|Curse of the Banshee|
When the Banshees had decided to resign, Siouxsie and Budgie (who have been married for a while now) continued with The Creatures, while Steven Severin stayed on his own.
A few years ago, Steven and the other Banshees members had been eager to point out that the Banshees split was a definite decision and explained how the band had become exhausted and anyway had not been too keen to become part of a due Punk revival. Now it's 2002, the Punk revival is here to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 1977 Jubilee, and - Siouxsie and the Banshees are back for a couple of gigs. Never say never, right?
However, despite the unexpected (and obviously temporary) Banshees reunion, Steven's own projects remain paramount for him. He has set up his label on the Internet, because this eliminates the need for a distributor and gives him virtually unlimited freedom concerning his artistic output. He has not gone all the way though, as his recordings are still captured and sold on CDs rather than making the music available for download. Steven is very enthusiastic about all the liberating technology, and he has developed the website on his own (which led to a chaotic labyrinth, as far as usability is concerned).
Re: is meant to provide a distribution channel for Steven's own works in the first place, but is likely to evolve into a network for artists off the cultural mainstream. It is a mailorder-only company, so the releases on Re: are not likely to be available in regular record stores or bookshops.
Steven's current work is a radical departure from the Banshees heritage. He had been experimenting with ambient and experimental recordings for quite some years, and the first release on Re:, titled "Visions", was to be an adaptation of the soundtrack he had written for a controversial Nigel Wingrove silent movie about the "erotic visions" of Saint Teresa, a nun from the 16th century. Steven had finished the original soundtrack way back in 1989, but did some alterations to the material before the release in 1998. The final version is 45 minutes long and provides the four pieces of the original recordings plus music he has written to complement the framework.
Another release by Steven, "Os Cantos Do Maldoror", was written for a Brazilian stage production inspired by enigmatic French poet Isidore Ducasse's prose poem "Les chants de Maldoror". Ducasse, it has to be said, had used the pseudonym Comte de Lautreamont and finished his work in 1869. His publisher, a Belgian company, however found "Maldoror" too daring and explicitly violent, and refused to distribute it. It was not until 1890, twenty years after the artist's death, that "Maldoror" was finally published, but with very little success.
Later, the Surrealist movement was attracted by the weird and unrelated imagery in Ducasse's imagery and posthumously made him one of their artistic ideals. "Maldoror" consequently inspired many controversial artists of the early Twentieth Century, and even today has lost nothing of its inherent radicalness. Perfect inspiration for Steven, it seems, for from his early Punk days he has always favoured an anti-establishment attitude.
Steven's current projects include a collaboration with Japanese dancer Shakti (resulting in a soundtrack based on the novel "The woman in the dunes") and his first book, titled "The 12 Revelations". Plus, there's collaborations with other artists, and this is not restricted to musicians. Just expect the unexpected.
(rh MMII, pictures re:)