Pax Victoria is a concept album about a fictive character named Victoria whose mundane Californian life was interrupted by an all-consuming love affair that led her into the world of underground crime and having to choose between right and wrong.
The songs describe Victoria’s struggles as she faces realities she doesn’t want to believe possible and finds a strength she never knew she had.
Released January 23, 2021
All tracks composed by Liz Davinci except “10:23”, “The Club” and “Deserted”, which were composed by Underhatchet. All tracks recorded at Liz Davinci’s house. All tracks mixed and produced by Liz Davinci and Underhatchet except for “Oh God”, which was mixed and co-produced by Simon Bartz and “10:”3”, which was mixed by Liz Davinci and Simon Bartz.
Thank you to Underhatchet, K.A. Laity, James Shaffer, Mark McConville and Paul D. Brazill for providing beautiful and inspiring texts for the five album trailers. Thank you Underhatchet , K.A. Laity and James Shaffer for your additional contributions to the mini-chapters (which can be read here and comprise the whole story of Victoria: www.lizdavinci.com/blog).
This is the last trailer of five to reveal a glimpse of the coming album “Pax Victoria” (releasing January 23, 2021), with a spoken abstract description of the concept “Imprisonment.” The abstract text was written by Paul D. Brazill.
* “Imprisonment” by Paul D. Brazill
The inky black night smothers the city. A shard of moonlight picks out a trail of blood. A dog barks. There are shouts. Then gunshots. A scream. Howls and cruel laughter. Animal grunts and whip cracks reverberate. It all goes black and the metal door slams shut. An abyss. A pit of darkness. In that void is a speck of light. Like a lonely star in a godless galaxy. A star to guide a lost voyager to safety. Home. Night melts into day. Day melts into night. Endlessly.
*The accompanying Mini-Chapter by Liz Davinci follows:
Chapter 5: Imprisonment
Excerpted from: “Human Trafficking in the United States” From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia Human trafficking is a modern form of slavery, with illegal smuggling and trading of people (including minors), for forced labor or sexual exploitation. … California: A significant leak in 2020 gave authorities the opportunity to shut down a fairly large limb of the trafficking operation located between Tecate and Campo, when a sketched map was left anonymously by a woman at a gas station in Campo. The map led to the findings of a tunnel running between America and Mexico, stipulating the location of a tunnel exit on the American side of the border. In total 13 suspected trafficking agents and 24 persons suspected in connection with three warehouses containing illegal immigrants were arrested. The warehouses were shut down by authorities. All immigrants in the warehouses were women and the warehouse suspects are currently being tried for sexual abuse.”
*7am: Monday – Victoria Life in Paris has been good. I don’t miss California most of the time. I’m different since my relationship with Alexander and my rendezvous with the underground world of trafficking. So different.
My actions helped fight against trafficking – they had results. Unfortunately Alexander was one of those arrested last year.
After I managed to expose part of the operation to the authorities, I mourned Alex. But an intelligent fear arose in me as well. The trafficking operation is huge and big money is involved. If the exposure would ever be traced back to me, I would be killed – no doubt. What would Alexander do if he knew I had caused his imprisonment? Would he kill me?
These concerns became more and more difficult for me to live with and I made the decision to move to Paris.
My life in California was small and humble anyway and my savings to buy a house with Alexander superfluous.
So I took my savings and moved to Paris. I now live in a small apartment in the 11th arrondissement on Rue Sedan. I work as a secretary and don’t read romance novels. I sing and dance in my free time and have made several friends.
I still have fear that I will be found. I still have nightmares.
Back in California, Alexander never tried to contact me from prison. I drove past his apartment a couple of times and someone had cleaned it out – presumably a family member.
I believe that I will overcome my fear – these worries. I did what was right and I covered my tracks. I was extracted out of my mundane life by Alexander and maneuvered a rocky road. I handled it as best I could and will never again be mundane. It’s not possible.
If I hadn’t met Alexander, I wouldn’t have been able to put a stop to at least some of the trafficking, as I did. And I would simply be growing older, reading romance novels and traipsing the same streets year in, year out, maybe singing at the same mediocre club. I have scars from my experiences with and around Alexander and I am trying to find peace with them.
I must find true contentment and not a rut disguised as contentment. I now value deep, calm love as opposed to frenzied, romantic love. Deep love cannot disappear. There was a revolution in myself that will never burn out. I don’t just exist anymore, I live.
Bus 262 slithers along hot curved roads. The Eucalyptus trees are fragrant and the blue skies are tainted with white smog on this Tuesday summer morning. Only 7am and the temperature suggests a bathing suit and a long day at the beach.
Inside the bus it’s packed, but at least air-conditioned. The business men and women wear their summer outfits, hardly different from their winter outfits, as they head to their air-conditioned offices. A tired baby howls. Its attentive mother tries to comfort it, worried that something worse than heat distresses her child.
A few people are drinking cold Frappuccinos through straws. The bus smells like sunscreen.
The winding roads are slowly replaced by straight ones and the trees by houses and then buildings, followed finally by grey skyscrapers as the bus nears its destination.
A woman dressed in black sandals, a black skirt and a white flowing sleeveless top stands up to exit the bus at 7th Street, nearly the end of the line.
Her eyes are bright and she walks with confidence and a sway in her hips, a smile on her face.
“Morning Victoria” the receptionist says to her as she enters the building around the corner from the 7th Street bus stop, and she begins her work day.
***************************** 4:30pm: Tuesday
On her way home, Victoria waits at the 7th Street bus stop on the opposite side, ready to do the morning commute in reverse. Her cell phone is buzzing. As she types in response, her smile widens.
She can’t wait to get home.
**************************** 8:25pm: Tuesday
As it turned out, the Siegfried look-alike was called Alexander. After trying to escape him that evening, I have spent the past five months doing just the opposite.
He’s coming over right now. Actually he was supposed to be here at 8pm, so I guess he got hung up. He’ll be here any minute, I’m sure.
I stopped reading romance novels and I stopped singing at the club. I am consumed by the addition of this beautiful human being to my life. Everything has changed since his blue eyes met mine. I am alive, electrified and emotional. Life has direction. I’m still working full-time as a secretary, but I dream about a life in a quaint suburban house, where I care for my blue-eyed children — baking and smiling, picking beautiful flowers for the dining table.
I feel immense love for Alex. We don’t express a lot in words, but I love him deeply. I want to help him, I want to take care of him. I accept everything about him.
He’s mysterious and he disappears, sometimes for weeks on end. I don’t know where he goes nor what he is doing but when he returns, I read something disturbing in his eyes. We don’t talk about it. I don’t need to know what it is because I believe in love and I believe that I can heal his wounds.
When he is with me, his heart grows softer. He still guards something, but I feel him become vulnerable. I have faith that his absences are not to avoid me. I have faith that whatever he does in his absences is not immoral or bad. But I wish he wouldn’t go away at all. Maybe I can convince him.
I have faith. I have love. I am love.
Love is a river.
Written by Liz Davinci and K.A. Laity
The abstract text about love accompanying the album trailer https://youtu.be/8pNTSgTZuH4 was written by K.A. Laity:Love is a river. It’s not what you’ve been told but it’s true: love is a river and if you go looking for its source you won’t find it. If you hike up that very tall mountain and look for the spring it will be there, but it will disappear under ground and that is not it, that is not the source. You’re not meant to go poking at the fountain, the little hollow where it bubbles up. No, follow the stream that flows away from it, trace the trickle until it’s deep enough to cup in your hand. Let it flow over you.
Love is a river. Dip your toe, wade in. Splash in the shallows of the brook. Does it feel too cold? Move downstream. Look for the sun-dappled ripples as the river gains power, flows over falls, rapids even, and find the exhilaration that fills the lapping curves of the stream. The excitement of splashing over rocks submerged—you hardly notice them—the foam and bubbles and wisps as the river cascades down. Gravity plays its part.
Broad rivers contain multitudes. They’re big enough for you. Big love, wide, generous. Love spreads and takes up room. The big river touches many shores, many banks and carries so many boats. Multitasking, always flowing: it has capacity. Love has a current that draws you in, let it do so.
Don’t stand on the shore watching it roll by: dive in! Let the river take you to new shores. Taste new lives, swirl in eddies, float in the sun.
Let it take you.
Let it carry you all the way to the ocean. The sea refuses no river. Sure you might get tangled in the swamps. Splash in the mud. Take your time.
But eventually the ocean welcomes you and then you know how the ocean is love, the ocean fills the globe and the ocean goes so deep that it comes back up as a fountain on that mountain and then it is the river. Love is a river…
Bus 262 slithers curved roads, determinately making its way to the city. The roads are lined with Eucalyptus trees on both sides, birds are chirping. There are blue skies, the sun is just coming up and the temperature calls for a light jacket at 7am on this Friday.
If you would zoom in on the woods, you would see countless dog-walkers and joggers enjoying a morning outing. You would see wild bunnies and maybe even a fox or two.
Inside the bus it’s full but only 3 people have to stand. At this hour mainly business men and women make up the bus’ contents. In their dress-casual clothes, neat make-up and freshly shaven faces, nearly all of them are engulfed in their cellphones. There are a few parents with children and one stroller driven by an exhausted mother.
The bus smells like Dunkin Donuts coffee and hums along further.
The winding roads are slowly replaced by straight ones and the trees by houses and then buildings, followed finally by grey skyscrapers as the bus nears its destination.
A woman dressed in black boots, black pants and a light pink blouse stands up, book still in hand, eyes glued to the book. She manages to put on her jacket whilst reading and only closes the book briefly to get out of the bus at 7th Street, nearly the end of the line.
“Morning, Victoria,” the receptionist says to her as she enters the building around the corner from the 7th Street bus stop, and she begins her work day.
On her way home, Victoria waits at the 7th Street bus stop on the opposite side, ready to do the morning commute in reverse. Her colleague, Lily, has joined her, so she can’t read her book, but Victoria was raised to have proper manners, so she chats with Lily.
Unfortunately the conversation with her colleague goes from bad to worse when Victoria has to sit through the different names of the fish Lily took pictures of whilst scuba diving in Thailand. Her mind begins to drift.
The commute feels longer than usual. Victoria starts to think about her evening.
Finally back home, Victoria grabs her gown and make-up and heads over to the local bar/club, where she’ll eat some dinner before singing a set. They always treat her to a meal when she sings and they even serve vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian, or wheat-free dishes, if you’re into that kind of thing.
I’m sitting in a chair, staring at my reflection in a beaten up old mirror backstage and I look elegant. Not that I shouldn’t – I’ve been getting made up and dressed up for the past hour here.
It’s almost time to sing. I’m not nervous – I kind of wish I was. I miss those days. But I’ve done this gig so many times now. It’s fun – I’m content with it.
“Victoria, you’re almost on!” Stella shouts to me.
I smile at myself in the mirror as I stand up – at my long, black evening gown, hair pulled up, revealing browned, bare shoulders. I heard that tonight’s show would be full.
As I sing my set, some family friends will accompany me (the old guys from down the street). They play fantastic back-up and I get to sing what I want – covers and jazz standards. I’ll start with “I Can’t Get Started” tonight, for irony’s sake. After the show I’ll go home to read. I’m addicted to romance novels, unbeknownst to all.
I am not an isolationist (that’s what I tell myself). I sing once or twice a month here and I talk to people at my office, where I work as a secretary, as well as my family of course. My family silently wonders whether I am a lesbian (or at least it seems like they do), and they can’t understand why I crave solitude. They almost never come watch me sing.
Maybe I am too picky but there is no one that pulls or interests me. But my romance novels…that’s where my heroines and heroes exist. Tonight I’ll pretend I’m singing for Siegfried, the latest hero in one of my books (things got really exciting with him on my bus ride this morning). He’s strong and intriguing and the game will make singing more fun.
“Vicki, now!” Stella says, with slight irritation. “I’m here – sorry,” I say and rush to enter the stage with the other musicians.
In the bright lights it’s hard to see the audience but I can tell that the hall is full to the brim. I wonder who is here tonight. Maybe the city folk coming to see the up-and-coming rock band performing after me? “Twisted Allies” is their name and they grew up in this town, which is why they even do this gig at all.
I get a little nervous. I let the musicians know what song we’ll start with and we go to town. Halfway through “I Can’t Get Started” I see a man in the audience who looks startlingly like Siegfried from my book. I know what he looks like because he’s drawn on the book cover, with his big muscles and piercing blue eyes. Sometimes I like to examine the book covers, studying every detail.
This Siegfried look-alike is at the bar and he is staring at me as I sing. His stare frightens me somehow. I try to ignore it and make a plan to get out of this gig as soon as possible. As intriguing as Siegfried is in my book, the prospect of any real contact with some Siegfried look-alike intimidates me, terrifies me.
Dashing out the back door into the cool night in a baseball cap, small polka-dotted scarf and an unglamourous oversized black jacket, I leave the loud, energetic songs of “Twisted Allies” to rev up the crowd inside. I’m sure the “Siegfried Starer” has no interest in looking for me and I am just running and hiding for no good reason, but I’d like to get home. I’ve got a book to read.
“Excuse me, miss…excuse me!” I hear a voice calling out. Surely that’s not meant for me. “Victoria, wait!”
The song “Contraband” was originally called “Emergency”.
One of the songs originally planned for the EP “Contraband” stopped breathing about 85% of the way to being done and I needed to write a new one – an “emergency” song.
At first I didn’t want to give up on the originally intended song and it was a sad thing to eliminate it, but we did it.
I’m so glad I was honest with myself because “Contraband” was born and it’s a unique song that I really like.
It’s the only one of my songs that I completely made the beat for (and I am proud of the beat, but I prefer tapping Underhatchet’s expertise in this area).
“Contraband” is vocally/pianistically pretty much as close to an improvisation as it gets for me. I just let the ideas flow linearly and used abstract lyrics to try to create a mood. It went smoothly and I preserved almost all of the initial ideas in the final version.
I composed the bass line last and Underhatchet liked it so much on the demo that he wanted to play it on the final version. In the video he is playing it on a bass guitar, though in the recording it is played on a keyboard.
‘The new music video for Harvest Time is released today and I’m excited to share it! The premise of the song has to do with exploitation of the common man by capitalism.
It’s a sad struggle. It’s a hard struggle.
But the “common man” plays his role often rather well in this struggle. It is to some extent a chosen struggle.
I dove from the highest diving board into the depths of the video software to try to draw new and original effects and ideas out of it. I took my time in creating this video and thoroughly enjoyed the time I put into it.’
“Black is the Color” is a folk song that is said to originate in Scotland. I have always loved this song and wanted to do my own version of it. One day it hit me that the version I would create of this lovely song would be nostalgic, a bit intense – to explore the dark side of vulnerability.
As I worked on the song, it made me start thinking about how love can create such a vulnerability that it can lead to destruction. This destruction can occur in multiple places, even all at once, or in its simplest form of one individual suffering in the beauty of love.
I tried to capture these ideas in the video – when light exists, darkness must also exist and that is sometimes difficult to manage emotionally. And in my experience, the lighter the light, the darker the dark.
The video was primarily filmed in Munich, Germany and I created the video myself. I hope you enjoy it.
Black is the color of my true love’s hair
His lips are something wondrous fair
The sweetest face and the gentlest hands
I love the ground on which he stands
I love my love and well he knows
I love the ground on which he goes
If him on earth no more I see
My life will simply fade away
Liz Davinci was born and raised in California and currently lives in Munich, Germany. Her energetic and dynamic songs, honest voice and soft lyrical touch culminate to achieve an intimacy in her music.
Her voice has been called “haunting and beautiful”.
Her first album, “Obstruction Destruction”, was released in 2017, followed closely by the release of an EP entitled “EEEEP”.
In 2018 Elizabeth released a series of singles followed by her most professionally produced and musically daring release yet, the EP “Contraband”, which was released in May of 2019. She is currently working on a second album.
For Elizabeth, songwriting is a necessity, an expression and an attempt to evoke affinity in listeners.