The Wimshurst's Machine | The Alchemist

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The Alchemist

by The Wimshurst's Machine

The Wimshurst's Machine is an 8 members band who plays a mix of electronic and acoustic chillout/ambient/jazz/new age music, with amazing irish voices, ideal for soundtracks or for a dreamy or sexy evening.
Genre: Electronic: Lounge
Release Date: 

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1. Wind Sailer
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2. New Horizons
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3. Charming Mechanics
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4. Across the seas (of Space)
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5. Dance of the Earth (with John Paul Sharp)
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6. Library of Alexandria
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7. O Alquimista (unplugged tribute to Paulo Coelho)
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8. Nemesis
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9. Ghosts of Fallow Grounds (with Jered McKenna)
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10. Discovery (John Glenn's Adventure) - with Solar Wind
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11. The call of adventure (The Alchemist pt.1)
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12. Phylosopher's stone (The Alchemist pt.2)
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13. Captured (The Alchemist pt.3-intermezzo)
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14. Prisoner (The Alchemist pt.4)
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15. Meditations (The Alchemist pt.5)
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16. The torture machine (The Alchemist pt.6-intermezzo)
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17. Torquemada (The Alchemist pt.7)
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18. The Escape (The Alchemist pt.8-Finale)
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Se parlate italiano, cercate al fondo del testo inglese e troverete la vostra lingua!!! :-)

ENGLISH:
"Listening to the TWM you'd travel into a relaxing world of good music. TWM plays a mix of acoustic and electronic music, sometimes inspired by ancient or traditional tunes (Irish, indian or spanish), mixed with modern sounds, from chill-out to jazz, with a mix of acoustic and electronic instruments. The music of TWM is something that will make you dream. A dream you won't forget."
(published TWM review)

The Wimshurst's Machine is a project born by the music passion of each component and a mad idea, developed between friends and colleagues with little time to play together "in person". Thanks to modern softwares and computers (as Propellerhead Reason, Apple Garage Band, Sound Studio Pro and Apple Soundtrack), it has become possible to play together even when living apart, recording each track separated from the others  with modern "home made studios".

This Wimshurst's Machine's first album ("A traveller who didn't ask for glory", 2004) is based on the notion that ancient explorers lived most of their lives through violent but incredible adventures. In this album you may read (and listen to) a story that tells about an ancient traveler that obtained glory while he was searching for himself across the world.

In "The Alchemist" (TWM's second album, 2005) the storytelling is about an Alchemist, during the spanish late middle age. Also in this other album you may listen to more than 1 hour of music, ideally the soundtrack of the story the CD itself is telling (that you may also read from the site here, or hear in the "Traveller & Alchemists" audiobook version), flowing as in a movie.

Now available also "Time Traveller", a new studio album made of 37 tracks for a double CD edition with more than 2 hours of new music, lots of important collab tracks with artists such as Corrado Rossi, Queenie, Lisa & KMP, Andrea Ferroni, DCallen, Gamma Leonis, Trulala and Scott Hill and a short novel written by Duilio Chiarle (based on the CD concept, in italian) and illustrated by the great Spectrum Artist 2006 Daniele Scerra.

Why this name?
There is nothing as fascinating as an old technology, so we chose this old precursor that made possible even the use of electricity in modern times. The choice happened by chance, talking in a brewery, while looking for an original band name that would show the world how complicated but fascinating our project is.

Influences:
That's very difficult to say. We just play what's going on in our heads and hearts, so I must say each one of us likes different kinds of music, but the union of the 8 of us created something that looks like "Café Del Mar" or "Buddha Bar" as a 1st impression. We like the idea to set a mood for the complete album, that has to be an experience in itself and not "just" a collection of songs.

Equipment used:
We do have plenty of acoustic instruments, from Saxophones (soprano, alto, tenor and bari), clarinet, flutes, guitars (classic and spanish), trumpets, dulcimer, bagpipes, mandolin, drums and lots of others... but we have also plenty of electric guitars, many different MIDI keyboards/controllers and so on. At the same time we also use powerful softwares, to record our music professionally but at low cost.

The Alchemist:
The Alchemist in an album made of two parts. The first part is dedicated to mankind and the thought, inventions and dreams who are always part of the human history.
The 2nd part is a suite of 8 tracks that give the title to the album itself: "The Alchemist", that you may listen as separate songs (with the exception for the 2 intermezzo tracks) or taste reading the story in the album booklet while listening to it as they were it's soundtrack.

Before let you go...
While several bandmembers do support a non-profit organization for distance adoption of Madacascar's children (with personal donations), the band (as band) also decided to give the money raised with the CD sales for Charity (50% of the money raised out of expenses), precisely, and support the Partners in Health project. The PIH Vision: At its root, their mission is both medical and moral. It is based on solidarity, rather than charity alone. When a person in Peru, or Siberia, or rural Haiti falls ill, PIH uses all of the means at their disposal to make them well—from pressuring drug manufacturers, to lobbying policy makers, to providing medical care and social services. Whatever it takes. On internet: http://www.pih.org
We hope you'd enjoy TWM music, and if you'd like to use our music as a soundtrack, you have just to ask us with an email: we are inexpensive, since we have other jobs and play music just for the pleasure of it.


THE TELL-TALE BEHIND THE MUSIC:
THE ALCHEMIST
original story wrote by Duilio Chiarle
english translation by Fabrizio B. Maracich

I) - INTRO: THE CALL OF ADVENTURE
Alchemy is the forerunner of modern chemistry, this is certain, but not only that. Alchemy is science and more, is research in a spiritual dimension. Sometimes it enters the realms of magic. To be an alchemist a wide range of knowledge was required: theology, ancient tomes and exotic languages, such as Arabian, Greek, Latin and Hebraic.
The knowledge of so many things and so many strange languages was quite often considered a sign of sorcery. Almost every time the word went off about a sorcerer the religious authorities sought after the suspected wizard, pursue him or her because they didn't understand their purpose and methods. Alchemy was a dangerous science, for the distinction between science and sorcery were not very clear as in the third millennium. Science, as well as sorcery was considered dangerous businesses. To be an alchemist was a great adventure, but a risky one.
The man we are talking about was one of them...
The legend says that a mysterious alchemist moved to Spain in a time in which the conquer was not yet completed. In these times the country was permeated by different cultures, with an intellectual symbiosis among the academic community.
Ferdinando De Aragona and Isabela De Castilla made a decision to take care of the people instead of having a intellectual elite: elites, they know, were prone to made their government unstable.
A Master Inquisitor of Spain Territories was then named shortly afterward: he was their Father Confessor Tomàs de Torquemada, Prior of the Santa Cruz monastery. They assigned to him the task to give the Spain one people, one language and one religion. The Pope himself granted to Tomàs the title of Grand Inquisitor, a role that he fulfilled with great fervor. History witnesses the results of his work. Before the departure of Columbus to discover the New World he reached is aim. In less than 20 years Spain has been completely changed.
Nobody can say where the alchemist come from, or who he was. Somebody said he came from Turin, others said, erroneously, that he was Nostradamus.
Unfortunately the traces found in the documents written during the Holy Inquisition reveals only a report of an interrogation, but then the name and fate of the alchemist are omitted, and lost.
But we know the legend and something can be added to the story.
And when history does not allow us to go further, the legend, the voice of the people coming from the past centuries, the word that passes from father to son will help us to clear the mist that the time has put on the event.
But a veil of uncertainty remains, and we can't remove it, nor we want to do that. We can only bring you along, driving you to taste the flavor of his great adventure: the alchemist's adventure.
Imagine his face, in the pale light of a candle, surrounded by boiling chemicals in strange, dark room...

II) - THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE
VITRIOLUM, the alchemist' motto: "Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem Veram Medicina".
That means "visit the greatest depths of the Earth, look at yourself to know intimately the true nature of the human being, closing ourselves in the secret laboratory of our soul, within our Philosophic Egg hermetically shut, rectifying, distilling, separating the thin from the thick, to find out the hidden stone that encompass the true medicine".
It has been said that very few reached that result: the Philosopher's Stone... The mysterious product that according to the legend was able to transmute every metal into gold, able to posses all the colors, to render the owner invisible, to cure illnesses, to extend the life beyond the natural limits, able to confer the absolute knowledge. Able to bring humans closer to God...
Someone says that the Philosopher's Stone is a extremely rare and precious stone, practically impossible to find. Others says that is a very common stone. You can find it everywhere, even among the stones that we usually step on while walking. Another legend says that only the youngest children have the gift to find the stone in this lucky way, but this is a different story.
The alchemist was aware of the work of Albertus Magnus, Raimundus Lullo and other famous scientists and theologians. He spent years looking for the philosopher's stone. The Stone. He was not looking after immortality or gold, actually. Nor he was looking for power. He was looking for knowledge and for God. During the experiments, while chemicals were boiling, while his instruments were working, he prayed, he studied, he concentrate to solve overwhelming problems, and prayed again and again.
One day he was able to sum all his knowledge, the extreme limit of his research. From the still smoking cradle something that should be compared with the philosopher's stone finally emerged: but its powers were unknown. Certainly it was unable to transmute other metals into gold. "Some catalytic procedure is still missing" he thought, "doesn't matter". He took the stone from the cradle and asked God to forgive his excessive confidence.
He prayed for a very long time.
He prayed in a state of full concentration, almost in trance, for such a long time that the stone, once hot like melting metal was now ice cold. He was absolutely not aware of what was happening just around the corner, very close to his home.
His studies had taken so much time that he didn't notice the changes, nor was he aware of the inquisition. Or he was not interested at all. He spent so may years closed in his home that some rumors about activity spread through the city. They spoke about strange rituals, fire idols and wizardry, mysterious noises and lights. The soldiers, working for the inquisition, were on his traces. When he heard all the excited voices coming from the adjacent square he knew instantly that they were there to arrest him.

III) - INTERMEZZO: THE CAPTURE
"Open the door" one voice shouted. The alchemist was aware that his time was limited: he was soon to be arrested. His heart was racing, the crowd outside was shouting at an unbearable level. He knew that the stone shouldn't be found by the soldiers, otherwise a guilty sentence was granted. Not to count his personal failure. The decision was made: he took the stone and swallowed it.
The guards were in moments after and took him away. He was dragged between the crowd that nothing knew about science or theology. "Burn him!". These were the voices of his neighbors that so many times he helped and cured. "Burn him!" said the voices of the mothers that he helped to bear to the world a new life. "So this is the power of ignorance and superstition", he thought.
He feared for his safety, the crowd was really upset, but the soldiers, even if with some difficulty, were able to escort him to the jail, using spears to keep the crowd at bay and to "drive" him in the right direction.

IV)-PRISONER
When his eyes got used to the darkness the only source of light got more and more intense. Light was radiating from a torch in the hallway, a resinous and stinking torch. The alchemist was able to smell, to feel and isolate any single component in the resin, in the wood, in the air.
A poor quality torch. The wood components of the gate was tough but ruined, it was possible to feel it by touching the surface, and was punctured by big nails. A big, rusty and outdated lock sealed his freedom.
A distant echo of humanity tore the humid and heavy smelling air from time to time, but it was a rare occurrence and silence was broken only by the light crackling of the torch. The walls of his room, old and wet, were coved by an accretion of saltpeter. "What a pity" thought the alchemist, "with some coal and sulphur this door couldn't stop me".

V)-MEDITATION
Long hours of anguish, clearly intended to induce pain and fear, passed, a prelude for interrogations and tortures. What was to be expected? Why he was arrested, in the first place? Who put the inquisition on his traces? "I have always been a good and religious man" the alchemist thought, "I prayed God during my whole life and I have always avoided any kind of wickedness". Thoughts were running through his mind, mixing together, in a whirlwind of questions with no answers. The alchemist was sure to lose his body, so he tried to save his mind. He crouch himself in a corner of the room, thinking about his whole life, his studies, the quest for the philosopher's stone. Yes, the stone. The stone was inside his body, he almost forgot this particular. He was so close to the completion of years of hard work when the soldiers showed up at his door. He was going to try a new way, but the arrival of the guards forced him to swallow the stone.
He concentrate all his will in a meditation close to ecstasy, transforming the anguish. His soul was clean like the light. He passed from meditation to sleep and dreamt of God. In his dream God was a awesome flame, a window of fire in the sky. Through this window he saw words of hope. The alchemist, even in that sad moment, was happy thanks to the power of the dream he just had.

VI)-THE TORTURE MACHINE
The alchemist was brought in an underground dungeon, with a lot of torches: he thought of Dante's hell. Souls in pain and executioners were everywhere, men were subject to cruel tortures, an unforgettable view.
Chains, screams and the snaps of the whips. Then he saw the torture machine. His destiny. A man, more dead in the soul than in the body was stretched in an awkward way: his legs were trapped at the base of the machine, his arms blocked in a rope kept under tension by the movement of a giant wheel.
He never thought that a man could be treated in such a cruel way. At that point he noticed the Grand Inquisitor. "This is what you will try tomorrow" said Torquemada, "if you will not confess". Then he added: "if, as you say, you are innocent, God will help you. The night will bring you advice".

VII)-TORQUEMADA
The door was opened and two guards got him without ceremonies, dragging him along the corridors and into another - this time well illuminated - room.
From this place he was able to hear, even if the sound was somehow distorted and broken, some sort of song, a song coming from a chorus of monks, probably. In front of him, with a severe and unmistakable face, the Grand Inquisitor, Tomàs the Torquemada, Master Inquisitor of the Spain Territories, confessor of their majesties Ferdinando and Isabela.
Torquemada was a skinny man, with no time to waste: he has a mission and was his intention to accomplish the mission within the timeframe of his life, no matter the methods required to succeed. The light coming from different torches made him looks terrible and merciless.
The inquisitor questioned him for a long time, as usual, to find out the Faith and honesty of the prisoner. But the alchemist's will was strong. "So" Torquemada said at the end loosing his patience and composure, "will you admit you are a servant of the devil, finally?".
"No" was the sharp answer of the alchemist, "I only serve God, the true God, the same God who owns my soul, as well as yours. Your very same God: He is everywhere and knows everything about our souls, our secrets and we can't use His name in vain. I call Him to testify my innocence. He will help me". No one dared so much. For a while Torquemada had the uncomfortable feeling of having a doubt about his own good faith. This lasted only for a short instant, but he left the room without saying a word.
Only now the alchemist was able to understand where he was. Again the light was overwhelmed by the darkness and the rhythmical noise of the steps fading in the distance were covered by another familiar noise: chains scratching on the floor. At the end only the constant fall of water drops remained to determine the rhythm of his thoughts.
After a short period of time the soldiers were back. The lock was opened and the blinding light of the torches gave the alchemist pain: he was accustomed to the obscurity of his prison. He was conducted to see his destiny. Through the dark corridors he heard again the monks singing.

VIII)-FINALE: THE ESCAPE
No food or drink was given to him, because abstinence would allow him to reflect with a clear mind. He just took a couple of sips of water, that drop after drop was falling from the ceiling forming a sort of small pool on the floor. Every other person would have spent the night awake, in terror, but not the alchemist, for his soul was pure and in the light. He fell asleep like a free man after a hard day of work.
He hoped to dream of God, but that was definitely not the case.
When the dawn came the guards opened the door and the alchemist awoke from the deep sleep he fell into the previous evening. He looked astonished the disoriented faces of the two soldiers, searching for him in the room, trying to use their torches to find him. "He is not in here" they were saying, "how he escaped?"
He was lying down in a corner and many times the two men passed just centimeters from him. They weren't able to see him, to find him!
"Alarm!" they were screaming all around, "the prisoner escaped!". They run away leaving the door wide opened.
The alchemist was probably more incredulous than the guards themselves: how they possibly miss him, he was right in front of them! He left his prison and found himself in a hallway. Guards were running and shouting "find the Inquisitor, call him now" and "alarm, a prisoner has escaped, call the other guards, the wizard has used his magic spells!". He carefully avoided all the guards, but in the confusion many of them struck him, unaware of his presence, and he went completely unnoticed.
He regained his thoughts, his mind was racing to understand what was happening, why he was invisible. He run faster and faster, steps, hallways, rooms came and went and he was suddenly outside the monastery in which he was held prisoner. The song the monks were singing was fading in the distance. He met many people and few were known faces: he took all the courage he had left and gave them a greeting. They all run away praying God, after few moments of disorientation. The alchemist left the city.
When he reach the sea he went to the shore, found a suitable pool of standing water and... he was certain of his invisibility!
Stone had the expected effect, his prayer had been granted. A good man, at least one good man, had escaped an unfair sentence.
He spent some time looking at the absence of his image on the water pool, until his soul was in peace. After regaining control over his emotions his image returned. The alchemist went to a nearby city. He heard that three ships were going to leave for an impossible adventure, lead by an Italian, Colòn was called. Rumors also said that no sailor was eager to board his ships...
He walked for a long time. The Grand Inquisitor was doubtful and left this little incident of the escape to fade away, not to be mentioned anymore.
But the word spread out, and even today there is people who remember the story of the unnamed alchemist that uncovered the secrets of the philosopher's stone.

*****

ITALIANO:

The Wimshurst's Machine (o più semplicemente TWM) è un gruppo che nasce nel 2003 dall'unione di due appassionati di Computer music, Augusto Chiarle e Fabio Rodi, producendo musica elettronica a cui vengono aggiunte sonorita' acustiche, etniche e d'ambiente. Al nucleo primordiale cominciano quindi a collaborare alcuni altri musicisti (Roberto Canone, Massimiliano Baudissard, Antonio Rapacciuolo, Daniele Scerra, Duilio Chiarle ed Elvis Bergero, al momento), alternandosi nei vari brani senza prevaricazioni a seconda delle necessità.
Le musiche sono di volta in volta elettroniche, re-interpretazioni di brani tradizionali irlandesi o antichi, influenzate dalla passione e dal gusto dei singoli componenti.

Una recensione ha scritto:
"Ascoltando i TWM farete un viaggio in un mondo rilassante fatto di buona musica. La musica dei TWM è fatta di suoni elettronici ed acustici, a volte ispirato da brani tradizionali (indiani, irlandesi o spagnoli), misti a sonorità moderne dal chillout al jazz, dal new age all'ambient, il tutto suonato con un misto di strumenti acustici ed elettronici. La musica dei TWM vi farà sognare. Sogni che non vorrete dimenticare."
(recensione pubblicata)

Influenze:
Sono tante, quindi è difficile da definire una fonte d'ispirazione vera e propria: gli 8 membri della band arrivano da esperienze molto diversificate (Jazz, funky, elettronica, leggera, classica). Sicuramente l'effetto complessivo è simile a quanto potete trovare in compilation del tipo di "Buddha Bar" o "Cafè del Mar".

Perché questo nome?
Non c'è nulla di così strano e affascinante come un'antica tecnologia, così abbiamo scelto il nome del primo generatore elettrico dell'umanità per rappresentare il nostro complesso ma (speriamo) affascinante progetto musicale. La scelta è stata casuale, avvenuta parlando tra amici in birreria, ma il nome è rimasto.

CD pubblicati:
Il primo CD pubblicato ("A traveller who didn't ask for glory", 2004) è basato sul concetto che la vita degli antichi esploratori (vedi ad esempio Marco Polo) era pervasa di avventure incredibili, purtroppo quasi sempre violente ma comunque meravigliose. Nel CD si racconta la storia di un viaggiatore che trovò la gloria mentre cercava se stesso esplorando il mondo, le cui avventure potrete leggere nella inlay card.

Il Secondo CD pubblicato ("The Alchemist", 2005) racconta invece la storia di un alchimista vissuto nel tardo medioevo spagnolo e delle sue disavventure. Idealmente la colonna sonora di una storia, lunga più di un'ora, che vi farà vivere le sue stesse esperienze, che potrete seguire leggendole nel libretto del CD. Questo album è diviso in due parti. La prima raccoglie brani tematici, legati alle scoperte, invenzioni ed alla curiosità che da sempre accompagnano la storia dell'uomo.
La seconda parte è invece quella che da il titolo all'album: una suite di 8 brani dal titolo "L'Alchimista" che potrete ascoltare come singoli brani (eccezion fatta per i due brevi intermezzi) o che potrete assaporare seguendo la storia narrata direttamente qui (oppure ascoltandone la versione audiobook con "Travellers & Alchemists").

Ora disponibile su CDbaby anche il nuovissimo doppio CD "Time Traveller" (2007), una produzione in grande stile fatta di due CD, 37 brani per più di due ore di musica, ricca di collaborazioni importanti con artisti come Corrado Rossi, Queenie, DCallen, Scott Hill, Andrea Ferroni, Lisa & KMP, Gamma Leonis, Trulala, con un racconto originale (in italiano) scritto espressamente da Duilio Chiarle e inserita in un booklet di 18 pagine a colori, illustrato da Daniele Scerra (Spectrum Artist 2006).

Mentre diversi membri della band supportano con le loro donazioni un'organizzazione no-profit che si occupa di adozione a distanza di bambini del Madagascar, la band in quanto tale ha deciso di aumentare gli sforzi e di destinare una buona parte dei proventi dei CD pubblicati (per la precisione il 50% degli incassi, salvo le spese) ad un'organizzazione no-profit che si occupa di curare le malattie infettive nel Terzo Mondo: Partners in Health. La loro missione è sia medica che morale. E' basata sulla solidarietà oltre che ssolo sulla carità. Quando una persona in Perù, o in Siberia, o nelle zone rurali di Haiti si ammala, P.I.H. usa tutto ciò che ha a disposizione per farli stare bene (incluse pressioni sulle case farmaceutiche e quelle sulla politica), per provvedere alle cure mediche ed ai servizi sociali. Qualunque cosa richieda. Su internet: http://www.pih.org


LA LEGGENDA DIETRO LA MUSICA:
L'ALCHIMISTA
(di Duilio Chiarle)

I) - IL FASCINO DELL'AVVENTURA
L'alchimia è anche l'antenato della chimica moderna. Anche. Ma non soltanto. Alchimia non è solo scienza. E' anche ricerca di una dimensione spirituale; a tratti confina con la magia. Essere alchimista richiedeva conoscenze molto vaste: teologia, conoscenza dei trattati antichi e di tante lingue: arabo, greco, latino, ebraico. Conoscere tante cose e certe lingue misteriose era sovente considerato segno di stregoneria. Spesso, le autorità religiose hanno perseguitato questi bizzarri scienziati dei quali non comprendevano gli scopi ed i metodi. E così si trattava certamente di una scienza difficile e pericolosa. Il confine tra scienza e magia non era così distinto come nel terzo millennio e a quel tempo la magia era considerata molto più pericolosa. Fare l'alchimista era una grande avventura. Un'avventura rischiosa. E l'uomo di cui narriamo la storia, era uno di loro...
Narra una leggenda popolare che un misterioso alchimista si fosse trasferito in Spagna, al tempo in cui la "reconquista" non era ancora stata ultimata. A quel tempo, in quel paese, cultura latina, ebraica ed araba vivevano una simbiosi negli intellettuali e negli studiosi. Si potevano trovare manoscritti rari di ogni genere e lingua e molte culture convivevano senza fondersi scambiandosi le conoscenze, ma non formavano certo un popolo omogeneo. E così, Ferdinando d'Aragona ed Isabella di Castiglia decisero che era meglio un popolo unito di una cultura importante; dovettero scegliere tra un popolo ed una elite. E, si sa, le elite non danno mai un governo stabile. Nominarono così un "Primo Inquisitore Generale dei territori di Spagna": questi era il loro padre confessore Tomàs de Torquemada, Priore del Monastero di Santa Cruz, e gli diedero il compito di dare alla Spagna un solo popolo, una sola lingua ed una sola religione. Il Papa stesso lo nominò "Grande Inquisitore" ed egli svolse il suo compito con zelo. E come la storia testimonia, raggiunse il suo scopo alla partenza di Colombo per il nuovo mondo. In meno di vent'anni, la Spagna era totalmente diversa.
Nessuno può dire da dove venisse l'alchimista, chi fosse. C'è chi dice che venisse da Torino, chi lo confonde erroneamente con Nostradamus. Purtroppo le tracce dei verbali della Santa Inquisizione giungono all'interrogatorio e poi si fermano misteriosamente e ne omettono persino il nome e la sorte. Ma noi che ne conosciamo la leggenda, possiamo dirvi di più. E dove la storia non ci permette di andare oltre, la leggenda, la voce della gente dei secoli andati, il passaparola di padre in figlio e di figlio in nipote e da questo ai discendenti ci aiuta a diradare quelle brume che i secoli hanno steso sulla sua vicenda. Ma rimane un velo di nebbia che non possiamo e non vogliamo togliere. Noi possiamo soltanto condurvi per mano ad assaporare il fascino della sua grande avventura: l'avventura dell'alchimista. E tra il ribollire delle ampolle immaginiamo il suo volto...

II) - LA PIETRA FILOSOFALE
VITRIOLUM, era il motto dell'alchimista: "Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem Veram Medicina". Cioè, "visita le viscere dela terra, calati in te stesso per conoscere ed approfondire la vera natura umana, rinchiusi nel segreto laboratorio della nostra anima, nel nostro Uovo Filosofico ermeticamente chiuso, rettificando, distillando, separando il sottile dallo spesso, per trovare la Pietra nascosta che racchiude la vera medicina." Si dice che pochissimi abbiamo raggiunto questo risultato: la Pietra Filosofale... Il misterioso prodotto che secondo la leggenda poteva trasmutare i metalli in oro, possedere in se tutti i colori, concedere l'invisibilità, curare tutte le malattie, prolungare la vita oltre i limiti naturali, che dava somma conoscenza della natura umana, che avvicinava a Dio... Dicono alcuni che la "Pietra Filosofale" sia una pietra rarissima e preziosa, praticamente introvabile. Dicono altri invece che si tratti di una pietra assai comune, che è possibile reperire ovunque persino tra le pietre in strada che calpestiamo sovrappensiero. Si dice che soltanto i bambini più piccoli abbiano il dono di trovarla così, ma questa è un'altra storia.
L'alchimista conosceva l'opera di Alberto Magno, di Raimondo Lullo, di tanti illustri uomini di scienza e teologi. Egli lavorava da anni alla ricerca della pietra filosofale. La pietra. Egli non cercava l'immortalità. Non cercava di trasmutare il ferro in oro. Non cercava potere. Egli cercava soltanto la conoscenza e Dio. E mentre conduceva i suoi esperimenti, mentre il crogiolo ribolliva, mentre le sue ampolle trasformavano, egli pregava e si concentrava e studiava e poi pregava ancora...
Quando un giorno giunse alla somma estrema delle proprie conoscenza, dal crogiolo uscì qualcosa che poteva essere una pietra filosofale: ma pareva non avere alcuna proprietà. Certo non trasmutava il ferro in oro. "Pazienza" pensò l'alchimista "evidentemente manca ancora qualche procedimento catalizzatore". Estrasse la pietra dal crogiolo e pregò Dio per farsi perdonare della sua eccessiva presunzione.
Pregò a lungo.
Pregò come in estasi sino a che il composto rovente non fu freddo come il ghiaccio e così non si avvide di ciò che stava accadendo a due passi dalla sua casa.
Tanto a lungo era durata la sua opera, che egli non aveva saputo dell'inquisizione. O forse non gli era importato nulla. Era rimasto in casa tanto a lungo che la gente aveva preso a mormorare di strani riti e si diceva che adorasse strani idoli che ribollivano al fuoco e qualcuno diceva che compiva stregonerie misteriose... Tento si era concentrato sulla sua opera che i soldati dell'inquisizione si misero sulle sue tracce. Quando udì il frastuono sulla piazza, l'alchimista capì che qualcuno stava venendo a prenderlo.

III) - INTERMEZZO: LA CATTURA
"Aprite!" urlavano i soldati alla porta. E l'alchimista sapeva che l'avrebbero presto catturato. Il cuore batteva forte. La folla in piazza urlava. L'alchimista capì che se avessero trovato la pietra sarebbe stato un fallimento ed una condanna. Allora, un attimo prima che la porta fosse sfondata, l'alchimista afferrò la pietra e l'inghiottì.
I soldati entrarono e lo arrestarono. Lo trascinarono tra due ali di una folla urlante che nulla sapeva di scienza e di teologia. "Al rogo!" urlavano i suoi vicini di casa che egli aveva tante volte curato. "Al rogo!" gridavano le massaie che aveva aiutato a partorire. Tanto poteva l'ignoranza e la superstizione.
Temette di essere linciato. Ma i soldati, sebbene a fatica, riuscirono a tradurlo in carcere a colpi di lancia.

IV)-PRIGIONIERO
Quando i suoi occhi si abituarono al buio, l'unica fonte di luce si amplificò pian piano. La luce che filtrava dalla torcia nel corridoio, una fiaccola resinosa e puzzolente i cui componenti l'alchimista poteva percepire uno ad uno. Una torcia scadente. Il legno del portone era robusto e malconcio, si poteva sentire al tatto, ed era costellato dalle evidenti protuberanze di grossi chiodi. Una grossa e antiquata serratura arrugginita sigillava la sua libertà. Eco lontane di umanità laceravano di quando in quando l'aria umida, pesante di odori. Ma era un evento raro ed il silenzio era spezzato soltanto dal leggero crepitio della torcia. Le mura della cella erano vecchie e umide, al tatto si poteva percepire una vasta formazione di salnitro. "Peccato" pensò l'alchimista "con un poco di carbone e di zolfo, quella porta non riuscirebbe a fermarmi".

V)-MEDITAZIONE
Trascorsero lunghe ore di angoscia, chiaro espediente per indurre sofferenza, evidente anticamera di interrogatori e torture. Cosa l'aspettava? Perchè era stato arrestato? Chi lo aveva denunciato all'inquisizione? "Sono sempre stato un buon cristiano" pensava l'alchimista "in tutta la mia opera ho sempre pregato Dio e rifuggito ogni tipo di malvagità."
I pensieri gli si affollavano nella mente tutti insieme, in un turbine di domande cui non era possibile trovare risposta. Così l'alchimista, che era sicuro di perdere il suo corpo a poco a poco, cercò di salvare la propria mente. Si accovacciò e ripensò alla sua intera opera, alla costruzione della pietra filosofale che ora sovvenne di portare dentro di se, inghiottita. Mancava proprio poco al compirsi dell'opera, forse quell'unica operazione che non conosceva. Stava per tentare una strada nuova proprio quando l'arrivo delle guardie l'aveva obbligato ad inghiottirla.
Si raccolse in meditazione, una meditazione che si avvicinava quasi all'estasi. L'angoscia si trasformò. La sua coscienza era pulita. Passò dalla meditazione al sonno e sognò Dio. Dio, nel sogno, era una grande fiamma che non arde, una finestra di fuoco nel cielo. E nella finestra scorse delle parole in ebraico. Parole di speranza. L'alchimista, anche nel più profondo della sua disgrazia, si sentiva felice per quel sogno.

VI)-LA MACCHINA DELLA TORTURA
L'alchimista fu condotto in un sotterraneo rischiarato dalla luce di molte torce. Ciò che vide, gli ricordò l'inferno di Dante. C'erano ovunque anime in pena, carnefici cha parevano usciti dall'inferno, uomini torturati nei modi più crudeli. Stridore e catene, grida e schiocchi di frusta. Gli fu fatto vedere quale macchina l'aspettava: un uomo, ormai più morto nell'anima che nel corpo, continuava ad essere tirato per le braccia, mentre le sue gambe erano trattenute da un marchingegno al fondo di un lettino di legno. Non aveva mai pensato che un uomo potesse essere trattato in un modo tanto crudele. Fu allora che si avvide della presenza dell'inquisitore. Questi gli si parò davanti "Ecco ciò che ti attende domattina" disse Torquemada "se non confesserai". Poi aggiunse "Se sei innocente come dici, Dio ti aiuterà. La notte ti porterà consiglio".

VII)-TORQUEMADA
La cella si spalancò e due guardie acchiapparono l'alchimista senza tanti complimenti, trascinandolo lungo i corridoi sino ad un'altra cella, ben illuminata.
Dalla nuova cella si udivano a tratti i canti dei monaci. Di fronte a lui c'era un monaco anziano dall'aspetto severo: il terribile Tomàs de Torquemada, confessore dei Sovrani Serenissimi Ferdinando ed Isabella, Primo Inquisitore Generale di Spagna, Grande Inquisitore. Torquemada era un uomo spiccio, aveva una missione da compiere e voleva ultimarla prima che il suo tempo fosse scaduto. E per portare a termine il suo compito non si faceva scrupolo di usare ogni mezzo. La particolare luce di tante torce rendeva terribile l'espressione del monaco.
L'inquisitore non era tipo da perdere tempo. Arrivò subito dopo le guardie e lo interrogò a lungo, come era sua abitudine, per sondarne la fede e l'onestà. Ma l'alchimista non vacillava. "Allora" gli intimò infine spazientito "ammetti di adorare il diavolo?". "No" rispose secco l'alchimista "Io adoro un solo Dio, l'unico Dio, lo stesso che dispone della mia e della tua anima. Lo stesso tuo Dio: egli è in ogni luogo e tutto conosce delle nostre anime e dei nostri segreti e non se ne deve proferire il nome invano. Io lo chiamo a testimone della mia innocenza. Egli mi aiuterà". Nessuno aveva mai avuto un simile ardire. Per un attimo, Torquemada dubitò della propria buona fede. Fu soltanto un istante ma si trovò costretto ad uscire dalla cella turbato, senza altro aggiungere.
Fu soltanto allora che l'alchimista si avvide dove si trovava. La luce delle torce lasciò il posto al buio. Il rumore dei catenacci lasciò il posto a quello dei passi che si allontanavano. Il rumore dei passi svanì e restò soltanto lo sgocciolìo a ritmare i pensieri cupi dell'alchimista.
I pensieri fluirono lenti ritmati dallo sgocciolio dell'acqua calcarea che filtrava in una pozza nella cella.
Non passò molto tempo che le guardie tornarono. I catenacci si riaprirono aspri e la luce delle torce gli ferì gli occhi ormai abituati all'oscurità. Le guardie lo afferrarono e lo portarono a vedere la sorte che l'attendeva. Attraversò corridoi scuri, rischiarati a tratti dalle rare torce. Infine giunse a sentire ancora il canto dei monaci.

VIII)-FINALE: LA FUGA DELL'ALCHIMISTA
Nulla gli era stato dato da mangiare e da bere, poichè il digiuno e l'astinenza lo facessero meglio riflettere. Egli bevve così soltanto l'acqua calcarea che gocciolava dal soffitto in una piccola pozza della cella. Chiunque avrebbe vegliato terrorizzato ma l'alchimista, la cui coscienza era pura, sprofondò invece nel sonno del giusto. Sperava di sognare ancora Dio, ma non fu così.
Quando al mattino le guardie aprirono la cella, l'alchimista si svegliò dal sonno profondo in cui era precipitato. Guardò stupito le facce incredule delle guardie che perlustravano la cella alla luce delle torce. "Non c'è" dicevano "Com'è scappato?". L'alchimista, rannicchiato in un angolo venne sfiorato più volte dalla fiamma della torce. Eppure le guardie non riuscirono a trovarlo.
"Allarme!" gridarono allora le guardie "Il prigioniero è fuggito!" e se ne andarono di corsa lasciando la porta spalancata.
L'alchimista si stupì: come potevano non averlo visto? Uscì nel corridoio pieno di grida preoccupate. "Chiamate l'inquisitore!" "Allarme!" "Guardie!" "Il prigioniero è fuggito!" "Lo stregone ha lanciato un incantesimo!". L'alchimista decise di alzarsi ed uscì timidamente. Schivò più volte le guardie, fu urtato più volte da loro, ma nessuno pareva accorgersi di lui. Cominciò a farsi strada in lui la coscienza di ciò che era accaduto e di quale fosse la ragione della sua invisibilità. E così, un gradino alla volta, correndo sempre più forte, l'alchimista uscì dal monastero in cui si trovava la sua prigione, sentì allontanarsi il canto dei monaci. Incontrò molte persone che conosceva, alcune, fattosi coraggio le salutò. Queste si guardarono attorno smarrite e poi si segnarono terrorizzate. Allora l'alchimista uscì dalla città.
Arrivato in riva al mare, si specchiò in una pozza d'acqua dietro gli scogli. Fu allora che ebbe la certezza di non essere visibile.
La pietra, aveva sortito il suo giusto effetto, le sue preghiere erano state esaudite. Un uomo giusto, almeno uno, aveva evitato una pena ingiusta.
Restò a specchiarsi a lungo, sino a che il suo animo fu sereno ed egli tornò a vedere la propria immagine. Poi si allontanò verso la città vicina dove si diceva che tre navi stessero partendo per l'impresa impossibile di un italiano, un certo Colòn, e ai cui ordini si diceva che nessun marinaio volesse imbarcarsi...
Camminò a lungo con passo sicuro.
L'inquisitore restò con i propri dubbi e fece si che non si sapesse mai nulla.
Eppure, la voce trapelò. Eppure, ancora oggi, la gente narra la leggenda di quell'alchimista misterioso che scoprì la pietra filosofale...


Reviews


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Penny's scar

Beautiful, hypnotizing and very erotic...
O.k. now I am dreaming....
Beautiful, hypnotizing and very erotic...
Love making music....
Thank you for the compliments and the chance to hear your music I am in awe and have said this to others but I am big time into relaxation / meditation music and this is so serene I love it...
The kind of music that takes you far away into another world...

Bryan Anthony

Wonderful adventurous explorations and journeys in sound!
The Wimshurst's Machine (an 8 piece band from Italy) makes ambient electronic / acoustic music that incorporates traces of jazz, traditional, and modern (often other worldly) sounds and textures. This is heavenly dreamy music that will take you, the listener, on adventurous journeys of the imagination. A good example of this is 'The Ghost's Of Fallowfield', an awesome track that could best be described as a soundtrack for the ears.

Superbly recorded, well produced, 'THE ALCHEMIST' is sure to please the most discriminating listener. The alchemy begins form track number one, 'Wind Sailor', a haunting tune that incorporates what appears to be a digereedoo complimented by breathy flute sounds that really do give the listener an impression of floating, high above the clouds, on a pillow of wind. A chillout album that is both relaxing and adventurously dynamic. TWM can be soft and jazzy, like a combination of legendary bands like 'Soft Machine' and 'Weather Report' with shades of Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Jean Michel Jarre thrown in for good measure, not as an after thought, but as an integral part of the sound that is unique to The Wimshurst's Machine.

My personal favorites are, in this order: 'The Ghost's Of Fallowfield', 'Wind Sailor', 'Charming Mdchanics' and 'Across The Seas Of Space'. Oh yeah, let's not forget the wonderful jazzy sax solos you will find scattered here and there throughout this delicious album. Definitely worth a five star rating. Check it out. I know you will agree!

David Pendragon

One of my favs!
This band you NEED to hear,these players are producing some of the finest sounds around.Rich textures with built in visuals...in your head!!!!.
Each piece has its own unique feeling of a story somewhere in there,the titles involking thier own "storylines"
Aside from that its just so dam' well played and produced.I can only wish that this band will hit the road and come on down to Australia,I will be at EVERY concert, in the meanwhile I guess Ill just keep listening to thier recordings,ah well, such is life.
My verdict? A GEM!!

Chris Bishop (Project Overseer Productions)

“The Wimshurst’s Machine” are simply quality!
These guys are in my top ten all time favourite Artists. They produce intelligent concept Albums with high production values and superb musicianship. Always interesting as well as musically intriguing “The Wimshurst’s Machine” are simply quality!

“The Alchemist” … a mystical, magical concept with a very insightful story that will grasp the listener’s attention from the beginning to the end with original, infectious productions. Project Overseer Productions rates this Album highly, and is a `must buy`!
Chris Bishop (Project Overseer Productions)

Earth Songs

TWM is wonderful!
TWM is wonderfully ambient music along with what I feel to be, their own unique style. Which allows the mind and emotions of thoughts to travel in a wonderful journey of enjoyment listen to their music. Great Job TWM! Earth Songs

Jim DeCicco

April 2010 Hollywood music in Media nomination
Congrats The Wimshurst's Machine for April 2010 Hollywood music in Media nomination http://bit.ly/a3cJZE

Jim DeCicco
Executive Producer
Hollywood Music in Media Awards

Jurnie

I love it!
I received my Copy Just Yesterday...
I LOVE IT!
You guys sound so damn good,  IM going to try to push it here.  Have a few  listen already. I know a few that love this kind of music.
Excellent job!

MegaSystem from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Charming Mechanics: a very good song
Actually, very good. I was impressed. Keyboards? Keyboards did they work in a humble manner. I like it. I was not asked to say anyting about "drums", but they are especially good: in the right place and time and in the amount exactly necessary for this kind of music. When "drums" appeared all the song got quality of "flying". Of course, thanks to music played by horns and keyboards. This piece of music has one very important feature: it starts from nothing, slowly devolops, engages you for a moment and afterward disapears. To my mind it proves a high quality: not to be at "the same level" all the time.

Reviewed by: AlexValkov from Sofia, Bulgaria

Ghosts of Fallow Grounds: Top gold! :-)
Very emotional intro tenderly dives into enigmatic and emotional athmosphere where everithing is vital!! Amazing vocals gives the song
very deep and in same time very warm feeling. The superb combination of jazzy motives with native (folklore) motives [violins;)] makes this arrangement one of the finest masterpieces i've heard recently ;)
Piano parts are very strong emotionaly and give the track very tender taste, but also give a great supplement to the arrangement, making it very tight and tender in the same time!!!
Every little part of this incredible song is done with the finess and professional touch!!!!

Describing it with 1 word - Gold!!!

P.S. Greetings to the fans ;-)

Korilinc from Mv, California

The Call of Adventure: Wild intro... I like it...
Wild intro.. I like it..
Excellent technique on the piano. The intro definately brings you into the mood of the song. The changes make the song flow smoothly. I really like the addition of the bass, and the brass. Lots of energy going on in this song. The band has a definitive sound. I would classify this song in World Fusion/Jazz or Ambient/ World Fusion Jazz. The "Outro" works!! This is a happening song!
This is definately a cool song worth listening to and buying.
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