
John Peel put the first release “Knees Up Mother Earth” (with Knights of The Occasional Table) in his Festive 50 calling it “a lovely record”. I loved writing the out-there hippy trippy lyrics and multi layering spacey vocals for this this iconic, electronic rare sell-out of an album. Listen on my Aquamanda bandcamp page
I met the Knights trio – Andy, Nyge and Steve (plus Matt Moose), after recording track “Orion” with Colin and Neil (aka Zion Train) at their Wibbly Wobbly World of Music studio in North London. The original Orion version (1992) is now finally available on Spotify (plus Brian Hamlyn’s totally spaced out “Celestial Voices of Orion” trippy mix too). Colin Zion Train suggested I add lyrics and vocals to the to the Knights tunes they were just starting to lay down, and the first collaboration, “Breathe”, came to life and straight onto “Shamanarchy in the UK” compilation album. More inspired lyrics and vocals came to complete this Knights first album release, “Knees Up Mother Earth” in 1993
“Weightlessness” (heard here on Wonderland album) was quite possibly the first ever deliberately internet only release in 1996 via Cerberus Digital Jukebox in Soho, London. Pioneering musical streaming and downloads at the time was revolutionary and not widely known or understood. Pre-napster and certainly pre itunes. Few people had access to sound, colour or graphics on their computers – never mind a secure way of paying for a transaction!
I liked this new idea of a release having no actual physical form. That this song, inspired by totally being lost in sound mediation, to the point of feeling invisible and weightless, whilst Ohm-ing in a circle of friends one midsummer midnight up on Hampstead Heath, should be only released via the electronic weightless ethers beamed around the world!
25 year remix “Weightless” by Mr Hare & Mr Hare now on Spotify. Artwork by Mr Cenz
I released 12″ dance tracks on my own label Fairy Cake Universe. Ok i’m in my own Cosmic Disco! Full of my scientific and just intuitive thoughts on the universe are abundant. The joy of enlightenment through dance, love, stars, meditation, the elements, the interconnectedness of everything. (Wonderweb ). I’m an exuberant Fashion/textiles design graduate, loving expression and colour. I desired to explore the world (2 years Asia, Communist China, Australia etc Tai Chi to Scuba diving just loving the experience of the people and the planet). I then took to energy work with the Tama Do Academy of Sound, Colour & Movement Diploma with “the father of Vibrational healing”, Fabian Maman. Red gives me a headache. Magenta pink was my colour top to toe for a decade. I interview Fabian in the mini documentary “The Monochord”.
I’ve collaborated from 2011 with Rude Audio (album That Dirty Echo & 2012 remixes) Tracks include: Now it’s Dark, Fin on a Hill, Fever Scientist, Lufbra Vigil, Rise in Peckham. Crystal Pylon
The ethereal vocals on Angels were sampled and dance remixed by Haris & Automatic (LAUS01). James Hare (aka Perception) chops and twists vocals originally from “Statue” to produce “Oblivious”. #1 on Beatport July 2022 Hard Dance/ Hardcore top 100 (Eryk Orpheus, Perception, AB. Stamina Records). Bangin
at the other end of the spectrum I am the ident “Lenovo” vocal on Lenovo laptops advertising campaign throughout Asia.
Meanwhile I’m often found nestled amongst the soprano’s in local choral society and choirs: from enjoying versions of contemporary pop songs (performing at The Royal Academy, Tower of London, Lambeth Palace, St Paul Cathedral, Trafalgar Square), or equally as enthusiastic, singing Verdi’s Requiem and Handel’s Messiah at Venues such as St John Smiths Square, Blackheath Halls, Southwark Cathedral, Southbank Centre Concert Hall.
Like such joyous and sacred music, whether singing classics or my own material, I like to connect to the source.
As DJ Aquamanda I need a versatile repertoire, to delight 8th’s to 80th birthday parties (such as Brucie Forsythes birthday/ Strictly Come Dancing wrap party at the BBC), charity Silent Disco at the Rivoli Ballroom, 40th’s at Soho House, 50th’s & 60th at Shoreditch House, Weddings and civil partnerships at Dulwich College and many a marquee.
regular Resident Dj at BBC and the rollerdisco Saturday afternoon session FamilyJam. “It’s like the Chart Show on wheels”
Aquamanda.biz was responsible for a decade sourcing and managing the smooth running of the stage award presentations of The Charity Awards at Grosvenor House, from presenters including Olivia Coleman, Sir Peter Blake to hosts including Steve Mangan, Jo Brand
You’ll often find me wandering the streets www.dulwichoutdoorgallery.co.uk leading guided walks around the Baroque inspired murals of the wider Dulwich area @dulwichstreetart