i n t e r m i s s i o n
g o t h i n d u s t r i a l d a r k w a v e 8 0 s
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| i n t e r v i e w - a t a r a x i a|

How and why were Ataraxia formed?
Ataraxia formed in the second half of the 80's. The reason is not a matter that can be explained in some way...
I mean, instinct and destiny are the only possible answers to your question. This is what we had and what we have to do. At the beginning and in the first years we were 8 persons (some more actors and musicians), then someone abandoned us, someone else has taken this way and unluckily someone died or killed himself. Now we are three - the perfect number and two boys for the live performance. This is in the last seven years. It is apparent when listening to Ataraxia that the band are classically influenced and draw from images of the past.
What do you hope to expose listeners to and what role do you think the past has to play in contemporary life?
The past is a sort of inner voyage useful to understand who we are and where we are going. Trying to decode what the past and ancient civilisations have left us is fundamental to get a wider knowledge about our life and what it will be. The myth and the symbols are keys to this knowledge so we try to re-elaborate them in order to bring the past to our current days. To be a sort of bridge amongst yesterday and tomorrow. We give back in music what we received in silence.
What inspires Ataraxia to create?
In the beginning we were mostly inspired by the tragic destiny of man and his fight against his own nature and faith. Then we had a magic period in which we felt a deep, profound connection with nature, a shy harmony, a panic 'feeling'. This made us conscious of our real function to collect the histories of an abandoned and lost humanity in order to portray them in a sort of universal example.
Our album 'La Malediction d'Ondine' is this.
I mean, a collection of female histories - women drowned or killed by water who can now narrate their story after many centuries of silence.
Do you consider yourselves a gothic band in the literal sense of the word?
We never put ourselves in a restricted category or genre. It would be stupid and useless because our music, lyrics and concepts and the live acts have so many literary, historical and musical influences that a sort of kaleidoscope would be more appropriate to describe us. We belong to a mystic and mysterious world and musically we grasp at whimsical sinister dimensions. We narrate tragedies and dreams, deaths and mystic experiences, gothic is too restricted and limited now. The word 'gothic' belongs to the XIXth century.
What contemporary music do you like to listen to?
We have to say that we listen to a lot of ancient music rather than contemporary. We love Renaissance and Baroque Airs (Albioni, Corelli, Vivaldi, Handel, Marais etc...).
We also love contemporary music such as Holst, Prokofen, Berbervan, Madredeus.
If you mean music belonging to what should perhaps be called gothic or darkwave we love Diamanda Galas, IN the Nursery, UK Decay, Opposition, Anchorage... this is what we feel like now.
What form do Ataraxia’s live shows take? I have heard that there is much emphasis on visuals and there is a theatrical element to them.
We care a lot about our live acts. They are musical, theatrical, visual, performances and they involve two guys - one is an actor-mime, the other a sort of 'image capturer' who projects fascinating slides and films inspired by the concepts. Our live acts are not a simple sequence of songs but everything is embroidered in a frame.
A theme that year after year is the last or forthcoming album.
We care a lot about scenes and also costumes, masks, symbolic objects that our mime utilises. We create them as ritual garments not only choreographic ones. It is quite hard to describe a concert....
Are any of the members involved in side projects?
No, of course. Francesca took part in the first albums of 'Monumentum' and 'Camerata Mediolanense' but actually we are all only involved in Ataraxia.
What plans do you have?
Many things, of course! Last September we printed a new full length album through Cruel Moon/ Cold Meat Industry its called Historae and its completely based on medieval ballads.
The songs are inspired by the Crusaders, ancient Greek myths, Celtic legends, and histrionic jokes - the oral tradition. The cover and packaging is wonderful and the booklet contains many writings. Also available through Symboise/ Audioglobe is a box video and live CD recorded in Portugal and inspired by the Portugal Knight Templars and the architectural jewels of that country.
Once again in excellent packaging.
What kind of reaction do you get in Italy? Is the goth scene healthy there?
It's a lot of years we have been playing. At the beginning (10 years ago) it was very difficult. There were not many people and also our concerts were harsh and painful.
Now, after years of changing, things are good. Of course, a great exchange of fluxes of energy - the concerts are rivals where the musicians and listeners light the flame and try to evoke far off worlds. Think to an ancient Greek ritual where the singers were taken by nature and spoke through its voice - magic.
Where do you derive inspiration for your songs?
The majority of our songs are inspired by legends and fairy tales rooted in our tradition.
We often portray a lost and abandoned humanity, a forgotten world with all the voices and lament it bears. We get inspiration from our numerous voyages to eastern lands, in archaeological sites, We get inspiration from the sea, from water (a deep, deep attraction towards water).
Usually we paint with notes, Medieval and Renaissance atmospheres. We reflect like mirrors our inner landscapes.
We also love and portray Greek and Latin mythology.
What do you consider the most important thing to you?
The spirit of time and history which are our father and mother. We are simply channels of history and time who express through music a sort of universal language - a language that has a great power of giving substance and to recoup parallel dimensions of knowledge. Our aim and our destiny is the one of being wandering warriors and travelling musicians bringing to far lands and villages the 'keys' left by anarchic past.
Curiosity, research and going on to interpret symbols are our aims.
How would you define Ataraxia?
The result of an absolute tension in order to reach contemplation. A spiritual and physical hard experience of life to get to the essence of things.
We try to channel our instincts, needs, egoism and enthusiasm in the act of creation. Ataraxia are wandering Pilgrims who collect 'Histories' in order to get a knowledge of other peoples dreams and sufferings. Ataraxia listen to its sixth sense to find a way that is the one of free will and understanding.
Is there anything you would like to add?
"Decoding Hieroglyphic omens Astonished I feel."

Ataraxia thanks the readers and interviewer.
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