Jan 24, 2016

Sundaze 1604

Hello, we're still starting the new year with, what 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.

“It’s a form of wisdom,
 humbly and indulgently,
 seeking inside ourselves
 the deep meaning of life,
 rather than expecting the others
 to give us
 their truth.”

Today's artists are one of those "condemned bands" that, due to their style, move between several fan environments. Prog heads, Gothic, lovers of medieval music, etc. have already surrendered to these magic and unclassifiable Italians. Their music takes after infinite sources whose roots belong to classical cultures (Greece and Rome), to the Middle Age, to some texts and to more recent works. Their concerts are always held in places that provide a perfect scenery for their music (abbeys, churches, castles, gardens), and they are always full of theatrical parts, dances, poetry and, definitely, beauty.
They 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.......N'joy

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Ataraxia is an ensemble that, since many years, works in the balance between avant-garde and tradition writing music, setting up performances and giving concerts consisting of several art forms like theatre, poetry, painting and dance in castles, squares, parks, concert halls, and theatres all over Europe and Latin America. We define ourselves 'craftsmen of the sound' because of the wild, unusual mix of sacred and profane, early and contemporary, neoclassic and experimental music we create. We feel like 'traveling minstrels' inspired by the inner and geographical voyages we make in places that still preserve the charge of centuries and the mystery of history. Walking along old paths and listening to the call of the stone we become a 'living crossroad' between the Mediterranean and Celtic cultures. We make researches and write music about European legends and Greek and Latin myths. Our lyrics are written in several ancient and contemporary languages, we try to give a musical shape to the treasures and revelations hidden inside each language. Contemplation, dream experiences, twilight and elegiac atmospheres, ritual movements and our memories float in the mysterious garden of Psyche and Desire where enveloping textures of notes meet the echo of both acoustic and contemporary instruments. Four minstrels paint whimsical musical landscapes opening passages on far-off dimensions able to stir up emotions and memories. We walk along a path that has its origins in a very far time. The Ancient Spirits are still speaking. Ataraxia's best performances take place in natural or architectural fascinating environments where magic flows as it happened in the primordial drama.

They are a neo-classical band who combine modern technology with archaic instrumentation over various media. Ataraxia 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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Two years after releasing "Lost Atlantis", the musicians of Ataraxia (Francesca Nicoli: vocals, flute, cymbals; Vittorio Vandelli: classical and medieval guitars, vocals; Giovanni Pagliari: keyboards, vocals; Francesco Banchini: percussion, clarinet and vocals; Lorenzo Busi: actor) go out from monasteries, gardens and oceans to offer us another work plenty of musical investigations, art and beauty entitled "Sueños", an album divided in three different parts, with diverse instrumentation, atmospheres and languages. These Italian musicians go on exploring with each album they release instead of repeating the same music.

The first part of the album - Ego promitto domino - opens with the polyphonic and monastic "Parti de mal" in which some voices form a leiv motiv motiv while a male voice leads all the choral. The second track is the happy "Saderaladon". Great work of Francesca whose voice multiplies in a cascade of wonderful voices which continue in the enigmatic and delicate beauty of "Belle jolande", a journey through an unexplored territory with the compass of the voice, the percussion and the Spanish guitar. The first part finishes with "Il bagatto", a medieval traditional song covered years ago by Jordi Savall and, the most popular cover, by Blackmore´s Night (yeah,  "Play Minstrel Play", the song in which Ian Anderson collaborates and Ritchie signs as if it was an own composition).

The second part - L´âme d´eau - begins with a very decadent and sad song in which an accordion sound transports us to the fog of the ports of Marseilles. The melancholy and the aquatic references persist in "Eleven", another sad song, and in the enigmatic, fragile and crystalline "Mnemosine". The last track, "I love every waving thing", is an Ataraxia´s statement about their love for oceans.

The third and last part of "Sueños" is Sandy dunes, an allegory to the miscegenation produced by the irruption of the Islam in the European medieval music. The first song "Encrucijada" ("crossroad" in English language) is simply a doctoral thesis about the influence of the Arab world in the Spanish medieval musical forms. All those Arabian influences along with European influences (and, in spite of what people think, more European than Arabian) in Spanish music create the worldwide known style "Flamenco". "Funeral in Datea" it is more solemn, martial and epic, evoking anonymous gestes and legendary victories of the Crusaders, while  "The corals of Áqaba" is a marvelous acoustic song with Francesca´s vocal harmonies impossible to describe with human words. The grand finale of Sandy dunes and therefore the whole work is "Nemrut Dagi", probably one of the most epic tracks written by the band.

Ataraxia - Suenos (flac 331mb)

Part I: Ego Promitto Domino 
01 Parti De Mal 2:58
02 Saderaladon 4:24
03 Belle Jolande 5:39
04 Il Bagatto 4:14
Part II: L'Âme D'Eau 
05 Mon Âme Sorcière 3:05
06 Eleven 5:35
07 Mnemosine 4:37
08 I Love Every Waving Thing 3:15
Part III: Sandy Dunes 
09 Encrucijada 7:06
10 Funeral In Dacia 3:09
11 The Corals Of Aqaba 3:33
12 Nemrut Dagi 3:32

Ataraxia - Suenos (ogg   130mb)

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With Mon Seul Désir, after many albums based on pain, struggle, far lands and sunken civilizations Ataraxia finally released material based on love in all his power, unique love driven by destiny, the one that unifies elected souls and save our poor life when we are hopeless and deceived. Listening to Mon Seul Désir you’ll find a green path leading to an enchanted lake, it is a sort of purifying journey to get rid of our unhappy condition. You’ll perceive the deep connection among love and music, a dimension where everything is undefined and the passing among a dreamy state to a conscious one is prophetic and magic describable only through the poetry of notes.

Wisps of near-nothingness, luring you into misty idylls of mythology. Tangible reality transformed into a gorgeous voyage of escapism. Women caress you with their harmonics, beguile you with images gasped from flesh-and-blood mouths. They manage to be both untouchable and erotic at the same time, not openly flirtatious, yet unabashed as we listen to every nuance with a lion hunger. Their every tone caresses your senses, seducing some incorruptible child within the adult you, taking you back to a time when innocence brushed against proto-sensual, the first delicate whispers of all the storms, squalls and pain to come. Des Paroles Blanches is a high point in a musical career which has known few lows. If you have never experienced their sound and feel you need some truely beautiful sounds in your life, then this is a perfect starting point. Your soul may soar, your spirit fly, to touch such beauty'll make you cry.

Ataraxia - Mon Seul Desir + Des Paroles Blanches (EP)  (flac  390mb)

01 Alsicon 6:27
02 Jarem Gitti 6:30
03 Eaudelamer 7:22
04 Sendero En Lago Verde 5:36
05 A L'Aube 3:39
06 Mundus Est Jocundum 12:50
Des Paroles Blanches (EP)
07 Etretat 6:54
08 Veules Les Roses 7:02
09 Hovering (Part I, Part II) 7:49

 Ataraxia - Mon Seul Desir + Des Paroles Blanches (EP)   (ogg   146mb)

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A very nice, slim and pretty cardboard fold accompanies this CD of ghostly ambience and classical overtones. Ataraxia take guitars, strings and add some backwash synthesizer to their music along with ghostly effects and vocals – the result is a feeling of deep antiquity that borders on just the edge of your black and white field of dreams.

Cobalt immediately ushers in a feeling of comfort with the Celtic rhythms and orchestration while applying female vocals hovering just beyond words to convey a deep seated idea of loss and age. The juxtaposition of the two has an eerie effect on your mind and psyche. Fans of the Medeival Babes or Dream Into Dust[1] would find a lot of brooding goodness here. Occasionally I find some of Arcana Eco leaning a bit towards operatic vocal movements which, admittedly, isn’t really my bag. The surrounding music however, the strumming and twinkling of Astimelusa for example, is nonetheless nice and bittersweet.

Mirsilo grabs a swifter rhythm with an Arabian-like style. Then we get a little old world Spanish as Fire in the Wood comes in powerfully and with gusto. Fire in the Wood is one of the highlights to Arcana Eco and retains most of its charm due to its close-to-roots exterior – a break from the backwashes is given here though the ghostly female vocalist is still wooing us with her cold touch. De Pourpre et d’Argent steps close to opera again, so I won’t comment much on it.

Ataraxia’s work here is brilliant on the whole with superb rhythms, old world classical and infused with dark elements and ghostly ambience. They’ve taken classical music and laced it with only a touch of modernism so Arcana Eco remains steeped in splendid antiquity.

Ataraxia - Arcana Eco (flac 242mb)

01 Cobalt 5:22
02 Astimelusa (Key-Chimes Version) 5:27
03 Mirsilo 6:38
04 Fire In The Wood 5:00
05 Nossa Senhora Dos Anjos (Studio Version) 4:38
06 De Pourpre Et D'Argent (A Baroque Divertissement Version) 4:00
07 The Island Of Docteur Moreau 4:45

Ataraxia - Arcana Eco  (ogg   84mb)

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