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Unknown Land

Ophelia by John Everett Millais, circa 1851, Oil on canvas

Ophelia by John Everett Millais, circa 1851, Oil on canvas

I have made this song as a birthday present for my sister. She always admired the work of the so called Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, an artist group founded by the English poet Dante Gabriel Rosetti (1828 – 1882).

Elizabeth Eleanor Siddal is preparing laudanum for her death. Still from Ken Russell's 'Dante's Inferno from 1967.

Still from Ken Russell’s ‚Dante’s Inferno from 1967. Elizabeth Eleanor Siddal with laudanum.

Rossetti’s personal life was closely linked to his work, especially his relationships with his models and muses, first of all Elizabeth Eleanor Siddal (1829 – 1862). She was an English artists‘ model, poet and artist who was painted and drawn extensively by artists of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Through various circumstances she became severely depressed and her long illness gave her access to laudanum to which she became addicted. Rossetti’s relationship with Siddal has been the subject of television dramas, notably ‚Dante’s Inferno‘ (1967), by Ken Russell, in which she was played by Judith Paris and Rossetti by Oliver Reed.

Elizabeth Eleanor Siddal is dying in her bed after drinking laudanum. Still from Ken Russell's 'Dante's Inferno from 1967.

Still from Ken Russell’s ‚Dante’s Inferno from 1967. Elizabeth Eleanor Siddal dies.

In one scene of the movie the dying Elizabeth Sidall is reciting a poem written by herself. The original poem was titled ‚Lord May I Come?‘. Ken Russell used an adapted version with the title ‚The Unknown Land‘ in which Elizabeth Sidall asked herself how it will be in the unknown land whereto we will go after death. I sampled the voice reciting the poem and used it for my song.

The Final Poem

How is it in the unknown land?
Do the dead walk hand in hand?
Do we clasp dead hands and quiver
With an endless joy forever?
Is the air filled with the sound
Of spirits circling round and round?
Are there lakes of endless song,
To rest our tired eyes upon?
Do tall white angels gaze and wend
Along the banks where lilies bend?

Elizabeth Eleanor Siddal as Ophelia. Still from Ken Russell's 'Dante's Inferno from 1967.

Still from Ken Russell’s ‚Dante’s Inferno from 1967. This is the famous Ophelia subject that was painted by John Everett Millais.

For further information I recommend this articles on Wikipedia

Author on Google+ Rambo Balancer

Comments

  1. Hubertus says:

    Magisch! … ich wollte eigentlich beim Hören des Stückes nebenbei arbeiten. Ging nicht. Die Musik zieht mich in diese »böcklinsche Zwischenwelt«. Am Ufer unergründlicher, schwarzer Seen umfangen mich schöne, weißblasse Schattenfrauen. Zypressen stehen vor dem bleigrauem Horizont, kaum merkliches Zittern in ihren Blättern. Ich fange tatsächlich an, über den Tod nachzudenken… H.L

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