A Journey As A Life is a concept album based on the book The Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino. The group's choice was that of uniting two apparently different forms of art that is, music and literature.
A deep and individual study of the book generated musical stimuli which were then put into practice through a free musical form strongly expressive and above all personal: music as an interpretation of mental imagines of dreams, of moods, effective states and words which were able to free the personal artistic activity.
The book describes a journey and the journey is presented as a metaphor whether it is at the base or the result: Research is the discovery of the reader. In the book Italo Calvino rewrites all that was implicitly expressed in the 'Milione' through continual dialogues between the protagonists.
A lack of understanding sets up between Marco Polo and Kublai Khan because the traveller, Marco Polo, describes the places he has seen to a man, Kublai Khan, who has never left his palace; in other words he renounced to travelling which caused in him the complete incapability to be able to imagine cities in an objective way. Kublai Khan is the Emperor of an Empire he doesn't know. In nine chapters Calvino describes 55 cities with signs and numbers so as to get over the language barrier: the book is able to revive and exist only through a continual reading so much so that the reader of The Invisible City can choose an individual way through the book he can become the writer mixing his gesture of free artistic activity with the refusal of the infernal reality around us and the perception of another ideal, utopian reality.
THE CONCEPT ALBUM
A Journey As A Life is a metaphor of the travels of all those people who hide behind the materialism of things to escape from the delicate and complicate job which is life. The concept is organized in nine songs (chapters) divided into three key moments:
1) the incapability to perceive the state of mental ignorance in which the person finds himself;
2) the turning point;
3) reaching awareness.
There is no true end, and the whole record should be seen in this way. The aim of A Journey As A Life is that of identifying the metaphor of the journey with that of the life of each individual: a journey as a life, life as a journey and the true scope being that of a continual search of oneself which can never stop because if so one would find himself at the beginning once again in a state of 'mental ignorance'.
According to the bands reinterpretation the journey cannot end there and so consequently, with this viewpoint in mind it is worth giving some deeper information on how Drivhell have constructed the album so that it is easier to understand the why of certain choices whether musical or textual.
1. THE NUMBERING OF THE SONGS: The songs have been divided into nine chapters as in the book. Each song is, according to the band, a synthesis of the chapter. The order of the chapter is not casual but follows the outline mentioned above, ignorance, awakening, knowledge. The first song is chapter I and corresponds to that state of unawareness of the character. Then three songs follow, chapter V, VIII, IV, which represent the characters first change. Chapter VI corresponds to that of the turning point at last the character recognizes the futility of living in such a way: then follow chapters VII, III, II finishing the CD with chapter IX but not meaning the end of the story.
2. THE REPRISE: Those who have been more aware will have noticed that in two songs there is the reprise of other pieces. It is the case of I and IX. In chapter I there are in fact some riff of chapters VII, III, II. They can be heard straightaway after the recited part and in order, there is the verse of the II chapter the parenthetic clause of VII which is used for the guitar's solo and the melody of the verse of chapter III. In the IX chapter again, after the recited part it can be heard a riff of the VIII chapter, the final of the IV chapter (the solo of the guitar and some parts of the rhythmic section are exactly the same) and being more careful on can note that the rhythmic structure of the drums, base and guitar in the last part of the refrain of the IX chapter is the same as the third verse of the V chapter. This is also not a casual choice of the band: it is the will to insist on the importance of not giving the journey a 'circular' sense. Chapter I tells the story of an unaware person but who, thanks to the journey that he is about to start, will reach consciousness (from here the reprise of the second part of the CD) whilst chapter IX and the reprise of the first part of the CD (chapter V, VIII, IV, reminds one that, so not as to return to the state of 'intellectual ignorance', the journey must absolutely never stop.
3. CITATION. The recited part and some parts of the words of the songs (for you to discover which) are taken directly from the book The Invisible Cities. The choice above all for the recited parts was that of taking parts of the book which have had more influence and given more inspiration to the musical composition as well as to the words.
4. A NOTE...: The end of chapter I is based on the scheme of numbering of the book index: if you look at the original book the numbering of the cities treated in the first chapter is arranged so: 1.- 2.1. -3.2.1.- 188.8.131.52. Towards the end the music follows this key of reading and repeats it nine times as a forecast of the number of songs on the CD.