DieSeele

Shadowplay, the day the clouds parted
(a  song that may have changed my life)
By Michael Aliani (chiron / ikon)

I have always had the feeling that I am running out of time.  Since I can remember, since I was very young, I have had an understanding that time is marked, that life is short, and that what you expect in life is not always what you get.  This may seem a little peculiar for a young child, but a little realistic perspective can never hurt, even at a young age.
With this perspective came the desire to express myself, something we all do in different ways.  In my youth this yearning to express myself  first came about through a world of fantasy.  A youthful imagination is somewhere to get totally lost in.  You can be anything you want, do anything you desire in your own mind.  This innocent, youthful imagination is something truly wonderful, but alas it does not last forever.
Also during these yearly years I was also introduced to a love of music that my grandmother had for blues and jazz music.  She would put these crazy songs on the record player and dance around the house trying to get me to dance with here.  Often I would oblige, but most of the time I would run off to go and satisfy my own fantasy world.  I didn't really understand my grandmothers passion. Would I ever, or was she just crazy.
With time, the youthful imagination slowly losses it’s power, and more reality based passions begin to manifest to express one’s self.   A love of visual art,  creative writing,  a love of theatre, discovering my fathers vinyl collection all became ways of expressing myself during different periods of my youth.
Time passes, then one day in early 1988 during my final year of high school, a friend Chris asked me to listen to some music on his cassette walk-man.  Being the expert on music that I thought I was, I asked who it was.  Joy Division was the reply.  I had never heard of them.  Putting the headphones on Chris pressed play and ‘Shadowplay’ from 'Still' began.  I listened to the song to the end, one song only.  I had never heard anything like it in my entire life.  I hated it.  It was unlike anything I had ever heard.  It made me feel something that music had never made me feel before, and I wasn’t sure what it was.  It challenged me and I could not get it out of my head.  It was like a disease, the start of an addiction.  Within a few days I had bought my own copy of Still.  I soon realised something had changed in me, or so I felt.  Ideas, lyrics began popping into my head, and I had no control of it.
Not long after this my friend Chris started a band with another friend Dino.   Naturally I thought I was the ideal candidate for the  singer they required.  This was the start of ‘Death in the Dark’ that later became ‘Ikon’.  
I immediately started writing my own lyrics.  On the walk home from school an idea would begin.  By the time I arrived home a whole song would be completed.  I would frantically write it down trying to remember all that had entered my mind on that walk home.
Music has become my way of expressing myself.   It becomes a part of who you are, a part of you identity.  And yet it is much, much more.  You almost don't have a choice.  It drives you, and in some ways controls you.  And yet it can be so pure.  I remember the feeling when we (Death in The Dark) recorded our first original song at a rehearsal on a cassette.  I was so excited, so proud of what I had done, what we had done.  I still get that same feeling now when I write a new song.  That part of music will always be pure to me.
After Ikon, I started Chiron which continues today.  It some ways it is the same as it was in beginning.  Doing something you love.  It doesn't always go exactly to plan, but what does in life.
I now understand my grandmother's passion.  She is 86 and her love for music is as strong as ever.  I suppose I am just like her, a little crazy.  I wouldn't have it any other way.


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Jean-Christophe d’Arnell / Collection d’Arnell -Andrea

Collection d’Arnell-Andrea albums are often the result of chance, encounters and images. As if each record adds to cohesion - bond - between different events and people.
I particularly remember the genesis of our album Villers-aux-Vents.
It all started in an antique shop when finding and acquiring a series of stereoscopic photographs on glass plates, realised ‘sur le vif ‘ by a 1914-1918 war soldier. The three dimensional images conferred a particularly poignant realism to the documents of the time. The emotional force of these photographs naturally guided my inspiration, and the concept of our next album became obvious: the relationship between Man and Nature through the terrible context of the first  World War.
Very soon after this finding and the start of my writing, CDAA had a concert in Liege, as part of the Black Celebration Festival; Samy Birnbach and The Breath of Life were also performing. At the end of the concert, the sound engineer accompanying the two other bands left us his contact details, saying he enjoyed our performance, and offered to collaborate with a producer should we wish to (until then we had always produced our own albums in a recording studio). We had just met Gilles Martin, producer of several legendary bands that we particularly loved, notably Minimal Compact! A few months later, we started recording our album Villers-aux-Vents , with the support of Gilles Martin. Paradoxically - considering the gravity of the album theme - the recording sessions took place in a particularly relaxed and joyful atmosphere.
During that recording, we were contacted by the organisers of the newly launched Wave Gothic Treffen festival based in Leipzig, at that time in its 2nd year only! They knew about our 3 first albums, and especially one of our songs ‘Collection’, which appeared in a german compilation album that had had some commercial success (The myths of Avalon). This was our first concert of Collection d’Arnell-Andrea in Germany and was an intense experience, which remains a fantastic memory. Our album Villers-aux-Vents, released in 1994, was well publicised and benefited from global distribution. This record is still considered by many as a sort of “cult” album.
Time has passed, 5 new albums and many concerts have completed the story of our band; and this year, Collection d’Arnell-Andrea was on the program of the 23rd edition of the now famous Wave Gothic Treffen.

Chance, encounters and images: 4 songs of our album Villers-aux-Vents  were still on our concert playlist this year; Isabelle Dekeyser (The Breath of Life), now a friend, was in the audience, and… Europe commemorated the centenary of the Great War! 

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I write on fanzines since the beginning of the '90.... and often, talking with musicians, I came across anecdotes about how a certain track or album was born.... passions, interests, memories behind the music, that often are the seed of music... Particular moment leaving a sign in the memory, giving feelings, that are the fundament on which music, and any art is crafted.So, instead of the “usual” interview, I thought to invite some musician to tell us a touching souvenir...something they keeps in mind, in the heart, as an unforgettable moment...Music is a way to share feelings, and writing also, so for once we asked musicians to become writers for a day and tell us something that lies behind their music. We asked them to give us feelings in another way, but reading the tales of the new column you will have feelings, will be able to couple music and moments of life.....The new project will be opened as a permanent column at DieSeele in the following link dusk memories


~Lory Dusk~
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