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Gino Foti - Obumbratio - Vol. 1

Gino Foti - Obumbratio: Vol. 1 Track Listing
  • 28 July 1750 (10:12)
  • A Wound That Will Not Heal (8:50)
  • In The House Where Love Lies Dying (6:09)
  • Quidquid Luce Fuit, Tenebris Agit (7:50)
  • Children Of Erebus (9:20)
  • The Rancid Stains On My Soul (7:00)
  • Tra Le Catacombe Di Palermo (10:20)
  • The Blood-Dimmed Tide (10:14)


Gino Foti - MIDI Bass Guitar, MIDI Bass Pedals, Keyboards, Synthesizers, Loops & Samples, Vocal Effects on Tracks 2 & 7


"Mere suppression of the shadow is as little of a remedy as beheading would be for a headache." ~ Carl Gustav Jung

"The great epochs of our life are the occasions when we gain the courage to rebaptize our evil qualities as our best qualities." ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

"Respice post te! Hominem te esse memento. Memento mori." ~ from an ancient Roman custom

"I am sure to die; I cannot avoid death. I am subject to death - have not gone beyond death." ~ Gautama Buddha

Inspired by philosophers, psychologists, and others who believe that embracing and integrating one's "shadow", and/or reflecting on our mortality is a path for true self-exploration and a method for a more meaningful life, these albums are both complements and counterparts to Enigmatic Voyages, since the tracks were arranged from the same composition pool, and share similar influences and instrumentation.

Composition Notes

28 July 1750

"To strip human nature until its divine attributes are made clear, to inform ordinary activities with spiritual fervor, to give wings of eternity to that which is most ephemeral; to make divine things human and human things divine; such is Bach, the greatest and purest moment in music of all time." ~ Pablo Casals

A classical strings arrangement based on Johann Sebastian Bach's "Goldberg" Aria (BWV 988), with the title - in case it is not obvious - the date of his death.

I slowed the tempo down to grave, to convey a solemn, meditative mood, and transposed the key signature from G Major to A minor, not only to make it "darker", but so I could imbed the letters of his surname as a chord progression (B - A - C - H are the German note names for B♭ - A - C - B♮) as well as using other chromatic ideas, especially in the bass, since they are a perfect fit with the concept of this piece.

A Wound That Will Not Heal

"I clutch the wire fence until my fingers bleed
A wound that will not heal, a heart that cannot feel
Hoping that the horror will recede
Hoping that tomorrow, we'll all be freed"
~ Neil Peart, Red Sector A

A fusion of chamber music, dark ambient, and film score/soundtrack, with some added vocal effects changing throughout the piece, to add some rhythmic interest and syncopation over the loop-based bed tracks.

In The House Where Love Lies Dying

"In the house where nobody laughs
And nobody sleeps
In the house where love lies dying
And the shadows creep

A little girl hides shaking
With her hands on her ears
Pushing back the tears
'Til the pain disappears"
~ Neil Peart, Everyday Glory

Solo piano piece, with added delay effect, that was influenced by both classical masters and modern soundtrack composers.

Quidquid Luce Fuit, Tenebris Agit

"Quidquid luce fuit tenebris agit: but also the other way around. What we experience in dreams, so long as we experience it frequently, is in the end just as much a part of the total economy of our soul as anything we "really" experience: because of it we are richer or poorer, are sensitive to one need more or less, and are eventually guided a little by our dream-habits in broad daylight and even in the most cheerful moments occupying our waking spirit." ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

The Latin title can be translated to "that which happens in the light, persists in the darkness", which Nietzsche borrowed from the poem We Dream About Our Waking Concerns, by the ancient Roman nobleman Gaius Petronius Arbiter. According to Petronius, we have ultimate control over of our dreams, as the last few lines of his poem clearly indicate:

"The miser hides his wealth and finds buried gold,
the hunter shakes the forest with his dogs.
The sailor rescues from the waves his capsized ship - or about to perish - clings to it.
The courtesan writes to her lover; the adulteress gives her gift;
and the dog, in his sleep, chases the rabbit's tracks.
The wounds of the unhappy last all night long."

So, the ship can either be saved, or used to cling to - it is up to "the sailor" to decide their destiny, and how happy they will be all night long. Musically, it is another blend of chamber music, dark ambient, and film score - within a dream-like mood.

Children Of Erebus

"At the beginning there was only Chaos, Nyx, dark Erebus, and deep Tartarus. Gaea, Aer, and Ouranos had no existence. Firstly, black-winged Nyx laid a germless egg in the bosom of the infinite deeps of Erebus, and from this, after the revolution of long ages, sprang the graceful Eros." ~ Aristophanes, The Birds

In Greek and Roman mythology, Erebus (or Erebos) was a primordial god, and the personification of darkness and shadows. From the union of Erebus and his sister/consort Nyx (Night), a plethora of children/gods were produced, including Mors/Thanatos (Death), but also Amicitia (Friendship) and Misericordia (Compassion).

This piece is sort of an alter ego to Drifting Through Lost Latitudes, from Enigmatic Voyages.

The Rancid Stains On My Soul

"I have been casting shadows all my life without caring about how deeply they stain my soul." ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Another composition that uses the same basic sounds and instrumentation as the bulk of Enigmatic Voyages, but in a much darker and more eclectic arrangement.

Tra Le Catacombe Di Palermo

"Dopo cent'anni e più: Morte li guarda, e in tema par d'aver fallito i colpi." ~ Ippolito Pindemonte, I Sepolcri

The Catacombe dei Cappuccini in Palermo, Sicily began in the late 1500s as a fossa comune, a mass graveyard for the Order of Friars Minor Capuchins, on the grounds of the church of Santa Maria della Pace. When it became necessary to expand, the existing cave structure behind the main altar was used to eventually build a series of corridors where the mummies and skeletons were arranged by families, gender, profession, and social status.

For a musical representation, I used a unique vocal sound and effect to represent each corridor, adding a hovering deep voice that was inspired by Pindemonte's quote "After more than a hundred years: Death watches them, [...]" over a complex bed of keyboards and synthesizers, trying to capture this unique and macabre collection of cadavers.

The Blood-Dimmed Tide

"Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity."
~ William Butler Yeats, The Second Coming

An aural tidal surge emanating from effects-laden MIDI bass guitar, MIDI bass pedals, and synthesizers, ebbing and flowing between consonance and dissonance.

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