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toroddfuglesteg View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Dunwich
    Posted: November 20 2010 at 08:51

Strongly influenced from the 70's italian bands, Dunwich performs a classical oriented symphonic prog, with some orchestrated passages. Their lyrics are based on myths and legends of the entire world. Female vocals add to the atmosphere. Dunwich has so far released four albums and is active again with new material. 

I got in touch with the band and (mostly) Elayne answered my questions.


I believe the ProgArchives biography on Dunwich is pretty accurate. But why did you choose that band name ?

I wanted to build a place – a city, if you will – in which art could live in all its aspects, improving my view of music and arts. Dunwich is a name that caught my attention due to its tragic story: a small yet important Suffolk seaport, plagued during the XIII Century by frequent storms, until in 1347 a mighty thunderstorm submerged the city, earning as it slipped into the sea the name of "drowned city"...
I wondered for a long time how that city remained suspended between two worlds, our reality and a place made of shadows, glimpses and perception.
Later I discovered that many scholars – illustrious names like Queen Elizabeth’s astronomer John Dee and H.P. Lovecraft – wrote about the city, and that aroused my interest even more.
Dunwich, Anglification of the latin Situs Magus, Place of the Mage, was the perfect name for my project.

Which bands was your main inspirations ?

I can’t pinpoint a single band that inspired me; rather, I breathe music and arts. All the things that excited and moved me got processed into my music, becoming a desire to share and make others experience those feelings. I can mention classical music, Folk, Prog, Heavy Metal and even dark music: their disturbed, romantic, imposing atmosphere brought me the desire, the need to write music, draw, even write short tales.

Over to your releases. Please give me your (long or brief) thoughts and lowdowns on.......

Sul Monte e il Tuono from 1993

At first we didn’t plan a trilogy – we just wanted to music a few extracts from the Chinese Book of Changes, describing legends and myths from all over the world; we wanted to become ourselves travellers of the unknown. That CD was the sum of the first ten years of activity of the band; against all hopes, and even with a very limited budget, we did surprise ourselves.

Il Chiarore Sorge Due Volte from 1995

This was deliberately an acoustic CD; we wanted to sing in our own very special way the nocturnal vision of shamans gathered around the campfire, keeping alive the flame and the warmth of the sun until dawn .
At the time our work wasn’t well received – and yet today, after so many years, it still receives praises from many people. Maybe the fusion of medieval music, folk music and our signature style was a little too much for the time – but to this date it is still my favourite musical journey, and I'm very proud of it.

Eternal Eclipse of Frost from 1999

During its inception we figured we needed a spiritual continuation of ‘Il chiarore sorge due volte’, bearing the name of ‘Entro la terra č luce’ (inside the earth is the light), but the subsequent pressures from the label transformed it into something more electric and gothic. At that time I lost my fellow wayfarers Katya (voice) and Alessandro (percussions), who where the pulsing hearth of the Dunwich project. We always worked with few core artists (three at most) and many very talented guest musicians who lent their arts to our vision.

Eternal Eclipse of Frost had many interesting parts; it was the end of the journey as we knew it at the time, the transition into another musical dimension, but after the departure of Katya and Alessandro the project remained on hiatus for many years.

Heilagmanoth from 2008

Heilagmanoth (Holy month of the Gods in Carolingian calendar) is a radical departure from the past; and very bold one, if I can say so. We chose to completely self-produce, promote and distribute the album, and that was the first step toward real artistic independence; with this work Dunwich reached maturity. We refused to use any synthetic sound or instrument, employing instead a moltitude of guest musicians from a very heterogeneous background. We chose a real, refined and lustrous physical package for our music, rather than going digital only; we didn't cut any corner, we took our time to get it right, and the fans really appreciated the polish. And last, but not least, we found a new, really talented singer as the new face, voice and soul of our project: Francesca Naccarelli. We are really proud of Heilagmanoth: it was a work of love, and was very well received from public and critics alike.

What is your latest update and your plans for this and next year ?

We just recorded a haunting song inspired by a short story of E.A. Poe, for the new Colossus project album " Tales of Edgar Allan Poe - a syNphonic collection".
We are really proud if it, both from a musical and emotional point of view: Francesca’s voice lingers in the air in ways we didn't anticipate, creating a truly unique atmosphere.
We should mention the wonderful collaboration of Vincenzo Trasca on this song - a classically trained composer, a great artist and a true friend. In the past Vincenzo co-composed alongside Claudio some of our best songs.
And we are proud to announce that his talent will be part of the Dunwich Project for the future, too!
The Oblong Box - that is the name of the song – will be available by Christmas on the compilation, and on iTunes as a single.

A second single will be available in January, inspired by the Finnish epic poem Kalevala. It was born as a collaboration with the “ Heading to North” project, that will feature five artists from Italy and five from Finland. Exploring such a different culture and tradition was really exciting; we tried to recreate the suggestions and images told in the poem using our musical language. That wouldn't have been possibile without the help of many differents artist, each with its own peculiar experience and taste: we used oriental instruments like Oud and Bouzouki, experimenting on the constrast between northern atmospheres and oriental sound.

In 2011 we'll release another song, again an artistic collaboration with Colossus Projects, inspired by the Italian medieval classic Il Decamerone, by Boccaccio. These collaborations gave us and excuse to explore and refine a few ideas that came to us after the recording of Heilagmanoth... and at some point in the near future there will be a fifth Dunwich studio album.

How is your writing and creative processes ?

Claudio: I'm a sensitive person, who feels deeply even the slightest emotion... more often than not inspiration cames to me after reading a book, a movie, even a dreams. Sometimes even a walk in a peculiar place can unleash my muse. And of course music can make me travel far, far away in my head. That initial spark starts a long and impervious journey of refining and improvement, until I'm satisfied with the results.

Elayne: I usually write the vocal lines and text; most of the time my source of inspiration is Claudio, who can really make wonders with his arrangements. For the few songs that I composed, like The Flying Fear, I draw inspiration from medieval and folks sounds, something I've deeply loved since my childhood. In recent times I've come to really admire the gorgeous voice of Annie Haslam, of Renaissance, every time I listen to her, I really do feel inspired.

Your music has an Northern European sound with references to Enid and Renaissance. But how would you describe your music and who would you compare yourself with ?

Every time they ask us this question we really are dumbfounded – there's no easy answer to this. Behind our music there are so many influences that it became really hard to single out even the major ones. We can hazard and say we are gothic, medieval folk metal? Maybe, but it doesn't tell the whole story. We've been around for so long that we outlasted many "labels" and trends; mostly, we follow our own path, drawing inspiration from music and atmospheres that have been around for centuries.
At the end of the day, we really like the definition that a journalist once gave to us: "Dunwich sounds like Dunwich"

Do you play any gigs or are you a studio project ?

Unfortunately, due to organizational issues we are mainly a studio project; today Dunwich are mostly Claudio Nigris and Francesca Naccarelli, and as a self produced band we encounter many, many challenges. But in the future we'll do a few live concerts – as we did with the CD, we'll have to get it right. We really do dream of bringing our music live; and by live we mean using real musicians playing real instruments, without relying on pre-recorded bases.

Is any of the you involved in any other bands or projects ?

Elayne: Claudio works exclusively on the Dunwich project, while in the past I've partecipated in the Akallabeth project by Archangel, a progressive group based in Milan. Lately I've worked almost uniquely on the next Dunwich CD. 2011 will be a busy year for our fans...

Is music your main occupation or do any of you have daytime jobs outside the music scene ?

We are a self produced studio project in a niche market , so the music can’t be our only source of income. Luckily, while we cannot dedicate ourselves 100% to our passion, music, our daily jobs leave us enough time to endure in our journey.

To wrap up this interview, is there anything you want to add to this interview ?

We would like to thank Torodd for the opportunity to present ourselves to the ProgArchives readers.
The questions were really insightful , and gave us the chance to talk about some aspects of our work we normally don’t share with the public.

Thank you to Dunwich for this interview

Their PA profile is here and their homepage here

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memowakeman View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 20 2010 at 15:32
Very interesting interview from a great Italian band.

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