ATARAXIA's words and history.
1) Our band history seems to be part of two different ages, two different psycological dimensions and attitude towards life and art: before 1992 and after that date. The eighties seem to be very far, thousands years ago, we don't like to speak very much of that period, it was a very painful one. We had no means at all, I began singing without a microphone, possibly I was shouting not singing, we had a great strength and determination in a deaf wealthy Italy where underground music was completely cut-off, where cultural music was completely cut-off too. I remember we were many persons, 8 at the end of the eighties, we played a lot, we gave many and many concerts in very bad, uneasy quite unbelievable situations. That was the moment of fear and pain, some of us died, killed themselves, had accident, we are here with their wounds in our body and soul. It was many years ago and I don't know if it's good to describe those days. 1988-1991 have been the years of death, 1992 has been the year of rebirth in a refound cycle of nature, in it's natural fluid. From 1994 on (the year of release of our first CD SIMPHONIA SINE NOMINE) the fight with destiny had a start, we were no more humble deceived men but fighting ones and then year after year we became channels of History and Time, our Mother and Father, we're becoming one of their voives and now we are travelling musicians, evanescent warriors and diaphanous thinkers walking along the path of Knowledge in order to find the keys to existence, everything in the right moment, not before neither after...... Our main influences have been the wounds and discoveries of our lives.
LOVE FOR EARLY TIMES
2) We have grown up in Medieval burgs and we carry on the "oral tradition" of those times. We are wandering clerics and pilgrims who want to maintain memory and remembrances of all those souls cancelled by bigger event that annihilate the single. Someone can understand what it means to feel deeply the smell and surface of ancient stone on one's skin, to enter those places and to perceive the presence of who lived there, the pulsing fragments of ancient inhabitants or pilgrims like we are. Furthermore we are craftsmen, we utilise our hands to create, to give nuances and we don't like to imprison knowledge channeling it in specific branch. The ancient studious were adopted in many areas and they were all interconnected: music, painting, science, math, philosophy, architecture, alchemy. Sometimes we feel to be crossroads among the Orient and Mediterranean cultures and the Nothern celtic one, we are a land of meeting and translations, citizens of the world who bring the phisical and spiritual signs of far different experiences and cultures.
EVERYDAY LIFE APART FROM ATARAXIA
3) In every day life Giovanni (pianist) was a classic musician (he played organ in a church) and now he also works in a house of rest for old-people, he helps them handling deep notions of psycology and neurology; Vittorio (guitarist) build iron hand-made unusual furniture and I finished university studying literature, languages and Medieval history, now I'm attending a course to begin organizer of musical live- events.
4) The best release I heard in the last times is "Estatic Chants of Hildegard von Bingen" by Air Ensemble, we love Madredeus (especially "O espirito da paz"), Vangelis ("1492 Conquest of Paradise" is a masterpiece), Vassillis Saleas who is able to embody in his instrumental magic music the spell of the Aegean Sea, we also love a great italian ensemble of our town who play typically italian medieval music they're called "Compagnia dell'asino che porta la croce". In any case we feel close to anyone is pushed strongly to create in order to fulfill his/her own destiny and life.
Atlantis" will be available in Autumn
1999, now we're recording and mixing it in complete solitude and detachment
from every-day-life. About the concept: many contemporary and especially ancient
scriptures speak of a desappeared land swallowed by the seas. This is written
in the personal history of each of us, it's a collective forgotten tragedy,
the tragedy of a human being, of the nature of his existence. It's many years
we've been collecting elements through voyages in the southeastern lands (Greece,
Lycia, Turkey), reading documents and ancient scriptures. "Lost Atlantis"
will embody the ancestral myth of the disappearance of a culture that was highly
developed from a technological point of view and adopted to magic and rituals
on the other. We have decided to mingle legends, ancient costumes, many philosophies,
traditions and to transform them in a musical epos. It will be a pagan opera
with a great sacral taste. Paradoxiacally even if very far in time (from 10.000
to 45.000 years ago) this will be our more actual release and also the most
nostalgic and experimental one.
"From chaos harmonia is born and once again was chaos."
The lyrics will be all in English and ancient Greek (the two symbolic languages of the future and the past) and the atmosphere will be the one of nostalgia, ancestral lost with a sense of elevation. We will try to capture the sounds of the Mediterranean sea and the Ocean, harmony of forms, timeless suspension, an aweful respect for crystallized things. It will end with cosmic music in a sad empty space where a neverending detachment for humanity reigns, the words of abandon for an uncountable time...
MEANING OF THE NAME
6) ATARAXIA is a spiritual balance, the synonim of a state of perfection that is not possible to be reached by human beings entirely. ATARAXIA becomes a state of tension and we try to open our minds to be receptive and perceptive towards the occurings of life. Creativity is the basis of our research. ATARAXIA's members feel to be mediums of Time and History (our Father and Mother), they passes through us and we become their voice. Then I have to add that Socrates is a great teacher. To be always curious, always asking and rarely accepting dogmatic answers.
7) Ancient stones and the water of the sea speak to us. For this reason we want to play and record in those places, to hear their silent voices......
THE CHOICE OF MANY LANGUAGES
8) We studied many languages, we simply pronounce other languages, what is greatly beautiful is the fascination of the sound, of different sounds and accents, the mystery of a culture that's not only our culture, the personality that each song can gain thank a language, not a babelic chaos of languages but a union of different idioms. French is like the pelting of the waves, German is similar to a velvet red curtain, Latin is a marble epitaph, Italian is so similar to a hidden garden behind a gate, Portuguese is a solemn ancient church but it also owns the poetry and melancholy of the waves of the ocean, English is a wood of strawberries and flowers, Greek is arcane as a forgotten civilization and it reminds stone temples and wall-tombs.
10) We are
very proud of this MINI CD inspired by Virginia Woolf's
novel "ORLANDO" because it was recorded and mixed completely
by ourselves. Musically and lyrically it is very different from Middle Ages
music, it's something very surreal, umoral, more linked to wave-gothic ballads
but also to orchestral and lyric music, many different styles. We had a great
freedom and our listeners are writing us enthusiastic letters about it.
He/she came...... a male, a female? He owned the shining blue of the steel in a silvery pool, he/she was a vassel sailing in the Southern Seas, he was the moaning of the wind, of the South Western Wind...... a male, a female?
THE LAST TWO SILENT YEARS
11) 1997 and 1998 have been years of great inspiration and creation, we travelled a lot, we read, we made researches (historical, literature and archaeological as we usually do) and 3 different concepts albums are going to be released. The first is "Historiae" for CRUEL MOON/CMI based on the legends and histiries that the wandering clerics of the Middle Ages collected from village to village and narrated during their walk to different people in different burgs. The second is a live album based on the great tradition of the Portuguese Knight Templars and the architectural jewels they had built. This release is a special box video + CD with an introduction filmed in a Medieval ambiance while the concert has been filmed in Lisbon January '98. The release coming is a very limited edition (it's already sold out before the release-date has come) MINI CD based on the novel of Virginia Woolf "Orlando" having the same name. We also went on working on the album for the end of the Millennium (and we care it a lot!) that will be completely inspired by the myth of the sunken continent of Atlantis. It's 8 years we come to Greece and Lycia to visit archaeological sites and to get inspiration by History and Time our Mother and Father. It's 2 years we are collecting elements and songs to create this epos whose theme is unconsciously present in the mind and arcane memory of each of us, a sort of collective unconscious. As you may infer, we've had 2 intense and fulfilling years.
12) Of course we have, we are eager of literary and figurative art. We appreciate a lot the Italian Renaissance painters like Piero della Francesca, Paolo Uccello. We love the Pre-raphaelite English current with artists like Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Morris, etc... and we love poets like your lyric ones Sappho, Anacreaonte, Alceo, Ibico, and very much your contemporary Odisseo Ellitis. We appreciate a lot the French maudits (Mallarme, Baudelaire, Rembaud) and the italian Ungaretti and Mara Paltrinieri. Musically we love most of all Diamanda Galas, In The Nursery, Madredeus, many Baroque composers like Albinoni, Corelli, Vivaldi, Handel, Marais; some contemporary composers like Prokofiev, Satie and quite all the Medieval and Renaissance music (John Dowland, Carmina Burana, Chats de la Sybille, Martini, etc).
WHO WE ARE
13) ATARAXIA are a few artists from Italy who explore and create music, painting/images, poetry and theatre and who decided to dedicate their lives completely to art. ATARAXIA feel to be wandering clerics and evanescent warriors who follow the path of life looking for "keys" to knowledge and wisdom. ATARAXIA are travelling musicians mainly inspired by their actual and inner travels in places that still own the nobleness and charge of centuries. ATARAXIA transmit through music what they obtained by silence, they're channels of Histiry and Time, their Mother and Father, who let them speak and play and sing like sybils. ATARAXIA is the inner balance, the communion with Nature.
HISTORIAE CD CONCEPT
14) "Historiae" was born in summer when we took part to many Medieval feasts in our region in Italy. The spelling places where we played, our villages that still have the architectural features of 8 centuries ago and our travels in many burgs made us decide to record also something in a court of a castle, this castle is magic for us, this castle is one of the places where our concerts have been the best and the energy and forces exchanged with listeners have been the strongest. For this reason we decided to perform 3 live songs, to capture in the sound the great emotions we felt. "Historiae" is a way of collecting and remembering old legends and remembrances, it's the way we found to let all the silent people cancelled by great historical events to speak and narrate their lives, "Historiae" is a sonorous book which carries on a sort of "oral tradition". We live in a part of Italy where the Celts met the Latins, a place where many people coming from far countries passed and stayed, a rich cradle of cultures, customs, tradition.
LOVE FOR LITERATURE AND BOOKS
15) The suggestions of a book can be easily transformed in a song giving them a new life. There have been extremely brilliant modern and deep writers in the past, they were describing universal values of human sensations in a very original and pure way, we can still hear their voices, the same being moved by early and classic music. We can translate at the beginning and after some time to read perfectly those verses, lines, notes. Art is made of 6 sense, it's not isolated in a single sense. I respect many currents of writers but especially I respect who got far from a current inventing something new, courageously and intelligently. For this reason I deeply appreciate Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, Rembaud, U.Eco, Conrad, Ellitis, the Greek lyrics, Ungaretti, Neruda, Baricco, are so many, so many in the centuries that I can't remember them all......
16) The only thing is that we play driven by instinct and a voice inside us. I know that my influences come from my roots (Celtic, Latin and Greek cultures), the studies I did (historical, classical, literary, anthropological), the way I have grown (listening to ancient music because my father is a teacher of music, especially Medieval and Renaissance one) and how nature has decided to utilise me to express its own language.
WHERE WE ARE GOING
17) We are travelling along a path and this path has its origins in very far times, we own and we are made of those times and we're bringing those centuries in the future. Our aim is not to loose anything the past gave us as a gift, to remember who we were, what we are, who we will be. We're the voice of the many voices who got lost in centuries. Ancient spirits are still speaking.
18) We are persons, musicians, spending their lives in the last years of the second millennium when great scientific and technologic discoveries are going to be done day after day and when communication and exchange of news is something becoming faster and faster but at the same time we are in touch day after day, hour after hour with history, ancient things, houses, customs, traditions. We see the present and the future, we live a very human and natural relation with what surrounds us and our music is the synthesis of all of this. We are walking along a path that has been found many centuries ago, while walking we look straight ahead us. We never forget our origins and with this awareness we afford the future.
OS CAVALEIROS DO TEMPLO LIVE VIDEO + CD
Cavaleiros do Templo" is our first entirely live recorded video
and CD. It was recorded during a concert in Lisbon last January and
it contains 11 songs (5 exclusive + 2 unreleased) inspired by the history of
the Portuguese knight Templars and the architectural buildings they made. It
is out in a precious limited edition packaging with several images and writings.
The video has a special introductive part recorded by us in a Medieval ambiance
and a beautiful sequence of images inspired by Portuguese castles and cathedrals
is also to be present at the beginning. When the first limited edition will
be sold out the video and CD would be sold separately.
"Portugal is a casket of secrets.
Our silent and discreet voyage in a land whose taste is the one of time has been a sort of initiatory journey through the noble testimonies of stone standing in some spots of our way. It's a miracle to see that places full of sacredness and nobleness conserving the intact power of transmitting you the wisdom and spiritual charge of centuries still breath. We return in music what we received in silence. To the order of the Portuguese Knight Templars who managed to conceal inside symphonies of stone the ancient mysteries of equilibrium and wisdom. The voyage goes on......"
20) We have a medianic attitude towards art and creation. This is an unconscious gift. Creation is the way to express the divine part of the human being. In the ancient Dionisiac rituals the musician was possessed by the God of Nature who spoke through him/her. We have what you could define a mystic attitude towards life, we are unconscious channels that can vibrate expressing, translating the energy around us.
Igor Vaganov vs. ATARAXIA, February 1999.
IL FANTASMA DELL' ATARAXIA
"Art is beauty and beauty is art" (John Keats)
"Sono vento... Credete che non si soffra ad essere vento? A volte il vento porta la musica sino a noi come a volte la luce porta a voi le apparenze" (Pasqual Quignard, "Tous les matins du monde")
BIRTHDATE: November 1985
GENRE: Neogothic, Medieval and Renaissance athmospheres and environments, Baroque and Neoclassic sonorities, twilight and intimist harmonies, orchestral/operistic airs, contemplative-meditative melodies
LYRICS: many ancient and contemporary languages adopted (Latin, Italian, English, German, French, Spanish) about a hundred concerts and performances all over Italy and abroad (Belgium, France, Germany)
MEMBERS: Francesca NICOLI: voices, lyrics, flutes, drummachine Vittorio VANDELLI: guitars (classic, acoustic, electric, synth.), drum-machine, lyrics Giovanni PAGLIARI: keyboards, synth, piano, pipe-organ, lyrics.
With 12 years of activity and creativity, Ataraxia converges its instincts, needs, egoisms and enthusiasms in the act of creating their music. Through music they rebuild the traditions and ancestral experiences of far-off cultures and civilizations. Musically they are craftsmen of sound, creating an unusual melange of sacred and profane, medieval and experimental, contemporary and ancient. From the beginning, the ensemble have a mime/dancer and an "image capturer", who take care of theatrical and visual aspects during live performances. Each such performance constitutes a multimedial situation, where "whimsical landscapes" are created.
The human being has always been predestined to the most mysteric and mysterious way of existence. The essence of Ataraxia is to amplify this knowledge and wealth of experience.
Two hundred concerts, theatrical and multimedia performances all over Europe (Italy, Belgium, France, Germany and Portugal).
articles and broacastings:
About 400 in international and national magazines and fanzines. International and national broadcasting interviews and radio passages.
Presence in 49 different international compilations (Spanish, Italian, German, French, Portuguese, American, English, Finnish, Polish).
"MUSIC IS A TOTAL ESOTERIC EXPERIENCE, THE ONLY ETHEREAL MEAN THROUGH WHICH IS POSSIBLE TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE DEAD, WITH THE PAST, MUSIC IS AN EFFECTIVE CHANNEL AMONG PARALLEL DIMENSIONS, MUSIC IS AEREAL MEAN THAT PERMITS EXCHANGES AMONG THE LIVING AND THE DEPARTED, MUSIC ALLOWS BOUNDLESS, OCEANIC, IMMENSE TEMPORAL VOYAGES... MUSIC GOES OVER LIFE AND DEATH, IT'S COMPOSED BY A SUBSTANCE IN WHICH HUMAN BEINGS FLOAT AND SWIM"
Art is beauty and beauty is art... Melting, juxtaposing, approaching of Medieval, Celtic, Renaissance sonorities and of Baroque, Neoclassic motives, environments and atmospheres. The majestic chorality, the narrated feelings, the silences, the mysticism, the fairy-tale and the legend are chromatic gradations of the same fresco whose frame is letting ourselves incommensurably feel. The soliloquy of ancient music, the experimental research, the twilight atmospheres, the portrait of elegiac ages, the delicate, soffused vibrating airs, the marble sound epithaps, the priestly movements are rapresented by an unusual amalgam of sound forms, electronics meets the embracing echo of ancient instruments, sometimes acoustic and alluring, other times severe and martial.
The lyrics are always born from our spiritual, sensitive, oneiric experience, they're inspired by the confidential nature of reflection that is the man in front of the mirror of his feelings, silences and spleen. Sometimes inner sensations, regrets, remembrances are embroidered in a sound-word game of sensuous images, a full immersion in the blooming garden of "Psyche" and "Desire", other times solemn and icy epitaphs are soaked with the gravity of Medieval sensitivity. Many ancient connotation to create suggestive effects of words and sound. Music becomes an oasis of pure contemplation, a catharsis; the marble mingles with the summit of Parnassus.
ATARAXIA is an absolute tension, a way of affording life and experiences linked to life in a conoscitive and receptive way with an aim called contemplation. The followers of Epicure (in the Ellenistic philosophic era) considered Ataraxia a lack of inner turmoils, a spiritual balance reached after a deeply lived material and spiritual experience, often a hard painful experience. Contemplation is a difficult state of perfeption to be reached in its plentitude so we try to converge our instincts, needs, egoisms and enthusiasms in the act of creation that's music. The knowledge of the man, the relativity of everything, the importance of creating are the basis for our way and research.
In our creative world the passion and study of Greek/Latin cultures have a great importance, in a literary and poetic perspective, in a philosophical perspective and in an imaginary perspective. I should say that with our music we rebuild the traditions, the ancestral experiences of those cultures that are a never ending source of inspiration.
Musically, we began from an odd mixture of sacred and profane, Baroque and Bohemien, contemporary and ancient. As long as the years have passed we approached a sort of New Baroque that visually could be associated to Greenaway's films, a contemporary jump into a rebuilt past. We amplificate colours and forms, we portray sequences of darkness and light, sometimes we utilise a Babelic echoing, we transfer the inheritage of the history in trobadoric, Middle Ages, Renaisance works and once again we afford classicism giving it new life through funny, severe, whipping, icy arrangements. Our first release was made of stone and marble, the substance our second CD was made of water, then we afforded the "seasons of men", after we performed the melodrama, the Grand Guignol, now an eterodoxe reinterpretation of the XVII/XVIII centuries music with distortions, eccentricities, serious approach to the French and Italian maestros of those times, with a felt emotional/technical participation to their way of composing broidering and enlacing sounds and woofs. A baroque plaisanterie!
"WE ARE AESTHETES, WE LOOK FOR BEAUTY IN ART, MAYBE A SOLAR OR DUSKY BEAUTY, SOMETIMES A PLEASANT OR UNPLEASANT BEAUTY, THE SINISTER CONNOTATIONS OF BEAUTY, THE AUTHENTIC BEAUTY, THE UNIVERSAL ONE..."
"SIMPHONIA SINE NOMINE" (Energeia, 1994 - reprinted, Apollyon, 1996) I visited the graveyard today, eager to see the statues, expression of nameless faces, so distant, elusive, charged of abstract silences. The statues observed me more than I observed them. It was me who was hiding they would have ever been there, it was me the blind, only one the blind on the other side... A classic music symphony with triumphal, martial pieces, orchestral scores, Renaissance and Baroque remembrances, toccata, fuga and tenuous, gentle melodies in an apolotheosis of solemnity, rebellion and tenderness
"AD PERPETUAM REI MEMORIAM" (Apollyon, 1994) the states of mind and heart collected in the pages of a voluminous book, "Prophetia". A bitter tragic epilogue in a Kafkian succession of questions without answers in a re-created inquisitorial trial of our times. The slow march of a humanity who tries to know itself bearing the burden of its own existence. Finally the re-birth and a refound shy harmony in the fluyd cycle of Nature where every gesture and sound gains a metaphysical valence. The three tapes of the band ("Prophetia", "Nosce Te Ipsum" and "Arazzi") are now collected in this release
"LA MALEDICTION D'ONDINE" (Energeia, 1995) enveloped by the waves, dragged by the streams of the rivers, sucked by the gloomy over flowing on the lakes the echo of the ups and downs of many female souls repeats itself an infinite number of times, we've heard that dirge, we've made of it more than one song and we've repeating those tunes like the echo of an echo to you... We've caught the laments of so many mermaids who feed themselves spasmodicly with their own past. A mechanicistic necessity unifies people and it's called death but there's also our chant for all those souls made of regret and struggle, loss and abandonment, for they rest in peace in this sound-track smelling of seaweeds and branckish beaches
"THE MOON SANG ON THE APRIL CHAIR - RED DEEP DIRGES OF A NOVEMBER MOON" (Apollyon, 1995) once I was dancing on a cliff, dressed in white with a white lily crown on my head, I was not so old, perhaps ten or eleven, white and blue were my colours, the aegean sea and those walls, a bit far away fireflies and syrens, the smell of spring-time and the white ancient taste of childhood while clementines and lemons are still resting in my infancy remembrances. The moon gave me her chant while twisting in her April chair... time has passed, life has been spent, Autumn is what I am, a red deep dirge under a November moon, please flames write the hierogliphycs of instinct and pleasure on my skin and deep on my heart tissues, it's cold and it's November. Words have dried on my tongue, sunk wreckages are the only hold of instants till the core bit
"IN AMORIS MORTISQUE" (with Engelsstaub, 10" vynil lmtd.ed.1000 cps, Apollyon, 1995) Melisandra, the sweet, has lost her way. Pelleas, light blue lily, carries her in his arms... sail your statue in the eternal crystal... When you'll be old, Clytaemestra, you'll remember the verses I recited and comprehend that in springtime snows are harsher...
"IL FANTASMA DELL' OPERA" (Avantgarde, 1996) ...the Monster owns geniality, the one that leads you towards the sublime creation... The Angel knows, realises, perceives by intuition... The Phantom is unique in many artistic forms and expecially in the most ethereal and esotheric one, music. Erik is a labirynth of double-meanings, tunnels, corridors, doors that open on other doors, mirrors hiding faces wearing masks. The only way of expressing himself without metaphors, desguisements is music but he's Erik, the Phantom of the Opera, and his world is based on fiction, conjuring tricks, childish fantasies in lushy environmments of killing syrens, oriental palaces, sensuous visions; he can't receive love without acting, hiding his face. So he becomes the voice of a moving violin, the fury of a persecutor, the devoted lover, the never ending pain, the burning suspect. Dignified has been the Monster's departure and now he's a gossip on the Opera dancers's mouth, a folksy legend. He died with or without a mask, it doesn't matter, he's the faceless man who returns to earth. Be praised Erik, our Monster and Phantom of the Opera!
"CONCERTO No.6: A BAROQUE PLAISANTERIE" (Apollyon, 1996) "What are you searching, MyLord, in music?" "I'm searching for tears and regrets, music exists only to express what is not possible to be expressed by words" "... I'm wind..., do you believe one doesn't suffer being wind? Sometimes the wind carries the music to us as sometimes the light carries to you the appearances..." A deeply felt tribute to the Music Maestros of the past, a suffered research in the profound meaning of music, a personal homage to the impressive film of A.Corneau "Tous les matins du Monde", an individual contribution to the Baroque harmonies and age, a singular excursion in the purety of sound. Two chapters in a release: a studio session and a live part played in total retirement in the lounge of an Italian house of the XVIIth century
CONTACT: c/o VITTORIO VANDELLI, VIA POPOLI 4, 41057 SPILAMBERTO (MODENA) ITALY
LOOK THE "IL FANTASMA DELL' OPERA" OVERVIEW BY FRANCESCA NICOLI AT http://www.geocities.com/Paris/LeftBank/1667/atarfant_at_vs.html (VER SACRUM)
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