Jan 10, 2016

Sundaze 1602

Hello, let's continue the new year with in a sense is the concept behind sundaze music; Ataraxia is a Greek term used by Pyrrho and Epicurus for a lucid state of robust tranquility, characterized by ongoing freedom from distress and worry.

Today's artists are master of the neo-period ambient darkwave sound that comes from combining medieval liturgical chants and subdued Gothic influences. Ataraxia often uses authentic French minstrel material as the basis for their songs. They use simple drum rhythms, basic acoustic guitar sounds, and the nostalgic sound of free flute to accompany the multilingual renaissance harmonies of vocalists Francesca Nicoli and Vittorio Vandelli. They have dedicated their lives to art, to explore the nobleness of centuries in many possible ways (music, poetry, theatre, and photography). They are an Italian neoclassical band who combine modern technology with archaic instrumentation over various media, founded by Francesca Nicoli and Michele Urbano in November, 1985. In the first five years there were many musicians in the band, until finally Francesca Nicoli, Vittorio Vandelli, and Giovanni Pagliari became the basic line-up until today. Defined as 'craftsmen of the sound' because they create an unusual mix of sacred and profane, atmospheric and experimental, contemporary and early music, using acoustic and electric instruments as well, always with such language which fits best to the actual work.....N'joy

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Within the music of the so-called ‘Gothic’ movement they do exist many various tendencies. For example there is a clear, huge difference between the ‘Post punk’ and the ‘Ethereal’ front While the Post punk, deriving directly from Punk music, deals with a classic Rock set (bass, guitar, drums and voice, sometimes with key-boards), the Ethereal current is not so easily classifiable. When describing the Ethereal musical set, it is easier to list what is missing rather than what is part of it: it lacks the electric guitar, for example In its place we often find an acoustic twelve string guitar. Keyboards are important  There are no drums, however various types of percussion find their place. Very often there is no bass guitar. In few words, the Ethereal approach has no, or at least not much, ‘Rock’ attitude. Furthermore, it is to be said that the label ‘Ethereal’ is not such a good one and it is going to be used within this context only because at present we are lacking a better description. We could also talk about ‘Neo-classical’ bands for example, or ‘Neo-Medieval’, or ‘Neo-Folk’ as well but also ‘Dark Wave’ and so on, picking one of the many conventional labels that journalists have used in the past in the attempt to create a classification. In any case it is undeniable that those bands of the ‘Gothic’ movement that have the Middle Ages among their main references
are usually clustered under the label ‘Ethereal’

Among the so-called ‘Ethereal’ bands, the reference to the Middle Ages is not exclusive. In their careers these bands show a particular interest for the past in general, for myth and for the unusual and often also for the ethnic exploration As we can read in Ataraxia’s words below, lead singer Francesca Nicoli often says things like these:

"We are interested in history in its whole entirety; we travel across the ages to propose again, in current times, the spirit of
Time, seeping through our sensitivity  We have embraced several historical periods, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance,
Classic Greece, the Baroque era and the Nineteenth Century; soon we will go back as far as 10 000 years from now to achieve Atlantis "

It is correct and, for many years of their long career, reviewers have recognized many references to the Middle Ages in Ataraxia’s works  For Ataraxia, this has been the key of their musical evolution throughout the Nineties, at least until the beginning of the second millennium. With reference to the first album, Simphonia Sine Nomine (1994): ATARAXIA’s interesting combination of Classical, Medieval, Choral & mood music has appealed to me from the moment I first heard it
With reference to the second album, Ad Perpetuam Rei Memoriam (1994):After Ordo Equitum Solis or Black Rose, Italy presents us ATARAXIA, another band that walks into medieval reigns

The apex of Medieval references in the Ataraxia’s production was reached with Historiae (1988) and Sueños (2000)  The following sentence, The CD, almost as if it was a time-machine, carries us onto a theatre of ancient sounds and emotions, typical of the Media Aetas, 6 where «Media Aetas» literally means «Middle Ages». Ataraxia have reported many quotations of medieval music in their career

Ataraxia is an Italian neo-classical band who combine modern technology with archaic instrumentation over various media. They describe their music as a cross "between sacred and profane, ethereal and neo-classical, contemporary and early music". They make researches into the European legends crossing the Greek and Latin myths. Contemplation, dreamy experiences, elegiac atmospheres, ritual movements float in a mysterious garden where contemporary textures of notes meet the embracing echo of classic sounds. Their lyrics are written in many ancient and contemporary languages as they try to bring to surface the hidden treasures and revelations that each language owns. Many of their performances take place in locations the band professes to possess specific spiritual qualities.Since the beginning of the group in the late 80's, they released some 25 albums.

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La Malediction d'Ondine takes inspiration on the Greek mythology

On the album concept....
 ...envelopped by the waves, dragged by the streams of the rivers, sucked by the gloomy overflowingats of the laOnkes the echo of the up and down of many female souls repeats itself an infinite number of times, we've heard that dirge, we've transformed it into some songs and we are repeating the same tune like the echo of an echo to you, oh listener...

Ondine were nymphs of the streams, of the marshes, of the lacustrine surfaces, they were both women and Goddesses, a medley far from perfection, Ondine could kill dragging us in the whirlpool of their pain and death, always consumed by water, Ondine could love passionately, just like women, with all the sublime burden of their primordial instinct. La malédiction d' Ondine it's also a curse, the neurologists describe it as an apnoea that happens while sleeping, if someone doesn't wake-up in time it will probably wake-up somewhere else, anchored to the seaweeds braids of a deep sea or stranded on a branckish smell beach....

Ataraxia - La Malediction d'Ondine (flac 407mb)

01 Medusa 2:34
02 Sybil 4:41
03 Flora 3:29
04 Blanche 5:41
05 Annabell Lee 2:43
06 Astimelusa 6:47
07 June 2:51
08 Lubna 2:59
09 Ligeia 2:33
10 Ophélie 4:22
11 Lucretia 8:03
12 Zelia (The City In The Sea) 5:43
13 Lucrecia 3:52
14 Ondine 4:34

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Once I danced on the cliffs, amongst the sea-lilies, and the moon gave me its singing, while swinging on the April chair... time is over, life lived. Now I m the autumn, a red mournful dirge under the November moon. Flames, I pray you, carve the hieroglyphics of instinct and pleasure on my skin and deeper inside, on my heart. I m cold, and it s November. Words got dried, submerged relicts, the only holds of instants bitten to the core... The first part of the album, dedicated to Springtime and the awakening of nature, features passionate songs evoking mysterious airy escapades. The silent dance of this music reminds the bright spirals of fire-flies and gives serenity. We listen to unforeseeable musical trajectories that only the souls of children can perceive. The atmospheres full of spleen distemper into a visionary lightness. The well-known ballad «Rocking Chair of Dreams» is an irresistible movement that depicts spring as the cradle of dreams. The second part of the album, inspired by Autumn, opens with a sacred hymn to reach a very hazardous level of experimentation in «Spiritus ad Vindictam». «The Moon Sang On The April Chair» is a work that leaves a mark. Ataraxia have been inspired and led by two seasons so rich in nuances, chiaroscuro, and half tones, phases intimately linked to their peculiar way to feel and live music. The album features a bonus track: Post-Nuclear Obitus, dedicated to the harsh damages that nuclearization has caused on mother-earth and mankind.

Ataraxia - The Moon Sang On The April Chair  (flac  281mb)

The Moon Sang On The April Chair
01 The Moon Sang On The April Chair 6:28
02 Verdigris Wounds 4:36
03 The Tale Of The Crying Fire-Flies 4:56
04 Colouring Nocturnal Lemons 3:51
05 Rocking Chair Of Dreams 4:34
Red Deep Dirges Of A November Moon
06 Satis Vixi 4:08
07 Lady Lazarus 2:26
08 Spiritus Ad Vindictam 5:35

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Francesca Nicoli's voice is the main protagonist of the spiritual manifestation that is Ataraxia. Her voice, at times low and soothing, at times airy and etherial, tops the complex and fragile musical arrangements. Amazing acoustic guitar work and transparent, gusty keyborards intertwine with the chilling ambience, that comes straight from within the ancient walls of S.Ruffino, the sanctum of Ataraxia creativity. The lyrics are in Latin, Portugese, French and English. One curious aspect of Il Fantasma Dell'Opera is that it contains a cover of Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights", turned into "La nuova Margherita" and sounding nothing like the original :) This is one of the rare albums that is purely brilliant from begining to end.

Ataraxia - Il Fantasma dell'Opera (flac 276mb)

01 È Il Fantasma? Part. 1 (Is It The Phantom?) Chapter 1 0:54
02 È Il Fantasma? Part. 2 (Is It The Phantom?) Chapter 1 1:50
03 La Nuova Margherita (The New Marguerite) Chapter 2 4:39
04 Il Palco N. 5 (The Box N. 5) Chapter 4 3:52
05 Il Violino Incantato (The Enchanted Vion) Chapter 6 3:55
06 Faust In Una Sala Maledetta (Faust In A Cursed Hall) Chapter 8 2:30
07 Al Ballo Mascherato (To The Bal Masque) Chapter 13 2:23
08 La Lira Di Apollo (Apollo's Lyre) Chapter 13 6:18
09 Il Signore Delle Botole (The Lord Of The Trap-doors) Chapter 14 3:36
10 Nei Sotterranei Dell'Opera (In The Opera's Vaults) Chapter 21 5:49
11 Le Ore Rosa Di Mazenderan (The Pink Hours Of Mazenderan) Chapter 25 5:15
12 Fine Degli Amori Del Mostro (End Of The Monster's Loves) Chapter 28 5:13

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Anonymous said...

Please, can you re-up.
Thank you very much

Gustavo Vargas said...

Thank you very much