Phalène d’onyx

This new project assumes the form of a representation of the inner course of a soul that, starting from a condition of seclusion with suffering and non-acceptance of the other, and in general of the surrounding world, gets to live the experience of love as salvation, mainly achievable in a new-found ability to give oneself up truly to the other. Fifteen poems, selected from a large number of compositions written almost all in a period of less than two years, trace this course as a partly hidden plot – a sort of key of the puzzle – in an ideal labyrinth. This selection was specially conducted with the aim at keeping an order that, although not strictly chronological, was to preserve primarily a continuity of ideas and feelings, able to offer an almost sequential and, in a sense, theatrical reading of this work. But above all, the selection of quite suitable writings for this structure was accomplished by means of a dogged and careful hunt in poems for the right images and sound fascination, able to prepare the author – often after a detailed text analysis – to produce each time new compositional ideas, all of them complying with the main purpose to turn words into music. Therefore, every track is related to a single poem: following a purely symmetrical form, the structure of this work is made up of seven musical compositions, which are set in alternation with eight short intermezzos (intro and outro included).

As far as the composition methods are concerned, while in some cases the choice has been for a more free approach, somehow less fixed to the text, for other pieces sounds have been literally wrapped up in words, in a strictly verbal, or even phonetic way, creating musical phrases where the role of instruments is speaking, reciting (this is another reason why they are called phrases!): this is in fact the case of the piece Fruscii di sognata libertà…, not casually occupying a central position in the structure of the work, where consonant and vowel phonemes are split respectively between percussion and the clarinet, creating a sort of alternating recitation of words full of great musicality, actually holding a special percussive one.
In the opening Seele im Spielkartenschloss (Soul in the castle of cards), a free inspiration led the author to represent in a musical form the oneiric image – already shown in the short prologue – of the states of hallucinated suffering, felt inside the “castle of cards”, as in a perverse game in which emotions are  subject to massive hypocrisy and acrimony. Afterwards, while listening to È un sofferto pulsare…, you can perceive the still suffering heartbeat, but you are now ready to yield to the birth of a feeling opening on to a new life. The following piece Avvolgenti già rami… is a clear witness of an ecstatic state where it is possible to experience a real fusion of souls, with very passionate feelings. Fruscii di sognata libertà… evokes a marine imagery, idealizing an all-embracing marriage between Love and Nature. The melodious whisper of the piece Sussurro melodioso… unveils, in a very intimate atmosphere, its symbolic attributes, made of delicate allusions to the beloved and of some à la Baudelaire correspondences in which every emotion, every vision can be experienced as music. In Sinfonia eterea e quieta… the text analysis has incredibly revealed unconscious and apparently unexpected references to Dante’s Paradiso of the Divine Comedy, especially to the “harmony of the spheres” – drawn on Pythagoras’ theories, confirmed by Plato and later, also from Cicero, who even considered the possibility to hear this sound mixture in dreams – that led the author to start his own Circulata melodia thanks to suitable motions on harmonics of the string quartet. Nella pullulante atmosfera… is the summarizing piece of the work: it is based on multiple representations of synaesthesia as a sort of chemical reaction, fusion of several words or different signs in order to achieve a brand-new music object. This purpose is accomplished with the fundamental support of the voice, the real enzyme of this reaction, that is able to recreate the “cheerful sounds of the Spirit” by means of skilled alterations in pronunciation of vowels, obtained by varying the standard Italian phonemes: as a result, these variations actually distort these vowels, trespassing on sounds belonging to other languages, here produced by unique lyric vocals with continuous variations of frequency in time, giving them a weird character.

As far as the intermezzos are concerned, there are basically three different categories: vocal soprano/mezzo-soprano duo, where, every time using different compositional methods, the text has been dismembered between the two voices, constantly alternating contrapuntal interlacements with almost diametrically opposed timbres (a variation of this structure is Fiammeggianti folate…, presenting spoken vocals instead of soprano); a short extemporaneous composition for mezzo-soprano and piano (Iridescente…); some other improvisations with spoken vocals and the use of electronics or acoustic instruments. Even though most of all these tracks have a strict compositional structure, they have been written in a very short time, often getting some impromptu inspirations. Essentially, their task is connecting themes of the adjoining pieces or else revealing some topics of the following piece, or even revisiting feelings that were described in the previous track.

The final hope is that the listeners/readers can in some way feel this inner course as theirs, still sharing emotions and complexities that they have already experienced on their skin and in their hearts; but in a deeper sense, the ultimate aim of this conceptual work is rediscovering the crucial importance of poetic Love in the modern world, more and more victim of this consumer society, where many human relationships are often doomed to failure, because they are not quite true or they can be easily manipulated, still ready to waver in front of any light conditioning coming from others. As a matter of fact, the Arts can help us become more conscious of Love by allowing us to deeply experience our emotions, fighting against any kind of superficiality and not making us ignore their intimate complexity.