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A journey into Lust

We’re deep inside Dante’s Inferno, and today’s zone is where the lustful are damned and tortured, represented in sound by these two compositions. First up is Kenneth Lyons’ wonderfully-inventive piece:

““A Slow Hot Kiss of Wind” addresses the elemental environment in the zone of the Lustful into which Dante enters early into his journey. It is an environment where classical figures, “those dames and knights of antique days” such as Cleopatra, Helen of Troy, Achilles, Paris and others are tossed back and forth in a violent wind as a form of punishment for giving over to the sin of Lust and their base transgressions. Three beasts block Dante’s path before he enters deeper into the the circles of Hell with a leopard, the leopard of Lust being the first he encounters. Once past the leopard, Dante witnesses these classical figures of Lust tossed in the winds yet encounters one, Francesca da Rimini whose story of a chaste and pure love bewitches him. A kiss between them according to one interpretation, is an act of innocent passion and desire which moves Dante along deeper into the circles and propels his journey.

“My interpretation uses sound samples of latter day and contemporary sirens/studs such as Madonna, Britney, Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman, Mae West, Michael Douglas, Barry White, Barbra Stanwyck and others as the lustful and classical figures from antiquity and sets them in the mix, swirling, appearing and disappearing in the winds, teasing and taunting Dante. Eartha Kitt’s signature purr turns into a growl as the leopard of Lust in the beginning of the work and Marilyn Monroe appears as Francesca da Rimini relating a tale of innocence and desire before bestowing the “kiss” from her song, ‘I Wanna be Loved By You’ upon Dante in the final moments of the piece.”

Our second lustful composition is by Vlad Suppish, who writes:

“It has three layers. I’ve nicknamed them ‘moans, groans and slaps’ for this project.

“The first one is a field recording of a rusty merry-go-round which I’ve recorded in Kyiv. Heavily processed, it became the perfect source for moan-like sounds in the begining and through the entire track.

“The second one was song ‘Infinity’ by Aphrodite’s Child from the album 666. Vangelis described the track as conveying “the pain of birth and the joy of intercourse.” Great yet quite disturbing composition and an ideal source for processed groans.

“And as for the monotonous slapping and pounding, I’ve created a patch on a modular synth that relentlessly howls through the composition. In hindsight it reminds me ‘Hollow Hills’ by Bauhaus but that resemblance wasn’t intentional initially.

All this was mixed to convey the sinister atmosphere of the second circle of Hell “as the lovers drifted into self-indulgence and were carried away by their passions, so now they drift for ever. The bright, voluptuous sin is now seen as it is – a howling darkness of helpless discomfort.” (Dorothy L. Sayers)”