I first came across Italian band Ataraxia back in 2005, when I was sent ‘Arcana Eco’ to review. At that time, I said “Ataraxia are a band quite unlike any other that I have come across while writing reviews – this is much more than just acoustic music, it is neo-classical, baroque even, yet bringing in folk sounds and styles at the same time.” They are often described as an Italian neoclassical dark wave band who combine modern technology with archaic instrumentation over various media, but that just doesn’t provide enough information to allow the new listener to fully uncover the delights contained within. To put it simple, there just isn’t another band out there quite like Ataraxia, as this is more than just music. When this album was released, there was a very special limited carved wooden box edition including Limited A5 Digibook CD+DVD version, jewel case version, special card with paintings by Alessandra Nicoli, and strings/or signed mediators on which the albums were created. They have long sold out.
I am more at a loss than normal to be able to describe this to you, except to say it is timeless, modern, ancient, beautiful and very, very special indeed. This is music which creates its own world to which the listener is drawn and is soon removed from reality. Acoustic, classical, baroque, folk, it is all these and so much more. Perhaps the last words should just be from the band themselves: “ENA (one = unity in Greek) is our musical contribution to overcome duality, conflicts and separation trying to go towards a resonant, open-hearted attitude. What we seed in our life, in others’ lives, on the earth is what we receive. We are One, separation causes blindness and destruction. WE ARE ONE, WE ALL ARE CONNECTED. Vibration is the very first act of creation, Music has the duty and the right to work on connection being such a suitable and direct channel to express harmony.
If our life is meant to be a spiritual growing and not just a materialistic experience, all the domains where spirituality is expressed can become a source of enlightenment. Here is our naked soul alone in “her” voyage. To us, Music is diffusing a spiritual knowledge that’s not linked to a dominating specific religion but to the harmony of the cosmic forces. The aim is to reach again the primeval plenitude, calmness and inner light, being a part of the whole.
The magic word resounds before being pronounced. Knowledge and Experience happen at the same time and all of this is a sacred announcement, a message that doesn’t need rationality to be caught. It is a sort of spiritual call coming from the depths. Memory and singing are linked, they enable a deeper subtle “sight”.
The ancient wisdom was based on letting go, forgetting ourselves, our ego and masks in order to feel and live “the moment”.
A deeply felt thank for all what we have received from Greek philosophy, poetry, and mysticism. Without this inspiration, we wouldn’t be here to do what we do.”
9/10 Kev Rowland