Occasum Solis is a varied and very interesting album embracing musical
styles from Renaissance through Classical to Neofolk with a touch
Anima in Fiamme are two members of Argine, Ferruccio Milanesi (violin,
organ, harpsichord, piano, keyboards, samplers, zheng, ma tou qin,
percussion), and Pasquale Scotti (voice, keyboards, dong ruan, samplers,
percussion) with Giacomo Vitale (classical guitar). They are joined
here by 13 other musicians contributing instruments including bassoon,
harp, trumpet, flute, oboe and clarinet.
The album opens with an organ, trumpet and drum fanfare, 'Marcia trionfale'
in Italian Renaissance style which was recorded live at Regina Coeli's
Church in Naples. This is followed by 'Ieratico Buio', a baroque harpsichord
instrumental introducing a folk-style song with string interludes.
'Il Dolore' has an industrial drone giving way to a slow, sad violin
and whispered vocals, while 'Arcano Manoscritto' is a song with wind-chime
accompaniment and a little brighter.
The project is strong on instrumentals: 'Bachianinha' is a classical
guitar piece by the celebrated Brazilian guitarist and composer, Paulinho
Nogueira, 'Come Fiore Reciso' is a romantic instrumental piece for
piano, violin and cello, and 'Ode Alla Luna' a racey instrumental.
'Agincourt' was inspired by Shakespeare's Henry V, and is an interesting
almost Nymanesque piece with strings and arresting pauses.
Contrasting with the rest of the album, 'Teng Ku Yeh Ch'eng' applies
Chinese effects to what sounds like a European renaissance dance,
whilst 'The Night' with music and lyrics by Radio Werewolf camps up
An interview with Ferruccio Milanesi and Pasquale
Scotti Of Naples, Italy October 19th, 1999
Last Sigh: You are currently doing two projects:
Argine and Anima In Fiamme. Could tell us about the music in both
of these bands? Who is in each band and who plays what instruments?
Ferruccio: Argine is an apocalyptic-folk band. They have made,
after 3 demos, a full length, "Mundana Humana Instrumentalis"
and a 7" "Marisa Allasio". This last, limited edition
in transparent vinyl made in 1500 copies, has the particularity that
the title track is a cover of historic Italian Dark-wave band named
DIAFRAMMA, and it's sung by Federico Fiumani, leader of Diaframma
itself, even if the original version of the song (in "3 volte
lacrime" lp) was sung by Miro Sassolini. I've joined the group
in Sept. 1998 and, since that date, we have recorded some tracks for
compilations and now we are working to finish the 2nd Lp and to release
a live album recorded in Rome on 5th Jan. 1999.
Argine's current line-up is: Corrado Videtta playing guitar and voice,
Marco Consorte guitar and voice, Alfredo Notarloberti violin, me on
bass and keyboards, Carmen D'onofrio voice, Raffaele Orilio playing
Pasquale: About ANIMA IN FIAMME, our group was formed in Jan.1998,
after the split up of our former gothic band Nadir. But only after
six months spent making deeper the musical and cultural background
of the band and unusefully searching other good members, we started,
in June, thinking as a real, concrete band.
We have decided to remain a duo, with me on voice and guitar and Ferruccio
playing keyboards and violin. We have used collaborators to make recordings
and we'll organize in this way also for future concerts.
Our music is difficult to explain, because you can say we play classical
music, especially chamber music, but at the same time we are considered
a dark, esoteric or industrial group.
The reason is really simple. We have tried to compose classical music,
not only as a background or reference of our band, but classical music
in a strict sense. We try to live in a reality different from the
outside world, to live as aesthetics trying to create around us a
refined and elegant atmosphere, deeply soaked in our cult of the Past
Centuries. From this, from our attempt to live in accordance with
our aristocratic culture, comes the classical part of our music.
The dark side of our music, the industrial and ritual influences,
represents our inner passions, the storms of soul that upset our existence.
Ferruccio: Since April I've joined as keyboard/violin player also
a great band from Messina, named ART INFERNO, that play really well-
orchestrated blackmetal, with wagnerian influences and love for claustrofobic
and horrorific atmospheres.
Last Sigh: Who is or will be or is distributing your work in the United
States and Europe so people can get copies of it? With what formats
is your work released/going to be or is currently released, CD, vinyl
or? What do you have published so far and where can people get it?
Pasquale: Despite the short existence of the band, we have participated
in four compilations issued not only in Italy but in all over the
world: Oktagon, made by an Italian label; TEN YEARS OF MADNESS, dcd
for the russian Achtung Baby!, ON THE BRINK OF INFINITY of American
label Chthonic Streams; CHAIN D.L.K., compilation enclosed to the
italian homonymous magazine. We'll be out also on "Intimations
of Immortality Vol.5" made by Italian label Energeia. These compilations
can be reached at label's contacts or contacting us directly.
About our recordings, we are still estimating the proposals we have
received, trying to choose a label good both for the economical and
distribution side, both for the cure for particulars (number of copies,
cure for the beauty of products, good booklet and so on).
So, till now, we don't know which label will release it and we are
still contacting new ones. As soon as we'll decide it, we'll give
the news to magazines and place it on our web site.
About the format, I think the format is not the most important thing.
It could be a CD or else, the only requirement is a good edition,
both for graphics and copies number. We would like also to release
something on vinyl, maybe a particular edition.
Last Sigh: How long have you been involved with creating music and
playing so many instruments? Do you have any formal training in music,
either in playing or writing/composing, and vocals? Where and when?
Ferruccio: It's many years I've been involved in music, playing various
instruments in different bands. Now I'm studying violin and piano
in an Academy of Music and I would like to start soon studying composition.Pasquale
ScottiPasquale: I'm studying chant. Before we formed AIF I dedicated
my time above all in studying guitar, even if not seriously. When
the Nadir project was born, in 1996, I've started singing. But only
with ANIMA IN FIAMME I've dedicated all myself to music and composition,
and started making deeper my musical knowledge and my technical preparation
both in singing and playing.
Last Sigh: Italy is rich in culture and the arts. What or who influenced
you to be a musician? Was there anyone in particular in your past
helped to guide you up until now? Is there anyone you would like to
thank for your interest in music -- family, friends or other musicians?
I don't know if something has forced me to become a musician. It appears
to me as a natural evolution. I have felt something new growing inside
and a need to compose and to create. I have always listened to music,
expecially Cure and '80s New-Wave/Dark, and probably it has in some
way contributed to it. Yet, probably the listening of Angelo Branduardi's
music (italian contemporary musician, in some way he can appear as
a medieval minstrel) has approached me to medieval and folk music.
About persons, I think I have to thank only ourself as a group for
what we have been able to create and to obtain.
Ferruccio: I've always loved Art, expecially literature. I've felt
since I was really young I belong to a world different from my friends.
I've to thank Decadent and Romantic Art for their impulse and for
having helped me in opening my eyes. When I read a book of a Romantic
or Decadent author, such as Goethe, Foscolo, Rimbaud, Lautreamont,
I saw in their pages a mirror of myself, and felt stronger of being
probably a member of a initiatic circle. About persons, I have to
thank my family for having never obstructed me,and Andrea Guerrini,
my violin-teacher, who has let me enter the realm of classical music.
Last Sigh: I found your music to be quite diverse. Some of it is *very*
classical, some of it is noisy, some is yet more ambient. You obviously
have a great deal of passion for your work. What, if anything, gives
you inspiration to create? Who writes the music for Anima In Fiamme?
the name means to those of us who don't know Italian? Anima In Fiamme
translates to "Burning Soul", is that correct? Can you tell
what inspired you to choose these names?
Ferruccio: As explained before, ANIMA IN FIAMME's music has different
souls that contribute to explain our feelings. Saying that our music
is a mirror of us is telling too little: our music is ourselves, the
music is our deeper thoughts that speak though the notes, it is ourselves
in the attempt of reaching higher spheres of Knowledge.
Pasquale: I see ourselves as poets who celebrate passion and, though
the happiness and pain of days, change their ode's style according
to emotions. Our composing could be a day passionate, the day after
could show only torment and sadness.
The name of the band, Anima In Fiamme (probably Soul On Fire), represents
the Romantic and intense way of living and devotion to Art. It shows
the impetus that livens us up and the sorrow that Creation involves.
Last Sigh: If you could work with one musician
to create music, maybe someone you have a great deal of respect for,
living or deceased, who would that be and why?
Ferruccio: In musical world maybe there are too many persons we would
like to work with. Probably great names of Dark/Gothic scene or also
Industrial/Dark Folk band as Fire+Ice, Sol Invictus, but it's only
to mention someone...
Last Sigh: What music do you currently listen
to in your leisure time? What musicians or composers have had the
greatest influence on you and your own work?
Pasquale: Obviously I listen to music similar to the one I compose,
from '80s Dark to Industrial and Martial music, but sometimes I also
listen to softer music and, on the opposite, other days I can hear
the most brutal metal... We have to listen to the highest number of
genres and bands, to understand and learn anything new (even if this
means listening to commercial genres and bands with no value).
Ferruccio: I love listening to music, and in my life, except when
I study violin or our songs, I ALWAYS hear music, from Classic to
Grind, passing for every genre of Dark, Metal and Punk. But, if I
have to choose, I can say I prefer music that shows darker aspects
of life, obscure and disturbing sounds .
Last Sigh: Do you ever perform live in Italy
or Europe? If so, where and when? What have you performed and with
Pasquale: We have performed live, together, only as Nadir, and we
are waiting to make as soon as possible ANIMA IN FIAMME's concerts.
An AIF concert would mix together Gothic/Dark atmosphere, with its
cure for particulars and the charm of chamber music played by classic
Ferruccio: We are persons who love to make concerts, the magic atmosphere
that is created when you cure everything, lights, dressing, candles
and, obviously, music. I hope we'll soon play and it will happen often.
As Argine I've played, unfortunately, only one time out of Naples,
in Rome with CAMERATA MEDIOLANENSE, and every other time we had to
make a concert in other places something has gone wrong and the concert
has been cancelled.
Last Sigh: Do you have any thoughts on the Year
2000 computer glitch? Have you prepared for that event in any way?
Ferruccio/Pasquale: We don't know what to respond: we have stopped
our calendar to 1700!
Last Sigh: How do you feel about fans encoding music to MP3 format
and sharing entire CDs of pirated music across the Internet?
Pasquale: I appreciate the possibility that MP3 and Realaudio gives
to listen to music, new band and so on, but I don't agree with the
possibility of copying music, downloading entire songs or similar
actions and the use of CD-R. I think an artist has to be evaluated
completely, looking how he plays, the graphic of his work, the originality
of edition and so on. A song on Internet is only a song in a long
directory with no personality of author.
Copying a CD on a tape is a thing I appreciate, when you can't find
the original record or you have no money to buy all you like. But
I see tape as something temporary, till you can find the album on
CD or vinyl (or money to buy it), while CD-R is a deliberated copy
made to remain as it is.
Last Sigh: Is there any place on the web we can hear samples of your
work currently or will you be putting any clips up in the future?
Ferruccio: Everybody can find our sample on our website Anima In Fiamme
or on Vibration of Doom magazine http://members.spree.com/vibrations
that has asked us to put on the site 3 entire songs in Real Audio.
Last Sigh: What is the last book you read and
what is your favourite film/ director? Are you interested in writing
music for film or do you have any experience in doing that?
Pasquale: I've really liked "Interview with the Vampyre"
and "Jane Eyre". One of my favourite films is "La Reine
Margot" and "The Hunger".
Ferruccio: I read nearly a book a day and they are too many to tell
the best one. I prefer reading writers of past centuries (above all
XVIII-XIX century, but also Medieval and ancient latin literature)
and modern gothic authors as Ann Rice and Clive Barker. About cinema,
it's a wonderful form of Art, and we would be really happy to make
a soundtrack for a film. I would prefer a gothic film or in costume
one, the genres I prefer.
Last Sigh: Thank you for taking the time to
send us your music and to do this interview. Is there anything else
you would like to express or mention?
Pasquale: We would thank you for the interest and time dedicated to
Ferruccio: I hope people interested in our music will listen to it
and contact us. I cannot help thanking you for the wonderful opportunity
you have given to us.
Last Sigh: It was a pleasure working with you and hearing your music
of which I enjoy immensely. Thank you!