The Circle of Life and Death

Hello after the break.

Firstly, let me say “thank you” to all of you who put the sixth Lunatic Soul album, “Under the Fragmented Sky”, on your private “best of 2018” lists. It is a truly great feeling to know that I can reach some of you through this project, not only through Riverside.

As you have probably noticed, the way music is presented or “packaged” is almost as important to me as the music itself, and so I experiment with trilogies, diptychs, four-five-six words in the title, a 7 instead of “L”. And that’s where my idea for a complete cycle of eight Lunatic Soul albums comes from too, the cycle I called “The Circle of Life and Death”, which has been properly illustrated thanks to Jarek Kubicki. I published the diagram some time ago without much explanation, so let me give you a little lecture on it today :)

There are six albums in the main circle: “Lunatic Soul I”, “Lunatic Soul II”, an empty slot, “Fractured”, another empty slot, and “Walking on a Flashlight Beam”. There are also two complementary albums, “Impressions” and “Under the Fragmented Sky”. The empty slots are obviously releases number 7 and 8, which are still to come in a not too distant future.

You will have noticed the two arrows there, the top one pointing to the right, the bottom one pointing to the left, which give you instructions on the order in which to listen to the albums, that is clockwise :)

The diagram is divided in two. On the right, there is a a dark half-circle (with LS1, LS2, Impressions and the future 7th album). On the left, the half-circle is brighter (it comprises “Fractured”, studio album number 8 and “WotFB”). The right, darker side, symbolises death. The left one, brighter – life. The albums from the right side are filled with organic, oriental, more folk sounds while those from the left are more electronic. “Under the Fragmented Sky” combines both worlds in a way, which is why it is placed at the bottom of the diagram.

The story is really simple. The main character, having descended into the underworld, tries to escape from that place to be born again, and when he gets another chance at life, he heads towards the darkness again. We live, we die, we are reborn and we depart again (“How many times we live, how many times we die”). It’s a never ending cycle of life and death. There are a few key fragments and turning points in some of the lyrics, “The Final Truth”, “Gravestone Hill”, “Sky Drawn in Crayon”… but I’ll tell you more about them some other time.

For those of you who would like to better understand the music division into the oriental and the electronic, I have prepared two playlists, called “Beyond” and “Within” respectively. Please bear in mind that these are not “the best of”, that they are more like communicating vessels, different points of view of the character who resides on both sides. I have chosen the tracks to tell one story “on the side of life”, and another “on the side of death”. There are a few exceptions, for instance “Wanderings” – even though it comes from “LS2”, it is more fitting musically in the world on the left. I left out “Summerland” because, lyrically, it’s a view from outside, not from the perspective of the character, or I didn’t choose “Walking on a Flashlight Beam”, which is lyrically already on the side of death, and should probably be right there with “Out on a Limb”, but didn’t fit with the dynamics of the playlist. But the essence of the message has been preserved :)

Here are the links to the playlists:
Beyond –
Within –

And finally, let me say a few words about the future releases. Yes, there will be another album on the side of life and one on the side of death. When? I definitely won’t make you wait too long. As for the content, the “life album” will be a continuation of “Fractured”, it will talk about the chaos of life filled with sounds illustrating that chaos (something has to push our hero into alienation and make him escape into the “container called myself” on “WotFB”, right?). Since it will be my most daring music story, I will leave it for the end. I’d like to fill the right side of the diagram before that and I have a feeling the upcoming Lunatic Soul album will be a continuation of the first Lunatic Soul releases. At the moment, I have in mind a very oriental, folk album, without any electronics. An album about another rebirth and return from the darkness.

With the seventh album I will definitely return to the symbol on the cover. And the colour – I’m thinking about coming back to nature…

Making music is my passion, but it’s also a lot of fun. My fondness of illustrative music comes from inspirations of my childhood, when I created worlds out of nothing. I remember collecting notebooks filled with my own comic books, putting them together into “seasons”, trying to organise them… and how it was all in stark contrast to the mess on my desktop :) Creating music allows me to organise my inner chaos, and that’s why I’m writing all those stories and combining them into “larger entities”. I hope that you will forgive me for this apparent “excess of form over substance”. It doesn’t stem from the need to create overly elaborate work but from the need to create order from chaos, which are indispensable to my mind (“within”) and soul (“beyond”).

Thank you for being there and stopping by from time to time. More lunatic news will follow soon!


Comments (3)

  • Thanks so much for sharing this Mariusz! It’s always great to hear more about the thought processes behind your work and the themes that go into it.
    I’ve enjoyed all of the Lunatic Soul albums so far – they are all of a high standard but it’s even better that they each have their distinct character, which I suppose is as a result of having an overall narrative to the albums as a collection as outlined in the memo.
    I look forward to the next album and its fit into the musical journey!

  • Thank you for sharing your music and personal struggles with the world. Your music takes me to another place. I accidently discovered Riverside’s LFTS in 2016 and eventually Lunatic Soul. Both contain some of the most wonderful music I’ve ever heard. Production is top notch, audiophile quality, and stand up even on high end systems. I was very excited to get the 24bit Version of UTFS, and would very much like getting Fractured and WOAFB on 24 bit as well. Looking forward to the next chapter…

  • I appreciate you giving us more insight into your project. I have only listened to your albums in their entirety, and only when I have time to process, connect, and make a little more sense of my own “cycle”. Prior to reading this post, I would not have dared to veer off into a playlist (out of respect), but since *you* have offered us a journey Beyond and Within… well that changes things : ) Many thanks. You change lives.

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