Today’s edition of The Sunday Dungeon takes us to Europe for an artist who uniquely
blends minimalist noise with dungeon synth and dark ambient elements. The end result is something that bears quite the resemblance of an old, dusty, phonograph/LP player. The latest release is Natura Secreta Immortui. Haunting and unsettling at times it is indeed. We’d like to thank La Morte Amoureuse for their time in answering some of our questions today.
Can you talk about the name La Morte Amoureuse and why you chose it for your project? Also, can you provide for us a bit of history on this project?
First of all, greetings to you! The name came from a short story of Théophile Gautier, which tells the story of a priest who falls in love with a beautiful woman, who turns out to be a vampire. I really loved the story and also thought that it would be a perfect match for the mood I wanted to create with the music. I started the project last December, mostly because I had a bunch of ideas that I wanted to try out, but didn’t fit any of my other projects. So I started experimenting with this ideas and slowly the whole vampire theme began to come alive.
Your music is considered or tagged as “dungeon noise.” What artists inspired you for this project in both dungeon synth and noise?
I think the best tag for this project is “experimental” because that is what I really do. I don’t want to say it’s noise or dungeon synth or dark ambient, etc. It has bits and parts from every one of them. I take inspiration from many artists, but mostly they don’t influence me in a direct way. They don’t tell me what to write or how to write it, they just tell me to do it! To mention two of them, I’d say Tangerine Dream and Fabio Frizzi, although La Morte Amoureuse sounds nothing like them!
I’m curious about the tools you use to create this mixture of sounds; the static, low noise above the synth layers. You have sounds that appear like church organs, harpsichords and analogue synths. Can you talk about your software and hardware in your studio?
I only use VSTs for my music (which may sound blasphemous, I know!) as they let me experiment with many more synths and effects than I can afford or find the place for them to keep. Using my computer to compose and record offers me endless possibilities. Also, you may say that analogue synths can produce sounds which computers could never reproduce, but it’s also true the other way around!
Wresa Budeak Brocd Resiork is one of your releases and is one long track and doesn’t really use the noise like other releases. Can you talk about the process of creating this long piece?
Yes, it’s quite different. At that time I was messing with making drone sounds and the idea of creating one long track came from that. I was listening to many recordings of oriental monks reciting sutras in deep, droning voices and the picture slowly came together, with all the ritualistic imagery, the vampire performing an occult offering to some eldritch being. It was quite an interesting experience to create the atmosphere and try to evolve the story to keep it interesting for more than 40 minutes and also keep it a coherent whole until the end.
Your track lists are written in a foreign language. I’m assuming Romanian mostly? Are the albums based on central themes or are the tracks based on individual stories or thoughts?
The track titles are written in an invented language. They serve to give the project an occult feeling (occult as in hidden or smth with a hidden meaning). La Morte Amoureuse is very much about moods and atmospheres. If you say it’s horror themed, you are not entirely correct. The horror comes from yourself, the tracks are not meant to describe feelings or talk about my own feelings. I want to take the listener out of this world, into another plane, a plane of dread where you can confront your own fears. I only want to bring those fears to the surface. I try to use many methods to achieve this, the noise, the dissonance, the intentionally raw production, the chord progressions which build tension, but never reach a point of relief, etc. If you want, you can try to listen to it this way, if not, then you can use it also as Halloween background music!
What non-musical influences find their way into your inspiration for La Morte Amoureuse?
I’m quite the bibliophile type so I would say my primary inspiration for anything is literature. Also movies. But they inspire me in the way music does. I don’t write music about what I read, I write music because what I read makes me want to compose.
Was it more important for you with the combination of dungeon synth and noise, to re-create the character or purity of a worn out LP or cassette, or simply evoke a particular atmosphere within the music itself?
I wanted to give the music an out-of-time, out-of-this-world feeling. The noise, imitating the sound of an old wax cylinder recording, is used to achieve this. La Morte Amoureuse is all about atmosphere and every sound is used to work towards this goal.
Are there any specific things about the Romanian culture or history that influence your writing?
I’m not really Romanian. Surprise! Bran, formerly known as Törcsvár, is a village lying on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia and I used this town because of its association with Dracula. In the 16th century, this area had many rulers and many occupants: hungarians, vlachs, kuns, romas, saxons, turks of the Ottoman Empire and many more. Historically or culturally speaking, it’s a most fitting place for a vampire I think! By the way, I’m Hungarian.
So what’s next for the project? What plans do you have going into 2019?
For the next release, I would like to try out something new again. The last two albums were based on the idea of using dissonance as the unnerving factor in the music. Next time I’m aiming for something hypnotic through a minimalist, monotonous approach. Stay tuned!
Let’s say you’ve received a commission payment to recreate Vivaldi’s “4 Seasons” in your own style and with the tools you have available. How do you represent the seasons and what tools do you use? You are also allowed to use environmental/field recordings.
It depends on my actual obsession. But it would be an interesting challenge. I think I would start with some field recordings overlayed with drones and try to work in a bottom-to-top method. I would like it to be something, where you quickly forget the actual melody, but the feeling it invoked stays for long after it.
Natura Secreta Immortui is available as a digital Name Your Own Price download via Bandcamp.
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