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(55:18; Annapurna Production)
I have long been a fan of Ataraxia, an Italian ensemble of artists who explore and create music, poetry, and visual art and who dedicate their lives to the ‘act of creation’. They describe themselves as travelling musicians, inspired by their geographical and inner voyages in places still owning the charge of centuries, and their music “is an arrow fired by cosmic forces towards the multiverse.” They define themselves as 'craftsmen of the sound' as they create an unusual mix of sacred and profane, ethereal, and experimental, contemporary, and early music. As one may understand from this introduction, one is never quite sure what to expect from the band, as they are continually re-inventing themselves. When asked about the album, they replied with the following, “We worked on seven archetypes, the number of Grace and realization. Seven are the colours of the rainbow, one for each song, and all these informed energies have archangelic names, powerful informational flows that balance the four elements of fire, air, water and earth with the fifth subtle element that is the ether. Music, being vibration, creates order and structure like fractal geometries in golden section. In the first chapter of Tolkien's ‘Silmarillion’, we see many deities, similar to archangelic archetypes, creating the earth by singing it. By tuning our electromagnetic field with the ones of cosmic energies, we can reset on a cellular and chromosomal level in order to evolve. This is Grace. ‘Quasar’ in an album belonging to a circular time and it is born where mysteries happen, dreams breathe, notes spring, colors flow.” When you see band talking about “fractal gemoetries” and ‘Silmarillion’ then one knows that here is something which has had a great deal morer thought go into it than many, one can imagine Jon Anderson getting on very well indeed with these guys. What makes Atarxia such an intriguing band, and this so compelling, is that they mix everything together from classical through progressive and early music into something that is absolutely fascicanting and enjoyable. There may well be far more structure and complex arrangements than one may normally expect, but it is completed in such a way that the listener is drawn right in without realising what is really going on. The classical female vocals are wonderful, with plenty of acoustic guitars, and the reverb makes one think this was recorded in a cathedral with the voices combining and echoing around the vaulted ceilings. Then there are other times when there are swathes of keyboard and even electric guitars as they shift the moods and styles, ensuring the music takes us in different directions, with us never knowing the destination, but that does not matter as it is all about the journey. This is yet another wonderful album from the Italian outfit, who in their thirtieth year continue to deliver beautiful music.
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