Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
Jarguna & Chris Russell — Transmissions from Serpent Mound
(Projekt no#, 2022, DL)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2022-05-24
Serpent Mound is one of the great mysteries of prehistoric America, located in southern Ohio near Peebles. While its only a few feet tall at its highest, It’s width is around twenty to twenty five feet, and its length is an amazing 1,375 feet, snaking along next to the Ohio Brush Creek. Radio carbon dating shows that the mound is likely over two thousand years old, probably created by the Adena Culture who lived in this area between 800 BC and 100 AD, though the mound’s purpose is ultimately unknown, possibly for burial, left by a long lost civilization with no written records; a debate about its purpose and origins is ongoing between archaeologists. As a source of inspiration for a musical endeavor, the mysteries of the Serpent Mound seem custom made for a collaboration between Italy’s Jarguna (Marco Billi) and American ambient composer Chris Russell, both of whom we have covered numerous times in Exposé. The six pieces herein present dreamy visions of the ancient forms, seemingly culling knowledge from those lost prehistoric cultures and applying it to the compositions and arrangements. Each piece presents drifty atmospherics and muted melodic colorations to sonic textures that are at once stirring and beautiful. “Mound Builder” opens the set with a powerful and slowly evolving percussive underpinning, with soft, droning atmospheres that together capture a vision of the mound’s prehistoric origins. “Allegewi” refers to ancient cave-dwelling cryptids that inhabited the Allegheny mountains. The mystical swirls of droning electronics meet with dreamlike textural elements evoking a sense of calm and quiet meditation. With “Starlight Stream,” a mixture of mysterious droning subsonics, heavenly melodies, and electronic punctuations mix together in enigmatic secrecy. The closer is the 25-minute “Adena,” with its obscured mysticism followed by engaging sonic artifacts as it evolves slowly over its extended duration, even incorporating some subtle spoken elements. For listeners who can appreciate these slowly evolving dreamlike structures and moody ambient textures communing with ancient energies, Transmissions from Serpent Mound is the Rx.
Filed under: New releases, 2022 releases
Related artist(s): Chris Russell, Jarguna (Marco Billi)
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