The Dark Tunnels of the Bone Box:

The astonishing story behind the music of Mr. Doctor

An Informative Essay by J. Lamm


I. Introduction and Comparisons

a. Orson Wells

b. Beethoven

c. The Beatles

II. What’s in a name?

a. defiance of tradition

III. The Beginning - mid 80’s

a. the advertisement

b. securing first set of musicians

1. Sasha Olenjuk - Slovenian National Orchestra

2. Jurij Toni - the producer’s Italian connections

c. from stage to studio

d. the voice - in regard of “sprechstimme”

e. the final and only copy

IV. Late 80’s - The Girl Who Was...Death

a. “a painting for yourself and a grafic work for us”

b. the second album’s theme

c. formation of Hurdy Gurdy Records

d. destroying the remaining albums

V. The Black Holes of the Mind

a. ...and Eliogabalus

b. funding running low

c. Mr. Doctor sings Hanns Eisler

d. The Devil Doll Fan Club in Ljubljana

VI. early 90’s - Sacrilegium

a. into the theater

b. the censored interview

c. The Sacrilege of Fatal Arms

VII. mid 90’s - Dies Irae

a. Hangover Squre

b. near death experience in the studio

c. Mr. Doctor leaves music?

VIII. A different direction

a. Retrovizor & Ekran

b. refusing to be paid

c. rebirth in Devil Doll

IX. the new day of wrath

a. Akademik Studios and Norina Radovan

b. the mixed influences

c. Devil Doll Chamber Orchestra

d. Mr. Doctor, author

X. a new decade

a. conclusion

What better enforcement for the argument towards both the divinity and validity of our own existence than those statements that lay upon the laurels of our creators. They assault our senses by their weaving of metaphors and melodies, colors and carvings, raiments and recipes, etc. Behind each masterpiece streams a mind that sets its creation upon the world to infect the people and live out its days on shelves, walls, and memories. With a life of its own, it may grow from mouth to mouth establishing itself a tale to be told by admirers and detractors alike. And in our present day when fabricated rumors and screenplays rival against one another, no other script is more fascinating than that of the true story behind the reclusive genius known only as Mr. Doctor.

It is the story of an unparalleled mind in modern music; but even so, the actual accounts of which are still unknown by the teaming masses of people that wonder the media waves in hopeful search of an enlightened guest. In an effort to better equate the delicate matter at hand, try and imagine if Orson Wells had filmed Citizen Kane but only allowed one reel to be produced, and keeping that reel only for his private use. This unduplicated cinematic work, whose only witness’ were those involved in its filming, would never be seen by any other set of eyes except those of its own creator...

Ponder for a moment if Beethoven had performed his Ninth Symphony to a modest crowd and at the climax of the performance he handed out handwritten copies of his score to the waiting audience. Later, he would leave for his home to destroy the remaining copies in his possession. The very same copies that contained notation written with his own blood would now be set to rest; its existence allowed only by the love of the affected few votaries. Hours upon hours of effort would be burned because those that were interested in his work had received what they had come for....

And now, imagine if the Beatles had never aspired to become recording artists and instead opted to stay reclusive; performing and recording only for a handful of admiring supporters. It would be these people that would join together to print and produce albums and artwork for the band themselves - as opposed to the aid of the ever-sought-after record label. They would distribute the records to interested and like-minded individuals while the band refused payment all together. Their photos would not be printed, interviews would be refused, and there would be no radio play. There would only be a loyal fan base with unfaltering support and esteem for the music they loved that made the hair on the back of their neck stand up. The fan club would spread worldwide (despite the absence of internet, radio, or television exposure) and even after many years, as opposed to an “overnight success,” would their efforts be reaching sets of ears thousands of miles away from where it all originally started.

But perhaps all of these hypothetical statements are too far fetched and containing too vast a number of inconcievable qualities for today’s modern artist. Perhaps artists (in music, paint, theater, etc.) have become so vain they wish to ascend their image above their craft. It could be said that the commercialized celebrities of today, whose sole aim is the compensation for their activities in regulated entertainment, are the polar opposites to the already mentioned instances by the latter dramatized protagonists. Are there any artists today that create for themselves and not for personal validation by the masses?

All of these eccentricities and more may be attributed solely to Mr. Doctor and his musical group/chamber orchestra known as Devil Doll. But before you furrow a brow or bat an eyelash for the sake of odd names and sounds, take a breath and notice to the deeper meaning behind the consanants. With regard to the band name, it is in no way a provocation of demons in childish play, instead, the monker is taken from an older film of the same name that deals with dualities in persona, i.e. a puppet that engages in a battle of wits with its master and wins. This dual personality will repeat in many ways with Devil Doll and Mr. Doctor, whose own name is even a take on double personalities. It is commonly believed, among other possibilities, that “Mr. Doctor” is in fact taken from Mr. Hyde and Doctor Jeckyl; yet other more passively suggested and lesser favored explanations float around as well. It could stir the fact that he has a doctorate in Criminology and Philosophy (why people refer to him as just “Doctor”) or that it is shortened from Murderer to Mr. Dr.. However, the Robert Louis Stevenson reference is the most commonly accepted rumor. But an explanation of names still does not give any clue to who the hermatic 20th century composer is and what he stands for.

It is by the effort of these words drying on the page to try and elaborate on what some have known now for close to twenty years. And even though the latter statements and allusive hypotheticals may seem to be a strained arrow aimed towards a single brilliant and often disturbing mind, the following accounts are contested to be true. Being the fact that without the use of record deals, media coverage, glittery videos, magazine spreads, benefit of the internet, worldwide touring, or any other form of popular eyebrow raising methods used by the media hype machines, the sect of Devil Doll has created a truly monumental and fiendishly unique vision that has trickled from ear to ear, originating from Italy and spreading world wide from an idea that came to fruition back in 1987. The apparant “success,” of which, lies in the efforts that defy every possible commercial, economic, traditional or even rational means that today’s artist find absolutely necessary to be seen and heard.

It began in the middle of the 80’s when a man who would only be known as the “Doctor” hatched an outwardly strange and recondite musical idea. And to recruit the members he would need to flesh out his musical project he placed an advertisement that read only: “a man is less likely to become great the more he is dominated by reason: few can achieve greatness - and none in art - if they are not dominated by illusion.” This got the attention of Sasha Olenjuk, the Ukranian leader and violin virtuoso of the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra. He would be one of the first to join Mr. Doctor and by doing so, allowing him access to the additonal orchestral muscians he would need for his intricate musical scores.

Upon securing his first set of musicians, Mr. Doctor would attempt to form a second and different incarnation of what would be Devil Doll; one set of musicians residing in Venice, Italy while the other based itself in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. This former Yugoslavian section was also the home of Olenjuk and the Slovenian National Orchestra, which contained the larger portion of the two Devil Doll groups. Ljubljana was well known for its blooming art scene and was also a place recieved for being quite accepting of new artistic forms of expression. It is here that the German, Slavic, Balkanian, and Latin cultures come together and serves as a doorway between the East and the West. Quite a fitting ground to hold the advent of a new artistic realizaiton. And though the following months of traveling between countries in search for the right people were fruitful in Mr. Doctor’s endeavors, it was not all Olenjuk that helped in the assembly of the future Devil Doll unit. It would be the intrigue and experience by a popular record producer, who caught sight of the now infamous Mr. Doctor advertisement, that would help in the formation of two bands in two different countries.

Mr. Doctor had contacted Jurij Toni, a local producer with over two hundred records to his credits, after becoming familiar with his work. Toni had become fascinated by the advertisement that Mr. Doctor had placed and the two eventually met up at Toni’s Tivoli Studios where collaboration was offered by Mr. Doctor and soon accepted. It would be with Toni’s help that Mr. Doctor would flesh out the rest of his band with, Bor Zulijan, Davor Klaric, Jani Hace, and two of the three percussionists.

“I found him totally immersed in a world of his own, out of time and space I would say, I could not understand at first what was really in his mind and possibly I rated him a bit of a madman with an overwhelming knowledge in Art. Reality goes however often far beyond imagination,” remarks Toni about their first chance meeting back in 1987. Familiar comments would often follow these lines in reference to Mr. Doctor along with his way with words, appearance and ideas. One of the more startling details is how his presense, particularly that of his eyes and posture, seems to have come directly from a silent film. The few photos that exist of him exhibit a near hypnotic stare of a young but wise man with contempt towards normalcy. Few photos are available for the interested, but those who do set eyes upon the visual end of Devil Doll will see such oddities including, but not limited to: Mr. Doctor along with Louise Brooks circa 1927 and Carol Borland in 1935, two silent film stars whose personas and presence mirror that in the intensity of Mr. Doctor; a house of mirrors type photo with hundreds of Doctors depicting his take on the label of “man of a thousand voices;” and a crowded theatre with dozens of Devil Doll’s musical, literary and cinematic inspirations with Mr. Doctor lingering somewhere throughout.

But it would not be the doctored photos and subtle visual irony that people would recognize of Mr. Doctor and Devil Doll just yet. Through July to December of 1987 Mr. Doctor introduces a lengthy composition that would be known as “The Mark of the Beast,” performed by a live version of Devil Doll to their first audience. The gatherings for these shows would be small at first but would eventually grow in numbers as they were introduced to the truly majestic sounds of Devil Doll punctuated by the unique voice of Mr. Doctor. It would be in this brief period of time that Devil Doll would enter Tivoli Studios to record this composition along with Jurij Toni sitting behind the engineering console, remarkedly in awe of what was being created. The musicians were on the verge of a nervous breakdown as they were being pushed beyond the very limit of their limits, showing complete dedication to the vision of Mr. Doctor and managing to record the entire process in what would nearly be one pass.

“When we recorded ‘The Mark of the Beast,’ practically live in a few hours of studio time, I was so surprised...Mr. Doctor was like in a state of trance performing that unique ‘sprechgesang’ {spoken singing} in total darkness, and I was behind the mixing desk hearing his voices for the first time. Changing mood, color, timbre, but retaining always the pure purity of absolute insanity and transforming instantly in an angel, an old man, an unholy spirit or a child all trapped in the same body. And when it was finished, first take, no overdubs, no studio tricks, just his Presence torturing his strings, I was knocked out” remarks Toni about his first experience hearing Mr. Doctors unusual vocals.

It is a vocal style that is closely associated with acting as opposed to contemporary singing. It is in his voice where each note and every word has its own “colour” and life; an effort that brings finally the role of the “singer” into the realm of the “vocalist.” It is this style of expression that means to advance the voice beyond the mere academic categorizations of tenor, contralto, soprano, etc. The sprechstimme sound brings forth color into the voice and suggests a state of mind, and an ambient feeling that is contrary to 99 percent of modern singers. In Mr. Doctor’s own words, “every word has a different colour because it has the right to be modeled in its own way same as a violin player decides to treat a note with balzato, legato, sul ponticello, tremolo, glissando, etc.”

Toni would later describe the total recording experience of “Mark of the Beast” as a “full immersion into the labyrinth of the mind.” The entire process, including the recording and mixing, would physically and psychically drain him. However, despite the pressure and strain of the project, Jurij Toni would continue to work with all of the future Devil Doll recordings.

Once the recording of “The Mark of the Beast” was finished it was at the request of Mr. Doctor that it be finally pressed into an album...but only one copy. A strange request concerning the work involved, but considering what other artists do it would appear quite natural. If you consider that “Dog’s Playing Poker” appears in half of the world’s offices and that there is only one print of the “Mona Lisa,” you can see what the intended purpose is behind “The Mark of the Beast.” This astounded Jurij Toni, however, as he felt that what had been created was something monstrously genuine, unique, and one of his best works to date. “I was really furious to what seemed to me a masochistic commercial suicide. [Mr. Doctor] answered with a certain surprise: ‘this is a painting, not a graphic work’.” In February of 1988 one copy of “The Mark of the Beast” is pressed, housed in a hand-painted cover rendered by Mr. Doctor. The recording has never been repressed to this day. It stands now that the only people that have heard Devil Doll’s first recording were those involved in its creation.

And so closed the first chapter of the first recording ever of Mr. Doctor’s Devil Doll. A solitary album with a hand-painted cover that featured a national orchestra, a renowned record producer, no major recording contract, and performed by world class musicians who understood what a great honor it was to be a part of something truly special...

To this day, its creator only knows the album’s location.

But it was also through these productive months of March to July of 1988 that rehearsals would begin for a new Devil Doll project inspired by an odd combination of esoteric literary figures, mid-twentieth century film composers, and more notably Patrick McGoohan’s allegorical British Television series “The Prisoner.”

It was only a couple of weeks after Devil Doll’s initial studio time that Mr. Doctor would approach Jurij Toni again about this new project. Toni would agree, but only under one condition: “that he could have done a painting for himself and some graphic works for us.” It would be in September that the Ljubljana section of Devil Doll and a small number of the Venice group would enter the Tivoli Studios where they would record the newest Mr. Doctor effort that would be known as “The Girl Who Was...Death.” The television program known as “The Prisoner” would serve as a large inspiration for the recording as well as allusions to the Compte de Lautreamont’s malevolent prose poem “Les Chants De Maldoror.” Repeating the thread of Devil Doll references to dual personalities, darkened investments, utter individuality, and social vilification, there was a certain shared philosophical leaning that Mr. Doctor held in common with Patrick McGoohan’s television series.

It is the story of a British secret service agent whose questionable resignation from his job has him whisked away by unknown assailants and held prisoner in an unknown “village.” The plot takes a turn from a single minded quest to find out why Patrick McGoohan’s character (named only No. 6) resigned, to the more substantial and underlined theme of one man’s grasp on his own pride and determination to hold on to his individuality and personal values. His will and wits would eventually overcome his captors and bring him to an iconic level in the fabricated society created for him. All the while lyrical spurts that run in between the recording closely reflect the reworded excerpts from Lautreamont’s “Maldoror,” but retaining homage to the context of the figurative television series. Lines from Lautreamont like, “without corpses there’s no war and without war there’s no victory,” and “don’t trust him, when he turns his back he looks at you. Don’t trust him when his eyes are closed: he still looks at you,” are all twisting passages juxtaposed around a revolving theme that make “The Girl Who Was...Death” a more involved experience. It requires the listener to search out the rumored audio and visual influences so they may find out for themselves just what is going on in the “Girl...” recording, to which the full extent may never be known.

But while the recordings of “The Girl Who Was...Death” were nearing completion a small base of enamored Italian fans emerged and in November of 1988 what would be “Hurdy Gurdy Records” would soon be born; a unit brought together and comprised of only Devil Doll fans. These fans were so passionate about the music they had experienced in live situations they wanted to have a copy of the recordings for themselves. They eventually persuaded Mr. Doctor to allow them access to his recordings so they could produce additional copies for their own collection. Hurdy Gurdy, a name and logo picked by Mr. Doctor himself, was however, a formality in the since that no written contract has ever been signed between the two parties. Simply because of the rules of author’s rights there must be a company and catalogue numbers for these releases, thus the Hurdy Gurdy “record label.” Mr. Doctor required of them that every record pressed must be in a special velvet box with hand made inserts weighing close to 11 pounds each. This edition was exclusive only to the fan members and would be repeated for every release thereafter. The record label has had limited contact with Mr. Doctor but upon receiving his permission to press an album they would immediately act on it, and thus, setting the seed in motion for dozens upon dozens of eventual ears to lay witness to the Devil Doll wonders. What started off as a large dose of interest by fans eventually turned to obsession which over a period of time would metastasize into an actual business of sorts Word of mouth and passion to something truly unique and invigorating gave the vision of Mr. Doctor a much-deserved push...and eventually some additional financial support.

But the mysteries were only beginning as Devil Doll played a live show at the Kud France Preseren Theatre in Ljubljana on December 22nd of 1988 where cassette tapes of “The Girl Who Was...Death” were handed out. The following year a second live performance was performed. It was here that 500 copies of the most recent Devil Doll creation were pressed before the show. Only 150 copies were distributed to the audience in attendance, each with their own personalized insert, some of which were written with Mr. Doctor’s own blood. The remaining 350 copies were then taken by Mr. Doctor and soon destroyed. When asked why he destroyed the remainder of the copies that he had put so much work into he responded only, “because everybody interested got already my copy.” And that was that.

It would be five years later that the recording of “The Girl Who Was...Death” would be re-issued, however, without Devil Doll’s intro version of the Prisoner theme song and narrative outro by Mr. Doctor. This version would only be contained in the remaining 150 copies that were distributed to those that attended the now infamous live show. It was the beginning of 1989 and a new Devil Doll chapter; one that was holding a stronger emphasis on literary influence, was around the corner. With the rumors and intrigue surrounding the man behind Devil Doll and his creations, there was an increase in interest and a growing number of fans eagerly awaiting the next possible release and when it would be. It was in the Fall of the same year that rehearsals, and a subsequent live performance, gave evidence of the newest Mr. Doctor composition.

“The Black Holes of the Mind” would soon set the minds of Devil Doll fans at ease. Over 45 minutes of musical composition by Mr. Doctor that consisted of esoteric quotations and rumored subliminal messages. The recordings for the next album would take place only a short time after the formation of Hurdy Gurdy Records; a recording also aided in funds by the fan-based label that was pouring their mounting record sales directly back to the band they loved. It was also a very busy time for Mr. Doctor; a short time after approaching Jurij Toni about the “Black Holes of the Mind” session he came to the producer again with another albums worth of material - 60 minutes worth - inspired by the literary works of Antonin Artaud. This new composition would be recorded along with “Black Holes...” and would also be strangely named “Eliogabalus”

However, the budget supplied by the new fan funded Hurdy Gurdy was very limiting, so to cut costs Devil Doll only recorded with the Italian members. Aside from finances, they all realized that halfway through recording that it would be impossible to finish both albums. The entire album would soon be called just “Eliogabalus” with “The Black Holes of the Mind” being changed to “Mr. Doctor.” This was the only recording that actually featured two individual tracks, as the prior recordings were 30 plus minutes of material on a single track list. Because of this fact, the album had to have 45 minutes cut so that it would be able to fit on one side of an album. Mr. Doctor was becoming disillusioned with his current companions and situation and became increasingly more isolated. With his absence it was thought to be the end of Devil Doll completely, when in actuality it would be just another turn of the screw in the band’s evolution.

With problems mounting for the recording sessions of “Eliogabalus,” there was another recording floating around titled “Mr. Doctor Sings Hanns Eisler.” Mr. Doctor had time to debut a new live performance that would also be recorded by Jurij Toni at the Koala Restauracija while the preparations for Eliogabalus were still in the works. A small percentage of the Devil Doll group accompanied Mr. Doctor in his 14 renditions from the work of the German expressionist composer. By listening to Eisler alone, it can be easily gleaned where Mr. Doctor gets his unusual vocal approach. Mr. Doctor, utilizing his signature “sprechgesang” widely used by Eisler, Weill and Shoenberg gave mention of past and present faculties joining together with Eisler’s German “degenerate music” and the avant-garde treatments of Mr. Doctor’s unique voice. But this recording would only reach the test-pressing phase, as it has never been given permission for release.

Upon the completion of “Eliogabalus” in September of 1989 a group of nine Devil Doll fans, separate from Hurdy Gurdy, joined together to form the Devil Doll Fan Club in Ljubljana. The first pressings of the “Eliogabalus” album were rejected by Mr. Doctor and sent off again to be remixed and remastered. It was this pressing, however, that was circulated by the Fan Club and in just two short years the core base of nine fans that had formed the Devil Doll Fan Club had bloomed to one thousand members from seventeen countries. This was without mention in any large circulation magazine or radio play, without a big record label push, no videos or television footage, and without coast to coast touring. Final pressings began to come out for the latest Devil Doll album. Oddly enough, the Italian Hurdy Gurdy re-issues the album with original artwork by Mr. Doctor while simultaneously the Ljubljana Fan Club release their own 900 copies with a different booklet. It was towards the end of 1990 that “Eliogabalus” saw itself in CD format while the Devil Doll Fan Club releases its own edition of 900 CDs with a different booklet. But while the two factions of Devil Doll enthusiasts raced against each other and overall international interest in Devil Doll grew, so did the political tensions in Yugoslavia. This meant the possible derailment of any Devil Doll activity in Slovenia or further collaboration with the international sections.

January of 1991, a new decade and a new progression for Mr. Doctor’s enigmatic Devil Doll incarnation. Belgrade troops invade Yugoslavia, freeing Ljubljana giving the new Slovenians political independence. Mr. Doctor took this opportunity to join the Italian and Yugoslavian sections together for the first time. It was out of this turmoil that the next Devil Doll album, “Sacrilegium,” came. If it were not evident in the past that the prominent Hollywood film score composer, Bernard Herrmann, was a big influence on Mr. Doctor, it was most prevalent upon the newest Devil Doll release. The influence of Herrmann, whose more notable works are the film scores for Psycho, Citizen Kane, Hangover Square and Vertigo, can be heard throughout “Sacrilegium.” Jurij Toni remembers, “after over ten years of sound engineering and record production I smelled dearly at last the flavor of an artistic masterpiece. It was a wonderfully claustrophobic explosion of brilliant ideas: a truly dramatic experience for everybody and me involved, totally uncommercial and very demanding for any audience...the band was musically superb, totally devoted to Mr. Doctor’s visions often at the edge of nervous breakdown.” Towards the end of 1991, Devil Doll had completed work with a larger band featuring the Slovenian National Orchestra, saw its fan club reaching huge numbers for any unsigned band despite the use of the internet, delivered a remarkable album that was distributed solely by loyal fans, and all the while Mr. Doctor found time to turn an increased interest towards the cinema and would soon be incorporating this deep fancy into his music as well.

In March of 1992, Slovene National Television broadcast a Devil Doll performance of “Sacrilegium” at the Trinova Church in Slovenia’s capital of Ljubljana with visual accompaniment from samples of Mr. Doctor’s first film “The Sacrilege of Fatal Arms.” Mr. Doctor was interviewed for the program but his comments and sharp wit were heavily censored; upon the broadcast of the program and the reality of the butchered Mr. Doctor introduction, he vows to never be interviewed again.

Mr. Doctor resides himself to finish his silent film, “The Sacrilege of Fatal Arms,” along with its soundtrack of the same name that saw its release at the end of 1992 by both the Hurdy Gurdy label and Devil Doll Fan Club. The release of the LP got the attention of an American reviewer that labeled Mr. Doctor the “David Lynch of modern music.” The soundtrack to the “Sacrilege of Fatal Arms” was offered a limited fan club only release, selling out in just 72 hours, and with 2000 orders waiting, the fan club would be forced to press more editions of the albums, including past recordings such as “The Girl Who Was...Death.” The film version of “Sacrilegium” finally surfaced and saw Mr. Doctor as not only a viable musical force, but a cinematic one as well.

While most people were listening to such pop acts as Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins in 1993, Devil Doll were about to embark on what would be their most important recording. As word eventually got to Record Collector Magazine the band was dubbed “Europe’s most important cult act of the 90’s.” Even though the word on Devil Doll was slowly creeping abroad there were still fans that were paying small fortunes to get their hands on their earlier albums that were so rare at this point.

And just as the world that Devil Doll was creating for its burgeoning fans was about to embark on its newest, most ambitious, and revered work to date, tragedy loomed around the corner. Devil Doll entered the Tivoli Studios yet again with Jurij Toni to record the band’s masterpiece, “Dies Irae.” It would be the most controversial recording of the band’s history for many reasons. The most notable fact being the near death of both Mr. Doctor and Jurij Toni while in the middle of a recording session.

The significance in the near tragic end to the “Dies Irae” recording, however, was the irony that was about to play out. A portion of the material was based loosely on, and dedicated to, the 1944 film “Hangover Square.” The main character of the film, George Harvey Bone, is a composer who is haunted by dissonant chords that become so intense he suffers from blackouts. These lapses in time find him in question to the timely murders that have been occurring in his vicinity. Bernard Herrmann, who is actually one of Mr. Doctor’s biggest influences, is the composer for the film’s music and is almost an alter ego to the Bone character. It is Bone/Herrmann that composes the “Concerto Macabre” for Piano and Orchestra that uses the same intervals that appear at the start of the “Dies Irae” recording. However, it is not the crossed references and homage to musical greatness that is the ironic factor but the actual demise of the Bone character.

George Harvey Bone meets his eventual end to a fire in the film's finale which strangely mirrors the events of a Devil Doll recording on September 3rd of 1993. Mr. Doctor was recording his vocals when a fire broke out and quickly spread throughout the studio. The Doctor and sound engineer, Jurij Toni, literally jump through the flames to avoid their own disaster while nearly all of the “Dies Irae” sessions were lost to the ravages of the blaze. The only thing that was left was a small DAT tape in Toni’s pocket that contained some instrumental sections that were still incomplete. The studio was completely destroyed and police investigations were unable to confirm the rumors that the cause may have been due to terrorist actions; an extreme accusation but considering the political events it was indeed a consideration at the time. The remaining tapes would later be released by Mr. Doctor to the musicians that performed and would be known only as “Lost in Flames - the Dies Irae Tivoli sessions.” Its packaging was a luxurious book of lyrics and music sheets to Dies Irae plus a stage mask worn by Mr. Doctor from one of his performances.

Mr. Doctor escaped the fire unharmed but Toni was hospitalized for several days. After the incident, Mr. Doctor became reclusive and spoke of leaving music to concentrate more on film, but the rumors of Devil Doll splitting up were, again, neither confirmed nor denied.

Many months had passed and no one had seen or heard from Mr. Doctor. It was January of 1994 when eventual word got out that Mr. Doctor had accepted to hold a University Course that was organized through the faculty of Philosophy of Art of the University of Ljubljana and the National Cinemateque of Slovenia. Mr. Doctor would hold this course for the following two years on every Thursday at the Slovenian Film Museum, also known as the National Cinematheque, and was advertised under the name Retrovizor. The gathering audience met his improvised speeches and performances with a great response. It was also around this time that Mr. Doctor took to writing a series of critical essays for the film magazine Ekran. The publication always spoke very highly of the man and remarked at saying...

“He always refused to be paid.” An expression not only used in reference to his work with the film magazine but also heard from the Hurdy Gurdy label. The fans that ran the label would never hear from Mr. Doctor except in letters and signatures received for album releases. When the subject of payment came up he would send the label a letter with a list of musicians involved in the making of the Devil Doll music and how they should be paid, with the exception of only himself.

Halfway through the year Devil Doll began to make a series of unannounced performances. Among the performances were “Dies Irae” and a new lengthy composition titled “The Carnival of Souls.” The reaction from the audience was encouraging and along with thousands of emails and letters from fans worldwide would Mr. Doctor be convinced to begin rehearsals for a newly recorded version of “Dies Irae.”

A new studio was chosen for the new album since the rebuilt Tivoli Studios was lacking in the “familiar vibrations” that left with the original building. Akademik Studios now housed the most recent Devil Doll incarnation with its dedicated members from previous albums and performances. There was also a recent addition to the fold as Mr. Doctor had come into contact, and was impressed, with the Croatian soprano, Norina Radovan. Radovan, one of the youngest opera soloists, has performed alongside Luciano Pavorotti and has been a part of the Slovenian National Theatre of Opera and Ballet since 1990. Mr. Doctor and Radovan would go on to record memorable duets and counter melodies together over the length of “Dies Irae.”

This newest recording was adding up to be Devil Doll’s magnum opus as well as their most expensive. Hurdy Gurdy paid upwards to 90,000 dollars to help aid in the cost of making the newest “Dies Irae” remake. Aside from a larger budget and additional members, the mixed inspirations were still in place and included the usual Eisler and Herrmann references, as well as skillful allegories to past literary figures. Often would Mr. Doctor take a line from one of his favorites and slightly twist the words to fit into his own work, a technique employed by many authors but more notably garnered by the influence of the Compte de Lautreamont. A line from a Dickinson poem that would read “...and then, if it should be the will of its Inquisitor, the liberty to die,” would be ultimately changed to, “...the will of my Inquisitor, the privilege to die.” While Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Conqueror Worm” would also be used in reference in sections like, “...and over each quivering form the curtain comes down like a funeral pall, with a rush of storm, while angels -pale and silent- rising and unveiling affirm that we are witnessing the tragedy "man" and its hero is.... THE CONQUEROR WORM,” closely resembles Poe’s original script. But with the latter three scribes aside it would be worthwhile to mention the significance in appearance of Oscar Wilde, Henry James, Emily Bronte and Ambrose Bierce in both tongue and thought.

The following years of 1995 and 1996 would bring a rush of assortments for Devil Doll. With nine hundred minutes (15 hours) of music recorded, the new version of “Dies Irae” was finally finished and scaled down for release. However, due to much anxiety and displeasure of Mr. Doctor towards the final mix and mastering job, the resulting months took on more productive forms while waiting for a proper release. Mr. Doctor and Devil Doll pianist, Francesca Carta, took time to write an orchestral score to the 1928 Jean Epstein silent film, “The Fall of the House of Usher” and is performed by the newly formed Devil Doll Chamber Orchestra which includes piano, a string quartet and percussion. The soundtrack to this film, along with several other Devil Doll recordings, still remain unreleased to the public despite the letters and inquiries about when will there be something new to experience.

It would seem that with such fondness to the arts, with an emphasis on film and music, it would be no surprise that Mr. Doctor take a venture into the realm of literary art as well. In 1997 the Slovenian Cinematheque in conjunction with the Slovenian Ministry of Culture would ask Mr. Doctor to write a book on Bernard Herrmann. Herrmann, whose George Harvey Bone served as a strong inspiration to the “Dies Irae” album as previously stated, was a large influence to Mr. Doctor’s take on musical mentality. Reference to his work can be heard throughout Devil Doll’s material and upon watching the films that Herrmann had scored one can grasp also the cinematic focus that Mr. Doctor holds. The book was published in June of 1997 in Mr. Doctor’s native language.

Though there has been much written about Mr. Doctor and Devil Doll, there are still many mysteries that may never have proper light shed on them. Seeing as how Mr. Doctor refuses to give any form of press it is up to the fans and researches to scout out scattered interviews given by the producer/sound engineer Jurij Toni; Francesca Carta, the Devil Doll pianist; Rossana Pistolato, the Devil Doll Fan Club president; and assorted articles here and there by editors and columnists who had heard enough from fans to do an article on the musicians. There are still many recordings still unreleased by the band, such as: Mark of The Beast (which will never be released as there is only one copy), The Carnival of Souls, Mr. Doctor Sings Hanns Eisler, The Day of Wrath soundtrack, and The Fall of the House of Usher Soundtrack. There are now rumors, however, that there is a full scale opera being written as well as a Devil Doll Chamber Orchestra piece known as “Five Murderous Suites.” There are still 900 minutes of Dies Irae that has never been released, as well, but it has been said that some additional portion will eventually see the light of day.

In art there are the legions of imitators who mock and salute their contemporaries and predecessors, and there are those few who chose to slice down the overgrown hedges to walk a new path towards genius. Devil Doll is a musical maelstrom that has defied every possible modern convention applied to music and its business and somehow created something that will live on forever, spreading like a virus and intensifying with age. In a world of appearances Mr. Doctor has drawn his own face to represent the music he slaves to create. And it is this face that fans across the globe have come to recognize and revere for years over. As Jurij Toni finally poetically states, “I honestly think that the greatness of what Devil Doll have done in music will be fully recognized only in ten, maybe twenty years. And I am honoured to have been chosen as sound engineer and co-producer by one of the very few outstanding personalities in the world of Art. If I am allowed to give a last little advice to anybody approaching the universe of Devil Doll: let it to be the soundtrack to the free floating of your thoughts. Let it be the contagious catalyst of your creativeness. Close your eyes, reverse them to the inside and fly into your own imagination.”


- Artaud, Antonin. Richards, Mary C. (translator). The Theatre and Its Double.

Grove Press; (December 1988)

- Artaud, Antonin. Anthology. City Lights Books; 2nd edition, December 1965)

- Banelli, Giampaolo. “Devil Doll Interview III.” An interview with Jurij Toni.

Ljubljana, Dec. 18th, 1996


- Bierce, Ambrose. The Collected Writings of Ambrose Bierce.

New York : Citadel Press Book, 1989.

- Bollenberg, John. “Devil Doll.” Rock Mine online


- Bronte, Emily. “The Prisoner.” October 1845


- Dickenson, Emily. “the heart asks pleasure first...”.

Selected Poems by Emily Dickinson, 1993 Random House Value Publishing, Inc.

- Devil Doll. “The Girl Who Was...Death.” CD. Hurdy Gurdy, (original) 1989

- Devil Doll. “Eliogabalus.” CD. Hurdy Gurdy, (original) 1990

- Devil Doll. “Sacraligium.” CD. Hurdy Gurdy, (original) 1992

- Devil Doll. “The Sacralige of Fatal Arms.” CD. Hurdy Gurdy, (orginal) 1993

- Devil Doll. “Dies Irae.” CD. Hurdy Gurdy, (original) 1996

-“Devil Doll - Analysis, Dies Irae.” author unknown.


- Eisler, Hanns. A Rebel In Music. International Publishers Co, October 1978

- Herrmann, Bernard. The Film Scores. CD. Sony, 2000

- James, Henry. The Turn of the Screw. New York : W.W. Norton, c1999.

- Lautreamont, Comte De. Lykiard, Alexis (translator). Maldoror & the Complete Works of the Comte De Lautreamont. Exact Change, July 1994

- “Norina Radovan, opera soloist.” Public Relations and Media Office. Slovenia National Theatre of Opera, 1998

- Leroy, Aymeric, “Devil Doll.” Interview with the Devil Doll fan-club president Rosasana Pistolato. Big Bang Magazine Edition No.16 1996


- Poe, Edgar Allen. “The Conqueror Worm.” Complete Stories and Poems by Edgar Allen Poe. Modern Library, September 1992.

-Rauch, Edgar, “Questionaire 1” answered by Devil Doll’s fanclub president Rossana Pistolato, April 25, 2001 <>

- Various Information from Devil Doll Fan Club, San Marco 5499, 30124 Venezia, Italy

-Wilson, Dave. ”Devil Doll.” Record Collector, May 1994, page 143


Brief Biography of J. Lamm

J. Lamm has been involved with the musical group, Cea Serin, for close to 6 years and fills the role of composer, lyricist, producer, bassest, drummer, piano/keyboards, etc. He has written the music for television, radio, entertainment events as well as enjoying international success with his own band. Cea Serin will be releasing their debut album through European record label, Heavencross Records, by the end of 2003.

Contact information:


J. Lamm

147 Cockerham Rd.

Denham Springs, LA