Terra Nostra [our earth] describes the interaction of humans with each other and with nature. While in the first half of the album human interactions are illuminated, in the trilogy in the second half of the album we think about the relationship of humans to the non-human world. However, this apparent division into two parts is only superficial. The nature of the interactions as well as their consequences hardly differ from each other. We believe that ultimately we are all part of the same system, and that both as humans and as part of nature we go through a circular movement of decay and reconstruction. Circumstances may be challenging from a certain perspective, but as hard as times are, there is always a straw to clutch at. Whether this is the altruism of other people, unshakable hope, or the perseverance of nature, which is constantly rebuilding and adapting. On the other hand, we are witnessing a terrible human arrogance and ignorance towards ourselves as well as towards our common resources. It seems that - what a contradiction! - in times of plenty, cruelty and exploitation prevail, while in times of need, community and support can emerge. Pain and suffering and any sense of community, however, seem to beforgotten as soon as we get better. This means that we as a whole do not learn from mistakes and the cycle starts all over again.
1. On the Back of Zeus
2. The Servant
4. Magna Mater I: Disgrace
5. Magna Mater II: Resurrection
6. Magna Mater III: Hope
1 On the Back of Zeus
This first song follows up on our 2018 release "Secondary Drowning", where we outlined the theme of migration. "On the back of Zeus" focuses on the altruistic element within migration. Captain Carola Rackete of the German rescue ship Sea Watch 3 risked her safety and freedom, and exposed herself to personal attacks, simply because she stood up for people in need. During the Syrian war, tens of thousands fled across the Mediterranean Sea, mainly in absolutely unseaworthy boats. The number of deaths due to this was and is shocking. The Italian neo-fascist Interior Minister at the time, Matteo Salvini, nevertheless made it his goal to close Italian ports to rescue ships. On the island of Lampedusa, the situation escalated.
The title of the song comes from the ancient figure Europa, a daughter of the Phoenician king Agenor, who was kidnapped by Zeus, wooded as a golden bull. On his back, Europa crossed the Mediterranean Sea and was taken to Crete, where she became the first queen of the island. The continent of Europe is named after her. With this song title we can connect the existing migration routes across the Mediterranean with the story of Sea Watch 3 and Salvini's despicable idea to protect his country (Terra Nostra) from immigrants.
2 The Servant
"His name is Abdellatif and he survived."
These are the last words in "On the Back of Zeus". Musically, we wanted to compose Abellatif's victory anthem. After leaving his home (Terra Nostra) and almost drowning in the sea, he is now in a safe place. We don't know exactly what he experienced on his journey, but his interactions with others must have ranged from sheer terror to unconditional love. The name of the song is due to the etymology of his given name. Translated from Arabic, abd el latif means "servant of the gentle", which stands for "servant of Allah".
The spoken part is an excerpt from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's address to the Russian public and to his opponent Vladimir Putin on February 24, 2022, the day of the Russian attack on the country. He said:
Who will suffer the most? The people.
Who wants it the least? The people.
Who can stop it? The people.
We found this quote very appropriate for our album concept.
Not only does it apply to the specific situation in Ukraine, but it is also a valid statement for any major self-inflicted challenge we face as humanity. The song title is again derived from the etymology of the first names. Ironically, both Vladimir and Volodymyr mean "ruler" or "dominator". We chose "Dominion" as the song title to describe the struggle for dominance over a piece of land (Terra Nostra).
4 – 6 Magna Mater I – III
The primordial goddess Gaia represents all of nature and creation and is therefore often referred to as the mother figure. The trilogy entitled Magna Mater (the Great Mother) describes another cycle of creation, destruction and restoration on a very large time scale.
Metaphorically speaking, we humans dishonor the world around us, our great mother, through limitless consumption, pollution, or exploitation of the resources given to us. What took an eternity to come into being is blindly destroyed in the blink of an eye. Underneath all the beauty that we can still see when we look at the world with a loving eye, there is a sick and exhausted elemental force (Terra Nostra). We are so preoccupied with ourselves and our self-destruction that we don't seem to realize that we humans ultimately play no role in the course of nature.
However, for several decades we have begun to realize the consequences of our actions. There are limits to food supply, limits to economic maximization, and limits related to living conditions. Part II, Resurrection, features an excerpt from an interview with Dennis Meadows, a member of the Club of Rome, who points out these limits to growth.
Regardless of whether humans can continue to populate this planet, there will be a next spring. With or without us.