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Marc Almond, celebrated librettist Jeremy Reed and avante-garde composer Othon have created a musical album based on JK Huysman’s 1884 novel, Against Nature. Limited final stocks of the CD version of this pop / classical / theatre hybrid soundtrack release have now been made exclusively available through Cherry Red Records. There are only 125 copies and once they’re gone, they’re gone!
This strictly limited edtion CD is packaged in a two-fold out full colour digipack with a 24 page booklet including background information on each song with vibrant and impressionistic artwork.
For Marc Almond, completing this project was a creative dream come true; he states, “Against Nature became one of my very favourite books. In fact, characteristically like its protagonist Des Esseintes, I became obsessed with it. It influenced lyrics in my songs and it was my dream to, one day, do a musical piece based on it. Its themes of decadence, isolation, obsession, addiction, despair and its abandonment of morality relate directly to modern life and the search for some kind of spiritual fulfilment.”
Against Nature is said to be the seminally decadent novel of 19th Century fin de siècle Paris. It explores the central character of Des Esseintes who, as poet and Against Nature librettist Jeremy Reed explains, lived, “a life governed by deviated aesthetic obsessions and the desire to subvert…. nature through artificial pursuits. Endemically bored, wealthy, disillusioned, acutely refined, phobic and neurotic and singularly disgusted by humanity he withdraws from Paris as a middle-aged sensualist to live with servants as a recluse.”
Jeremy Reed, who has been variously described as “British poetry’s glam, spangly, shape-shifting answer to David Bowie’ by the Independent newspaper and as ‘The most beautiful, outrageously brilliant poetry in the world’ by the singer Björk, wrote the libretto. He talks of all three of the creatives in this project, Marc Almond, Othon and himself, as finding, as they engaged in the musical recreation of Des Esseintes’ extreme psychology, that they all “discovered characteristics in common with our subject and a deep sense of empathy with our romantically jaded anti-hero’s quest for the ultimate sensory experience, while acknowledging it’s futility.”
The book ‘Against Nature’ itself profoundly influenced Oscar Wilde in his writing of ‘The Portrait Of Dorian Gray’.
2. Black Feast
3. Indigo And Orange
4. The Green Fairy
5. The Slice
6. Flowers And Cannibals
7. Golden Sun
8. Little Judas
9. My Obsessions
10. Foggy Harbour Days
11. Uranian Blues
13. Me And My Coffin
14. Rubies Down The Drain