Nox Arcana is an American Neoclassical darkwave/dark ambient musical duo, formed in 2003 by Joseph Vargo and William Piotrowski. Nox Arcana specializes in concept albums based on gothic fiction and classic horror literature. Such literary references include H. P. Lovecraft, The Brothers Grimm, Ray Bradbury, and Edgar Allan Poe. Some of their albums also make reference to medieval themes and ancient mythology.
Their music is used by famous american theme parks such as Busch Gardens, Knott's Scary Farm and Universal Studios during Halloween for scenes and haunted houses based upon Nox Arcana album themes.
Nox Arcana is influenced by New Age, classical, ambient music, rock music, and film soundtracks, citing other composers such as John Carpenter, Danny Elfman, AC/DC, Wojciech Kilar, Enya, Loreena McKennitt, Beethoven, Jerry Goldsmith, and Hans Zimmer.
Nox Arcana's music is melodic and moody, focusing on a dominant melody line. Instrumentation varies with each album as appropriate to the theme or time period of the album concept, and typically includes piano, bells, violin, pipe organ, harpsichord, timpani drums and other percussion.
Some albums also include cymbals, lutes, acoustic guitars, bagpipes and glockenspiel, depending on the theme of a given album. Enforcing the theme and the narrative is the use of sound effects, such as, for instance, a door creaking or a pendulum swinging on the Poe-inspired Shadow of the Raven.
Vocals and narratives are also used sparingly to help relate a story or serve as introduction to a musical piece, for example, the voice of "Jonathan Harker" and whispered female voices of "Dracula's brides" that beckon to the listener, a carnival barker with the indistinct sounds of an audience in the distance, or "Edgar Allan Poe" and a voice calling out from the grave after being prematurely buried, the gravelly voice of a "witch" casting a spell, and a variety of low Gregorian-style chanting and ethereal choirs.
Joseph Vargo is a renowned gothic-fantasy artist who has created an extensive portfolio of work ranging from album covers and books to posters, music cds, and other products that are distributed through his publishing company Monolith Graphics. Before forming Nox Arcana in 2003, Joseph Vargo produced two albums for Midnight Syndicate but left the band in 2000 to co-write Tales From The Dark Tower, a book that follows the exploits of a vampire during the First Crusade. He later published Dark Realms magazine and released a best-selling card deck, The Gothic Tarot. William Piotrowski had previously written the score for a video production entitled "Ghosts of Ohio", a video documentary about Mary Ann Winkowski, a medium who inspired the CBS television show Ghost Whisperer.
official site: www.noxarcana.com