L’Art et la Mort

The project behind this work from Autunna et sa Rose seems quite different and more varied than the previous ones, pursuing the fixed idea of the concept album through different schemes and strategies. In fact, after having reached the conceptual top in the music-theatre opus Sturm, whose script has been completed and definitively rearranged in 2003, and after having shown our expressive and executing abilities in a special live acoustic show contained in Odos eis Ouranon, a recently issued double CD with Ataraxia, we decided to work up an apparently trivial idea, probably already undertaken, successfully or not, by several musicians.

This is a collection of tracks by artists of a recent past, most of them related to the wave-gothic/industrial genre. Even if already brought to success in the past, they have been now skilfully revised and somehow adjusted: in conformity with a certain contemporary sensibility, the present compositions are the result of an interpretation based upon some unexpected literary reverberations, which, in our opinion, even the original songs could have had since their birth. Therefore, by following a sort of de-structuring process, typical of cubist artists, like in a Braque’s picture the original tracks have been reduced to puzzle pieces and then further shredded, contaminated and totally tattered, each time according to different parameters, depending on the various occurring needs: finally, the puzzle pieces have been reassembled often in such an amazing way that it seems they got a brand-new life (only apparently independent from that generating cell).

Besides the above-explained concept, which strictly concerns music composition, the set of literary sources that the whole work refers to is basically important in order to trace out a spiritual path aiming to stimulate our personal research on the quintessence of death, soul and eternal life, and once again relating to Antonin Artaud, who we consider as the sublime prophet.
Thus, by recovering various writings by some loved authors, already quoted during the past years, we have tried to create a sort of “bridge” between the ages and therefore modern musical theories have been brought closer to poetic words and verses of one century ago, or at least of the 20th century, in order to restate the deeply atemporal sense of the Arts and meanwhile reassess the role of the Work, as actually dissociated from its author. Unfortunately, authors have been gaining so much importance nowadays that to cause some paradoxical situations: for instance, there are some musicians who feel quite fulfilled just if they play tracks written by other people and every time they SPECIFY EXACTLY the author and make every effort to look like him, in an absurd research of losing their creative personality with the only aim to clone his success …: let’s think about the widespread phenomenon of cover-bands.

Therefore the research and creative development work behind these tracks is to be considered absolutely substantial: on the whole, the works must be a vehicle of ideas and emotions in a wider range of risk, that is, they can actually convey MORE than we all have ever imagined and our aim is just to SEARCH for these different emotions and show them to those who will have the patience to listen.

This work is obviously the result of a process of a deeply internalising process of the original messages, in fact, the work starts with an amplified revision of our old track L’Art et la Mort (re-titled Qui, au sein…, which is exactly the title of the here recovered written work), referring to the homonymous Artaud’s work, which appropriately gives the title to the whole project.

Also the second track Quand nous reverrons-nous? contains a quotation from the same work by the ingenious French author, and it is a de-structured version of Decline and Fall by early Virgin Prunes. After this, there follow two tributes to friend bands which have influenced my musical growth too: Tuxedomoon in a dreaming minimalist version of Egypt (here re-titled Kyfi), re-moulded for piano and electric guitar from the original, but still able to keep older improvisatory inclinations; Ataraxia in an ethereal version of their track Canzona, here written for the classical trio soprano/cello/piano, the only track where we have decided to keep the original Francesca Nicoli’s lyrics, rich in suggestively poetic images and not casually already quoted in the second scene of the Sturm opus, and for this reason now re-titled Lune et arcades, with reference to the moment when the character Lybra is descending from the October moon.

Even the following track was written for the classical trio: Ostia is a substantially de-structured manipulation of the original track Ostia (The Death of Pasolini) by Coil, here designed to recover one of the last writings by the Italian poet-director, incredibly full of gloomy presages of his approaching terrible end.

The relationship between the next track and the literary work here referred to is much closer, and in some sense, you can even affirm it is essentially its “son”: in fact, Anywhere out of the World is, as well as the title of one of the older classics by Dead Can Dance, principally a famous poème en prose written by Charles Baudelaire, whose subtitle is exactly N’importe où hors du monde. The key structure of the track is the dialogue between the poet and his soul, the framework of its destructuring process, which still keeps definite (but surely well hidden!) links with the original Brendan Perry’s version.

With the same absolutely ironic approach the Slovene band itself might have dared, the next track has been transformed into a de-structured form: so Laibach’s track Leben-Tod has been retitled Neue Wirklichkeit, and it offers some mocking rhythmics and connects the topic of the song with the work and philosophical thought of the great Viennese painter-architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, here quoted with one of his most famous maxims and furthermore mentioned because he justified a possibility of an existence after death.

Through special emphasis given to exasperated tones there follows a real celebration of noisy sounds in the track Ewig-Dunkel, a de-structurated version, here electronically reconstructed, of a famous old track by Einstürzende Neubauten, Der Tod ist ein Dandy, now juxtaposed with Der Tor und der Tod, a theatre piece by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. We recovered the final verses of the poem, where Death pronounces some lapidary and funereal words, after he leads the protagonist to his end and before getting out of the scene, disappearing into the darkest void of the eternal nonentity…

Finally, the work gets to its natural end through a perversely de-structured form (as only the famous English band could inspire…) of the track Antonin Artaud by Bauhaus, here re-titled Et je me souviens aussi de… and juxtaposed with one of the last heretical writings by the French genius, as he reached a state of total insanity and full degeneration, as the result of the countless electroshocks he suffered in the long stay in a psychiatric asylum. The special technique of exclusive use of vocals, often filtered and distorted in an inhuman manner, reminds of those inner voices, witnesses of the state of deep total alienation he reached shortly before his end.