It’s a cold, moonless spring night when the keel of a large passenger ship sails across the Atlantic.

It sails so fast, in defiance of all caution, it’s about to break any crossing record.

It is technologically at the forefront, such that the builders consider it unsinkable.

Suddenly, the shape of a big iceberg appears in the darkness.

Too late to correct the course; the impact is inevitable.”

Futility or the Wreck of the Titan

This is not a newspaper article about what happened to the famous transatlantic Titanic but some extracts from the dramatic story reported in the book “Futility or The Wreck of the Titan”  (“Futility” in the first edition of 1898), written by Morgan Robertson and translated in the Italian edition with the title “Il Naufragio del Titan”. The correspondence and analogies in this novel, written 14 years before the Titanic tragedy, are numerous.

The coincidences between reality and imagination are so incredible that it is normal to wonder if this novel is really a prophecy or the accurate and meticulous analysis of an event that, given those characteristics, could have happened statistically.

Morgan Robertson

Even today this novel continues to stir curiosity and questions, fuelling an aura of mystery. Who is Morgan Robertson?

He is an american writer and “inventor”. Inventor because he claimed to have designed the prototype of the periscope used on boats, however he did not obtain the patent granted to other inventors.

He was born in 1861, son of a navy captain. He was embarked for about 10 years on merchant ships and for these reasons he knew the sea, its dangers and pitfalls…

Moreover, at that time, maritime transport was almost as important and fundamental as the air transport of our day.

As for the hypothesis that a ship could be wrecked because of the collision with ice blocks, it was not a literary fantasy but a reality and indeed the most feared event on the North Atlantic route.

1° Edizione di Futility

Not to mention that about 6 years prior to the publication of the book, there were rumors about the construction of a boat able to beat every record in speed and size but was, above all, defined unsinkable thanks to its hull divided into 16 watertight compartments, therefore designed to stay afloat even if some compartments were to have loaded water.

In the light of these considerations, can we still call Morgan Robertson a seer? Or was it simply his intention to warn us not to underestimate an impending danger?

Even the first title of the work seems very eloquent to me: “Futility”!

It is difficult to say and we will never know, even though he calls himself a psychic, one who drew his inspirations and ideas from “his companion in astral writing”.

Beyond the Spectrum

To support this peculiarity, another one of his books comes to our rescue, written in 1914, a year before his death, entitled “Beyond the Spectrum”.

In this work, the writer tells us about a war between the United States and Japan as a consequence of a surprise attack by the Japanese, with blinding weapons, on a naval expedition.

Once more, 27 years in advance, Robertson predicts what will happen in Pearl Harbor (actually a military base), and which will determine the entry of the United States of America in World War II.



Everyone needs to express their feelings—now of joy, now of pain—and one of the most effective means is undoubtedly music, either played or sung. Chant is surely the most totalizing means of expression that man and woman have at their disposal. Learning to sing not only means letting vocal cords vibrate to reproduce notes in tune, but also tuning one’s mind and morale to the content of the sung melody. A good singer should be able to perfectly dress the idea and feeling that the composer has imprinted in the composition. In a way, he or she should make this idea his or her own, live it by giving it a body and transmit it to the listener. So it is with good musicians.

Certainly, one can sing just for fun, as a necessity or in order to feel better, but it is understandable that a deeper study of chant makes one aware of the phonatory apparatus (diaphragm, lungs, larynx, resonance cavity, etc.), and it allows for an active research in regards to the psychic, mental and latent capacities of man and woman in an overall sense.

The fact that chant, specifically melurgic chant, is capable of making us become aware of ourselves and use our voices in a harmonious and harmonic way, surely makes this art a powerful instrument for the formation of the individual as a whole, that is, physical and spiritual. “Melurgy”, from the Greek melos, melody or chant, and ergon, opus, means “the action of melody” or “the action of chant” and it indicates the action that a sacred melody, particularly one that is sung, has on man. 

The study of the voice mystery can lead to a profound knowledge of human nature and its relationship with the cosmos. Since ancient times holy chant has been one of the main means for the moral and spiritual education of man. In all traditions music and chant, associated with poetry, are found to be used to sing odes to the deity. Take the development of music in King David’s time in Israel (1 Chronicles 23:5; 25:1, 6, 7), or the use of musical instruments and of choir by the Greeks, of which Pythagoras was one of the founders. Even in early Christianity the gift of song among the Apostles and Disciples is known (Acts 16:23, 24), and of no less importance is the role of music as a liberal art in the Middle Ages.

The soul of man was conceived as a melody to be tuned to and harmonized with the melody of the universe, a reflection of a divine music or harmony. It is to this “tuning” of the soul that the chant in its melurgic-sacral sense, that is ascetic in the highest of meanings, can lead.



Music has always been an important form of human expression. Through music, it is possible to communicate our emotions, our thoughts and ideas in a way that is original, unique and, in some cases, really powerful. However, music can also be seen as a form of expression of the historical moment in which it is made.

As a matter of fact, each historical era has its own characteristic music which reflects the cultural, social and political influences of the time. Baroque music (see Antonio Vivaldi, Johann Sebastian Bach, Arcangelo Corelli), marked by great complexity and ornamentation, well reflects the taste for grandeur of the era. Even punk music, which made its peak in the 80’s, was used by artists as a means to represent unemployment, discrimination and social alienation, which were the themes characterizing the society of the time. 

Among artists, there are particularly sensitive ones who-–either developed or by nature—have a spiked receptivity towards that which is beyond what we commonly consider matter. These special individuals not only “talk” about their own historical time, but sometimes they can also anticipate what the music of the future will be.

This is the case of Dodecaphony, a musical technique elaborated by Arnold Schonberg in 1923, and anticipated by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart some 136 years earlier, in 1787. It reflects the desire for change—literary, artistic, political and social—in a world going through a period of great transformations, due in part to wars and technological discoveries.

It is a composition based on a series of twelve sounds that do not repeat until the whole series is terminated. With this technique, there are no more important or less important sounds: all have the same importance. The succession of sounds, lacking a catchy melody, turns out to be dissonant, leaving the listener with a sensation of growing tension. Mozart conceives and adopts this, among others, in one of his most famous operas, Don Giovanni.

A brief summary is needed. Don Giovanni, a young knight, seduces Donna Anna, a noblewoman. The Commendatore, Anna’s father, gets upset about this and challenges Don Giovanni to a duel, where he gets killed by the knight. Near the end of the opera, the Commendatore, in the form of a ghost statue, reappears to Don Giovanni, inviting him to dinner. Don Giovanni, proud as he is, accepts the invitation and shakes the statue’s hand. At this point he senses a deadly frost, and the Commendatore exhorts him to repent of his sins, but Don Giovanni refuses to do so and tries in vain to escape from his inevitable destiny: death.

Don Giovanni and the statue of the Commendatore, Alexandre-Évariste Fragonard

The Commendatore’s apparition in this last part is of symbolic value. He represents a messenger of the divine will, of the justice that awaits those who have sinned. In utilizing a new composition technique, Mozart manages to give shape to the transcendent, separating it from what is of earthly nature. What happens is that the succession of dissonant sounds gives life to the terror, the anguish, the fear the sinner goes through and lives face to face with death. Thanks to his peculiar artistic sensitivity, Mozart is gifted with inspiration and with it anticipates a whole new technique that will flourish only in 1923 with Schonberg, when new ways of musical expression are employed by composers in their search for liberty from traditional tonality and harmony.

But besides anticipating the future, is it possible that music could actually contain news on what is yet to come? Can music, with the wise use of its language, carry within a prophecy?