Hieme, Via and Lux, Manuel Mota’s guitar trilogy, Headlights, 2022 on #neuguitars #blog #ManuelMota

Hieme, Via and Lux, Manuel Mota’s guitar trilogy, Headlights, 2022 on #neuguitars #blog #ManuelMota

Hieme | Manuel Mota (bandcamp.com)

Via | Manuel Mota (bandcamp.com)

Lux | Manuel Mota (bandcamp.com)

Manuel Mota (1970) is a Portuguese guitarist, known for the personal vocabulary he has been able to develop around his guitar. Brilliant improviser and scrupulous experimenter, his music is characterized by the absence of any boundaries between creation, composition and instrumental performance, drawing inspiration from a multitude of vaguely postmodern references, which give his poetics a curious timeless sense. Shy character, little known outside of a close search of enthusiasts, he has never done much to get out of a sort of semi-clandestinity, which in the end seems to be a characterizing element of his work. For years he has continued a quiet and methodical recording activity, characterized by an almost minimal simplicity, the poverty of recording media and the scrupulous attention with which he takes care of every detail of the productions of his independent record company Headlights Recording ( HEADLIGHTS (headlightsrecordings.blogspot.com) .

In 2022 he produced three CDs, Hieme, Via and Lux, each in a limited edition of 100 copies, which I happily bought. I have deep respect for Manuel Mota’s tenacity and artistic coherence, I don’t hesitate to call myself a fan of him and I’m always happy to listen to every his new releases. Last year, with Hieme, Via and Lux he seems to have wanted to sum up his long artistic career by immersing himself even more in the study of the tone and textures generated by his guitar.


Mota seems to have passed a vision of art, of music, as ‘mimesis’. Instead of the world as an object that can be represented by art and art as a representation of the world, Mota’s music seems to remind us how everything man does can be seen as a representation, as a figuration, as a musical conception. The world of Manuel Mota is no longer (just) nature, but the product of our hands. Mota with his guitar announces a new anthropology where every human activity and production is valid as musical and sound communication on several levels, in its linguistic and aesthetic aspects. I don’t think Mota can ever be defined as satisfied with what he creates. His forms always seem to me to contain some element of imperfection that forces them to change, guaranteeing us a representation of the world that is never definitive, a phase of continuous approximation towards a future form. His music is a reflection on forms, a hypothesis of musical formalization of a virtual world and a continuous reflection on the world given as a sound object. A permanent critique of the world in which we are involved in the triple role of exhibitors, exhibitors and public.

Perhaps it is in the field of tension that Mota establishes between one void and another that his music multiplies the thicknesses of an inexhaustible reality of forms and meanings. His music, his guitar don’t seem to know reality, but only levels, textures. The layout that Mota knows how to create, the different levels that he knows how to distribute in his music, the succession of veils and patterns perhaps recede into infinity, perhaps overlook nothingness. Perhaps the fundamental point that makes Mota’s music so fascinating is precisely this: his music does not know reality but only levels, textures. Only his guitar and the space around it exist. I have often and willingly compared the musical figure of Mota to that of designer or architect, a profession that I believe he carries out in his daily life. His music requires continuous attention and concentration, we begin to wait for the next note, the new texture. Nothing is left to chance and this type of improvisation is a symptom of excellent preparation and study, a work in which the intention is barely perceived. Mota is like that. Maybe it’s already too much.

Done! Thank you!