Amanaska was born sometime in 2001 in the brain of Simon Lewis when he began experimenting with mixing elements of electronica with jazz and funk and various musical languages from around the globe he had ingested during travels abroad. He shared some of these ideas with the guys at One World Records who got excited about it too and suggested doing an album. Flying solo can be a lonely ride so Simon asked Stephen Joyce to come on board and add is unique musical approach to the project and together they finished the first album Panorama.
Lewis has been touring for the last few years on a busy schedule that has taken him all over the U.S. several times, Canada, across Europe, and to parts of Asia. The first tour in the U.S. was eight weeks and the band drove about 17,000 miles. He was able to make use of all the time in the van by working on new tunes for the live show, remixing tracks from Panorama, as well as writing new material for the latest Amanaska release, Circles.
Most of the album was composed on the road in all kinds of corners of the globe with artists in India, Singapore, Scotland and the USA. 2005 was spent mainly at home in Melbourne, Australia finishing the project with some local musicians that performed on the last album plus many new players. The album features some stunning vocal performances from Tania Doko (Batchelor Girl), Lynelle Moran(Velure) and Janine Maunder (Naked Raven).
Amanaska can also be found playing keyboards for Nfa from 1200 Techniques and Reverend Funk around Oz when he is at home.
Amanaska is a Sanskrit term that refers to the perfect balance of restfulness, alertness and strength and this musical project of the same name explores a similar balance of unusual musical styles, the latest in grooves and sounds, and an eclectic collection of instruments, musicians and singers from a wide range of backgrounds.