A week only before the USA Fan Fest - Also an article on The Avenue
The Parsons Day 4: "Watching The Time Machine"
The Parsons Day at which we formalized the Italian AP Fan Club

The organizers' reportage with the behind the scenes
by Giorgio Rizzarelli and Jin

The Parsons Day 4, happened in Trieste in August, 4-7, 2000, registered various significant records respect the previous PDAYs: as during (4 days included those of departure and arrival), number of participants (10, plus 2 guests limited to a dinner), and activities: we raised the thematicity, overall in the passion of Projecting, dedicating months to the organization; and, surprisingly, many external contributions added. What resulted was such a big amount of activities that, if we had to define this Parsons Day in two words, we should say that it has been a PARSONIAN OVERDOSE.

The Fourth Italian Parsons Day has been particular also since in USA, only a week after, happened a meeting, organized indipendently of ours, yet similar (though the first of its genre): the USA AP August Fan Fest 2000, coorganized by Scott and Sara Holder. Steve Martin of the Official International Fan Club The Avenue was so surprised by the appearing of these two meetings, that he decided to dedicate to both an article on issue 18 (November 2000) of the official fanzine. We have been happy to give this contribution to The Avenue, overall to let Alan and the band know better our activities, push Alan to persist in fighting the promoters to come here in tour (something that almost happened in 1999) and convince the band that, in that case, we would be able to organize a wonderful after-show.

As if it wouldn't be enough, this PDAY has been special also for another aspect: it coincided with our formalization as the Italian AP Fan Club. Since the article on The Avenue contains a photo of the PDAY4, we decided to anticipate for the occasion the realization of the Italian Fan Club's T-Shirts, in such way that, wearing it, we would give an image that reflected our care in organization.
Hence the "Parsons Day" has evolved, and the evolution will continue, since for the PDAY5 we expect 15-20 participants. At our fourth meeting, we think that we evolved at such point to accompany to the organizers' reportage a "behind the scenes". We hope that it will communicate you the fun that we had not only during the PDAY itself, but also during its preparation. I and Jin wrote the reportage together, though I often wrote in first person for clearness of exposition. Hence: Press Rewind!

The preparation

The preparation began moths earlier with the selection of the possible participants and the inspection of various hotels of Trieste. Then we began to collect in a file all the ideas that came to us about the activities, and step by step this file became the PDAY4's programme.

Out of the programme we took an invitation for the participants, having fun to carefully "censure" the details about the surprises. To the invitation we added a questionnaire about various practical details. A last email update to all the participants communicated the rooms' prenotation, and allowed them to accord for the trip.

But the most of the preparation was dedicated to the activities. We had much to do both outdoor (rehearsal of the organ concert, choice and booking of the premises, purchasing of lights, instruments, food and industrial drinks for the karaoke voices) and indoor, overall the preparation of the games and the representation of The Tell-Tale Heart. We parsonicized the living room, substituting the usual knick-knacks with books as I Robot and The Time Machine, parsonian mugs and issues of The Avenue, and hanging the PDAY4's poster.

The Friday

A morning in particular was particularly animated, that of Friday August 4, 2000. To the alarm clock's sound Jin answered with a Tales-green face, more or less like the cucumerus that we had to buy that morning. It was the third shopping for the big lunch, that of the fresh ingredients, and the vegetables's salesman remained surprised to our request of a giant cucumerus of 9 Kg. Jin wanted definitely to carry it by herself, and under an Arrival-like rain she dragged it to the car. Suddenly beeped the cellular phone: "Here Gregorio, I'm coming, I'm there in half our". After a rainy traffic worse than Urbania, we ran home, collecting in a hurry the Parsons Day icecake, that almost squashed on the windscreen. While Jin was trying to fit the cucumerus in the fridge, in which it didn't fit in height nor in width, I quickly put on the Time Machine Tour T-Shirt and the AP hat (recognition sings) and ran to the hotel, to welcome Greg and Sara. And it was only in that moment that I realized that the 4th Parsons Day was reality.

Gregorio represented the perfect example of new participant: after half our it was as if we knew since always. His girlfriend Sara showed to be from the beginnings a fan in quick evolution. But two more participants were coming: Enrico, pleasant new entry, and Guido, that was again welcome, as we hadn't seen him since the PDAY1. Then we got to the train station to pick up the others. This time the password was "Excuse me, where is the Time Machine?" to which the participants had to answer "Far ago and long away". We picked up Dario and Francesco, that with me are the co-founders of the Fan Club, as well as Lorenzo and Viviana, with whom, just two weeks before, we assisted to a Flying Pickets' show and we did an interview to Gary Howard.

While taking the guests to the hotel, we all stayed in the big Dario&Francesco's room, in which soon arose the happy feeling of the Parsons Days, and we distributed the Fan Club's T-Shirts. For Francesco we had prepared also, for joking, a T-Shirt of dr. Evil, the character of the Austin Powers movies that mentions more times Alan Parsons and his Project.

In the hotel's hall we signed two postcards that we sent to Steve Martin and Scott Holder, organizer of the USA Fan Fest. These postcards had been previously realized by our official designer Alessandro Palmigiani (the image is the same of that in the telephone-card here at left), and we had previously organized a postal tour in order that all absent Italian Fan Club members could sign the two cards.

Equipped with cars we started the traditional touristic tour, beginning with Revoltella Park, in which we began to talk about Alan, other members of the band, and related musicians.
Back in town, we happened to enter a shop in which we found a videogame called "The Time Machine", in which the artwork of the time machine too much remembered that of the AP video.

The following touristic point has been the Grotta Gigante (Giant Cave), the biggest natural cave in the world, that lies in the rocky plateau that surrounds Trieste. After his 500 steps down and 500 steps up, we took the hungry parsonians to dinner in a typical inn, were two more fans joined. Before dinner we all put on the Fan Club's T-Shirts to do the photo with the T-Shirts.

Then we got home for the parsonian activities. As always we began with the exposition of material, starting with the only two DVD now available with AP material: "I Robot" remastered, and the track "The Time Machine" included in a compilation. We showed and saw coloured and rare vinyls, the On Air DTS, and tapes. We also did exchange of material, and Francesco distributed the first Italian Fan Club's visiting cards.

And, at last, the first surprise: the projection of video material unseen for the italian fans. To celebrate the 10 years since the Freudiana, we projected a spanish broadcast that included, together with the video of Freudiana and an interview to Alan, something more singular than rare: a performance of Eric Woolfson, that plays and sings Freudiana in playback, something that left our guests with very surprised faces.

The Saturday

Saturday morning we continued the projection of video material. This time Jin answered to the alarm clock with a face whiter than the Tales' mummy. In fact, while the guests enjoyed video excerpts of The Time Machine tour, I and her started the long preparation of the thematic lunch. One of the best parts this time were the "Project mixed starters", a set of 10 different starters each one associated to an album. Salmon, caviar, prawns and other ingredients helped to find the solutions. See the photos, in which we invite the reader to find all the 10 Project's albums. Here is the menu:

Project mixed starters

Paseo De Gracia Paella
Stereotomy Noodles

Try Anything Once skewers
Pyramid Potatos
Cezàr Salad

Some Fruits Within A Fruit
Limelight Champagne

Stock 84 and Gold Bugs

The brandy Stock 84 has been associated to The Gold Bug because of the italian TV spot.

The Italian Fan Club's foundation happened at 12:45, finally giving a meaning to the misterious hour that appears in the video of The Time Machine.

The fact that the participants were 10 allowed me to associate to the Project's albums, according to the individual preferences, the glasses and custom napkins, realized by Viviana, while I and Jin realized the placecards, based on the circles of the artwork of The Time Machine (the circle at left is from the Japanese artwork).

After the thematic lunch, another suprise: the pipe organ concert. The idea came to me while I attended a pipe organ concert. I remembered the lot of church organ competitions that I had won as a child playing Bach, but with enormous sacrifices, and I realized that I could do a concert choosing the music that I liked, and playing for the people important for me: a concert of parsonian music, with a real pipe organ, to perform in the church near home, at the PDAY4.

To avoid scandalizing the parson (I said the parson, not the Parsons), I decided to execute as ouverture Bach's Toccata in D Minor (without Fugue), that really I chose because it allowed an interesting medley, being in the same key as the excerpt I chose as following. Here is, in fact, the programme:

Toccata in D minor (Bach) / Ladyhawke Suite (Powell)
Arrival (Woolfson/Parsons/Powell)
Don't Let It Show (Woolfson/Parsons)
La Sagrada Familia (Woolfson/Parsons)
Jigue (Parsons/Powell)
Dreamscape (Parsons)
Knight Against Dragon (Suite) (Rizzarelli)
Time (Woolfson/Parsons)
I Robot Suite (Woolfson/Parsons/Powell)

My objective was that the concert communicated the fact that Parsons' music, also the pieces composed or played with electronic instruments, could be played also on instruments of other times, like a church pipe organ.
Since this was the activity that had the most success, the objective was achieved.
And, since the pieces that had most success were those written or co-written by Andrew Powell, I realized that this fact is even more true for Andrew Powell's music.

Back home, we served the dessert: Jin had thought of a cucumerus filled with a fruit salad. I observed that the name Some fruit within a fruit, as well as the cucumerus' dark green, would furnish a perfect connection with Tales, so I drawed on it a white mummy. When Jin introduced the dessert I played with flute the introduction of "A Dream", while Francesco did the piano carpet. The dessert, however, was dedicated to Dario, who conceived the first Parsons Day, whom I and Jin, together with Francesco, presented with a rare copy of the green Eye In The Sky vinyl. The opening of the dessert also signed the opening of the first formal assembly of the Italian AP Fan Club, in which we talked about our primary activities, that are website, mailing list, meetings, fanzine and contacts with medias.

But the guests hardly waited for The Parsonian Music Game, in which the player had to guess the name of the song after having listened the first notes. The songs were in raising difficulty, from Sirius (1 point) to Far Ago And Long Away (5 points) (prizes and winners are showed in a table in this page).

After having carefully compared the I Robot DVD with the CD version, and that all of us reached the conclusion that they play indentically, we shared a chinese dinner, during which we did the projection of excerpts of the movie The Time Machine, to illustrate some possible Parsons connections.

After dinner, the surprise musical representation. Since the success that had the Arrival representation the previous year, we though to organize again a "musical"-like representation, using as soundtrack a cover realized by ourselves. After considering all the Project songs, we discovered that the album that most adapted to this kind of representation was again Tales, simply because Tales, as the title says, is the only album in which every song tells a story. And the most animated story in Tales is certainly The Tell-Tale Heart.

But, unlike Arrival, The Tell-Tale Heart would have been far more complex. I interpreted the main character, while Jin interpreted the old man. Soon we had the idea of realizing a lighting pale blue eye that Jin would turn on and off to liking. She constructed a costume all black in such way that, when she appeared, one would see only the lighting eye. To make a surprise, at the beginning of the representation she came out of a secret passage. To succeed, we had to project and experiment every detail, since we would have moved in the dark. Following Eric and Alan's steps, we mantained the top secret until the last moment, even the name of the song.

Regarding the prerecorded soundtrack, I had realized a base with keyboards and had sent it to our official guitarist Fabio of Brindisi, that added some guitar tracks; we chose an interpretation faithful in feeling, but with also original elements.

Music and lyrics inspired the scenes almost straightforwardly. During the first verse, when the lyrics alternated with the instrumental passages, I (singing in the dark with a torch illuminating my face) alternated with Jin's pale blue eye. For the instrumental crescendo, we though of a variation of the part in which the id of the murderer makes him believe that the old man is still alive: a resurrection of the old man, helped by an explosive guitar solo and a stroboscopic light; this was obviously the most exciting moment.

Destroyed by terror (I'm joking), we closed the night with a game of (The Alan) Parsonopoly (Project), our thematic Monopoly realized by the Italian Fan Club and premiered at the PDAY3 in Rome.

The Sunday

Sunday morning Jin woke up tired as the mummy of Pyramid, but ready for the country trip. The first activity was really fanatic: a surprise visit to a chemical plant immersed in the grass. We took out of the car the white coats for all the participants. The projectologists didn't wait a moment to put them on, found soon themselves in the world of Ammonia Avenue, and we took a lot of photos. We had even fun to stop the cars saying that there were radioactive escapes, but when we stopped a surveillance car we had a bit less fun; luckily we were already putting the white coats down...

We then got to a look-out over the Natural Park of Val Rosandra. We proposed to Francesco to do Fall Free down the valley but he said no. We then had the picnic On Air, during which we listened On Air. Particularly emotional was listening Blue Blue Sky lying on the grass and looking the sky, as the advice that gives Ian.

Back home we began the acoustic performance, with me at the piano, performing for the first time entirely, and with a lot of fun, Ammonia Avenue and Stereotomy, the two Project's albums with the most elusive concepts. We also did songs from The Time Machine and, as always, of TTOAFC. In some pieces we divided us in parts, in others we sang all together; in both cases there was a great feeling; this always happens at the acoustic performance, it's the power of the music that joins together.

After a "Rubber Pizza" and the Parsons Day icecake, everyone of us told a little story about his parsonian life.
After that we did the electronic performance, this time with prepared bases, with songs from Eye In The Sky: Sirius, Eye In The Sky and Psychobabble.

To end the night, Jin conducted her surprise thematic game: The Hunt to Parsonian Treasures. A masterpiece in structure as well in detail. But, since it's Jin's work, I leave to her the word...

"My luciferian mind had had the idea of realizing a series of riddles and rebus that led to recovering 10 parsonian treasures, one for every Project album, plus a final murder enigma associated to Freudiana.

My favourite riddle is the one of Tales. I read all the tales that inspired the album, and found the inspiration in the Cask of Amontillado : in the riddle I inserted the key verse "One of 11 I will pile", that referred to the 11 bricks' layers, and not to the so-called 11th Project CD (Freudiana), as initially all the participants thought...

For I Robot I inserted the reference CH.1 V.32, while for Pyramid I created a series of simple hieroglyphics furnishing two possible answers. For Eve I put in relation "You lie down with dogs" with Gemma, Ian's dog (maybe Ian has written it?...), while for TTOAFC I soon thought of a cripted messages using, among the symbols, the suits of the playing cards.

After the EitS rebus (whose solution was Mammagamma), the participants had to search a microscope. For Vulture Culture, an album related to the dialogue, I made a word puzzle, as well as for Stereotomy, in which the solution was the word Stereotomy itself, like it was in "Murders of the Rue Morgue" from which the word originates. And finally for Gaudì there was a little jigsaw puzzle whose solution was the image of La Sagrada Familia."

But the strong piece was the murder story at the end. The story was set in London, with meticolous care of the geographical environments. The main character was a musical writer called Eric Wulp, and there was a murder of the first actress in a musical called Freudiana. The players had to guess the murderer. The theatrical representation of the "11th Project album" has hence furnished the perfect environment for a murder story, that represented an epilogue, dramatic as that of the Project, as well as the enigma for excellence, as perfect conclusion of this wonderful thematic masterpiece.

The Monday

We never did a so big pyramid of things, but Monday, the departure day, we were a bit melancholic. After some more acoustical performance, and a nice improvised lunch, all the guests departed. But it was only an

Until the next pday!





 1° Prize Eye In The Sky mug ordered from The Avenue Francesco
 2° Prize Eye In The Sky single offered by Dario Gregorio


 1° Prize Time Machine Tour T-Shirt ordered from The Avenue Sara
 2° Prize Blown By The Wind addressbook creation Italian Fan Club Dario


 1° Prize The Definitive Collection ordered from Paper Moon Guido
 2° Prize The Instrumental Works CD offered by Giorgio Enrico


Booklet of The Rubber Universe * ordered from Channel 4 Enrico
  " "   " " Gregorio
  " "   " " Lorenzo
Stereotomy vinyl offered by Giorgio Lorenzo

*relative to the TV documentary directed by Storm Thorgerson and with AP music.


 Enrico Contini  Firenze
 Francesco Ferrua  Carcare (SV)
 Gregorio Gobbi  Stienta (RO)
 Viviana Modena  Rovereto (TN)
 Guido Montini  Bologna
 Jin (coorg.)  Trieste
 Sara Perinelli  Stienta (RO)
 Dario Pompili  Roma
 Giorgio Rizzarelli (coorg.)  Trieste
 Lorenzo Zencher  Rovereto (TN)


 Enrico Lussetti  Trieste  only organ concert
 Elena Schipizza  Trieste  only dinner at inn
 Ornella Valenti  Trieste  only dinner at inn


 Jorge de Almeida Monteiro  PORTUGAL
 Alessandro Palmigiani  Isola del Liri (FR)
 Fabio Truppi  Brindisi


Exposition of audio material
CD, DVD, vinyls: Giorgio
Additional vinyls: Francesco
On Air DTS CD: Gregorio
Collection of tapes: Lorenzo
The Turn Of A Friendly Card stained glass: no, this we haven't, Eric has it

Distribution of audio material
On Air sealed tapes: Fabio
Chris Rainbow, Lenny Zakatek: Francesco
Camel: Dario, Francesco

Projection of video material unseen in Italy
Primary contributions: Jorge
NTSC-PAL conversion: Giorgio
Secondary contributions: Dario, Francesco, Guido

Thematic lunch
Some fruits within a fruit conceiving: Jin
Starters Project: Giorgio
Menu and realization: Giorgio, Jin
Helps to kitchen out of the kitchen: Dario, Francesco
Conceiving and realization of thematic glasses and napkins: Viviana
Placecards: Giorgio, Jin
Scannering for the placecards, update to Pyramid centrepiece: Francesco
Hungry cavies: All

Pipe organ concert
Conceiving, programme, performance: Giorgio
Parson that didn't found keys: Parson Alans

The Tell-Tale Heart
Conceiving, script, scenography, lights, costumes, play and shouts: Giorgio, Jin
Base: Giorgio (keyboards), Fabio (guitar)

Acoustic and electronic performance
Piano and keyboards, lights and projections in the electronic performance: Giorgio
Percussion: Dario
Hooter: Enrico
Doorbell: Gregorio
Realization of lyrics books: Gregorio

Thematic games
The Parsonian Music Game: Giorgio, Jin
(The Alan) Parsonopoly (Project): Previously realized by the Italian Fan Club
Hunt to the Parsonian Treasures: Jin

Has kindly taken other parsonians outward and back: Enrico
Drivers at the PDAY: Jin, Gregorio, Enrico

Italian Fan Club T-Shirts
Project: Fan Club's Direction
Graphic realization: Dario
Print: Giorgio, Jin

Italian Fan Club's visiting cards
Project: Fan Club's Direction, Lorenzo
Graphic realization: Alessandro
Print: Francesco

Other graphic realizations
Poster, Far Ago And Long Away postcards and PDAY4 telephone card: Alessandro

Fotographers: Viviana, Francesco, Gregorio, Giorgio, Jin
Scannering: Dario, Giorgio, Gregorio

Cameramen: Mr. Tripod, Jin, Francesco, Giorgio, Guido, Viviana, Sara
Videocamera furnisher: Giorgio
Emergency videocamera furnisher: Guido

Our sponsors


Thanks to all which contributed, particularly to the external collaborators: Alessandro, Fabio and Jorge, to which we send a special thank you for having sent us as loan his original NTSC VHS in order that we could convert it. To these, we'd like to add the following thanks:
- to Steve, for having anticipated the money for the T-Shirt in order that it arrived in time, but overall for the article on The Avenue
- to Guido for having presented us with the CD-box "Compact disc project"
- to Dario for the computer assistance
- to Alan and the band for the inspiration and the wonderful music that they create
- to all the participants for having suffered the 1000 stair steps of the Grotta Gigante, the late nights, the waitings during the sets of some activities, but overall thanks for your presence...
- overall, I would like to thank publicly Jin for the incredible quantity of help that she gave me in this enterprise, and for having enjoyed with me the organization.