This work from Autunna et sa Rose, the third of its adventure through music, appears more daring and variegated than the previous ones, with its architectonics full of philosophical and historical references to the period between the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, and even strictly connected to some scientific cosmological topics, following in the wake of the mourned Austrian painter and architect Hundertwasser and of his great intuitions. Besides, the CD represents the musical part of the homonymous music-theatre opus, a theatrical work in which the leading role is played by the musical compositions that are mixed in a special way with the scenes, with the intent to create a real fusion between the scenographical-theatrical aspect and the musical performance. In this context, the music gains a really deep and total sense only if it is considered in association with the story: each moment of the tale is related to a musical moment, so as each track has a proper collocation within the plot.
Sturm is a young man with an ancestral romantic and tempestuous personality, born in Austria from a family of Slovene origin at the end of XIX. century. He lives during the birth of the cultural movements and transformations of the beginning of the 20th century, feeling his own spirit very fascinated by every artistic newness coming from the whole of Europe (symbolism and the impressionist style from France – the country of his cultural formation -, the new Vienna music school and expressionism from Germany and Austria,…). He is a symbol of the cultural Middle-European ferment in the years of the Austrian empire, developed in this sense of protection and stability felt by Viennese cultivated people in the period even called Felix Austria, that is before the Great War. Sturm has been reading some authors like Schnitzler and Hofmannsthal, with such a deep passion that he could quite live their theatrical dramas in his inner life, as a sort of self-detection proceeding for an innovative and emotionally well-defined way of living. His name is also connected to the famous avant-garde art journal Der Sturm, founded in Berlin in 1910, and for which the great Austrian painter Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980) made a fantastic self-portrait cover: he painted his face as a skinhead prisoner serving a life sentence, running a finger into a wound on his chest, with very black-ringed eyes as full of scars and a grotesque mouth expression as to represent the protest against the social world of the “successful grown men”. Of course, this suggests a hard complaint to the Austrian society of that period, that Kokoschka considered as a sham world, hidden behind masks of appearance: therefore, the character Sturm, as already Kokoschka in his self-portrait, shows himself as the prophet and the martyr who expiates the guilt of a dull society, unable to see his sensitiveness, and only attended to a “plastic” material self-fulfilment, exactly – in quite an unforced parallel! – as our modern third-millennium society is.
The starting scene introduces Sturm in a special moment of his life, as he has finally become conscious of his unavoidable parting from the hypocritical world that has often emarginated him. This is possible through his inner search for a special link of complicity with Art, in the attempt to express himself in a “true” manner; this situation leads him to find Love for Lybra, a female character who looks at once very insecure and full of psychological complexes, even if exquisitely sensitive at all, but who can hardly appreciate the true feeling she’s moved by.
That’s why, in spite of their strong emotional fervour, their love is destined to an early failure, in such a strange sequence of events, so that Sturm feels homeless and lost, quite defenceless (that is the sense of Unheimliches), and then he’s definitively abandoned by Lybra. Many paranoiac nightmares now overwhelm him, so that he almost loses control and takes the risk to get out of his mind in a dangerous extreme way, getting also to a fit of nerves and pure dissociative states. However, in a paradoxical situation indeed, the sleep – with his dream experience – becomes his natural shelter, often achieved artificially, by self-stimulation and by some hypnosis practices: in this state Sturm can solve the duality between dream and reality, now getting conscious of their coherent linking, also connected to Antonin Artaud’s surrealist writings about this altered state of conscience in which one can get into a special touch with death, getting even to “live” it every night.
In the final scene, the protagonist is led to an abstract dimension in which he will be able to get beyond the barriers between life on this earth and eternal Life: an angel comes and leads him into cosmic spirals, the way to reach the universal Energy and join his spirit with the supreme forces of Nature. The last track of this work symbolizes the final synthesis of Life and Death, just like the contemporary Austrian painter and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1923-2000) had been representing in his works by means of his spirals (this matter has been also discussed in the track Leben-Tod (Spiralemusik), here contained as a ghost-track); even some numerological meanings are linked to 5 (the Sturm – and Lybra – letters) and 12 (the number of the episodes of this work), so this ending connects past, present and future together in an eternal structure wandering in the space-time continuum.
This CD is enriched by the collaboration of several musicians, but in particular by the special participation of the historical leader of Tuxedomoon, Steven Brown, here playing alto and soprano saxophones and clarinet, and giving his vocal interpretation in a newly rearranged cover version of Some Guys, the track that Wim Wenders decided to include in the soundtrack of his masterpiece Wings of Desire (1987). Moreover, the CD contains a ROM track concerning all the cultural sources connected to this work.