Copyright © 2019 · All Rights Reserved · Hexperos
Music Lite by Organic Themes
Equilibrium Music, 2010
The title of this album comes from El Velo de la Reina Mab, by the Nicaraguan writer and poet Rubén Darío (1867 – 1916). A short tale from the collection Azul, whose immense lyricism, resulting from melancholia and fairy tales, has brought fame to Darío’s verses, and in which we find typical South American magical realism, ancient mythology and pure fantasy.
Queen Mab is a creation of Anglo-Saxon mythology, probably with roots in Celtic legends. She is the queen of dreams. Many will remember Shakespeare mentioning her, through the mouth of Mercutio, in scene IV of the first Act of Romeo and Juliet, or refer to her myth in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Apart from Darío and Shakespeare, quoted here in our lyrics, many other artists have also paid tribute to Queen Mab in their works, from classical painters, writers or composers, up to rock bands, cartoonists and film makers. A few of our favourite examples include Ben Jonson’s The Entertainment at Althop (1603); Michael Draydon’s masque Nymphidia (1627); Jane Austen on Sense and Sensibility (1811); Percy Bysshe Shelley with Queen Mab: A Philosophical Poem (1813); J.M.W. Turner on his oil painting Queen Mab’s Cave (1827), on display at Tate Gallery, London; the French composer Hector Berlioz, whose symphony Roméo and Juliette (1839) includes the piece Queen Mab scherzo; Herman Melville, who named the 31ˢᵀ chapter of his novel Moby Dick (1851) after her; the painting entitled Queen Mab by the French painter Gustave Doré (1832 – 1883); and J.M. Barrie on The Little White Bird (1902) where Queen Mab lives in Kensington Gardens and helps Peter Pan to fly again.
In our album, like in Darío’s tale, Quenn Mab is seen as an inspiring Diva or Goddess. She is the comforter. It is thanks to her veil “el velo de los sueños, de los dulces sueños, que hacen ver la vida de color de rosa” (the veil of dreams, of sweet dreams, that make the world appear rose-colored) that sadness abandons the heart of the four protagonists of the story. In their chests, Queen Mab has placed hope and a touch of vanity that brings solace to these poor artists – a painter, a sculptor, a musician and a writer – when faced with their deep disappointments.
The moon is also a recurring figure on this album. In fact, it is yet another source of inspiration for many artists, and perhaps simply one of the various faces of the artist’s Muse. The moon is present through the verses of Apuleius (c.125 – c. 180) and his Metamorphoseon (Liber Undecimus), which we used for Moon Spell and Summatem Deam. It is also the protagonist of Diadem of the Night, an old song of mine which I wrote for the second demo tape of my previous juvenile project named Gothica.
That demo was entitled Proserpina, a fascinating mythological subject and again a Muse for me and many others, among whom the great Italian poetess Alda Marini. We used one of her most famous poems for the song Le Lacrime di Proserpina as a tribute to her and to a theme whose interest we share: folly. The notion of folly in this song is embodied by the whispered voices, while the harp’s harmonics represent le lacrime or tears, highlighting the particular care that has been placed by Francesco and me in the choice of the right sounds for each atmosphere we wanted to evoke.
Coming back to Proserpina, I will never forget the great impact that a painting of her by Dante Gabriel Rossetti had on me the first time I saw it. This feeling is even stronger each time I recall that this great Pre-Raphaelite painter and his family (his sister is the poetess Christina G. Rossetti) have their origin in the same small Italian town where the illustrious father Gabriele, Francesco and I were born.
Last but not least, we have again chosen to include a song from Manuel de Falla’s Siete Canciones Populares Españolas since I adore this opus. Furthermore, the lyrics on this song are an old traditional composition with a naturalistic theme congenial to my way of writing and to our souls.
The rest of my lyrics are inspired by Mother Nature and, as always, by the atmospheres found in Gothic literature.
We adopted the pronunciation of IV-V century AD on our Latin songs following a tradition of the Italian school.
The photos by our friend Donatella Lomma were taken at Rocca Calascio, in Abruzzo, a magical medieval land among our mystical mountains, which was struck by a serious earthquake last year. we hope that this land and its heritage will return to part its full splendor soon.
This is an album dedicated to art and artists, to their physical and spiritual journeys, to their efforts, and to the magnificent and sometimes terrible Mother Nature, of whom we all are children.