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coverpic flag US - New Mexico - Full Moon 238 - 01/24/16

Heather Trost
Ouroboros
Cimiotti Recordings/LM Dupli-cation

ouroboros
noun
- a circular symbol of a snake or dragon devouring its tail, standing for infinity or wholeness; also written uroboros or Ouroboros.
(dictionary.com)

'The ouroboros or uroboros [from Greek, meaning 'tail-devouring snake'] is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail. The ouroboros often symbolizes self-reflexivity or cyclicality, especially in the sense of something constantly re-creating itself, the eternal return, and other things such as the phoenix which operate in cycles that begin anew as soon as they end. It can also represent the idea of primordial unity related to something existing in or persisting from the beginning with such force or qualities it cannot be extinguished. While first emerging in Ancient Egypt and India, the ouroboros has been important in religious and mythological symbolism, but has also been frequently used in alchemical illustrations, where it symbolizes the circular nature of the alchemist's opus. It is also often associated with Gnosticism, Hermeticism and Hinduism.' (wikipedia.org)

coverpic Ouroboros is Heather Trost's debut cassette. Cellist/violinist/keyboardist/etc. Trost is known as one half of A Hawk and A Hacksaw (AHAAH, along with her spouse Jeremy Barnes). She was also a member of New Mexico combo FOMA, who's records came as a pleasant surprise some years ago. However, Ouroboros is something different, as it presents two tracks (side 1, side 2) being some 'thirty minutes of expansive keyboard meditations.' Ouroboros is a limited edition release of 25 (!) cassettes, Yes, and each tape has unique and unpredictable variations, making them one of a kind: artwork assembled by hand, all tapes are hand numbered. The tape begins with, to quote the label: 'the calm serenity of "Berkshires", rising to the intense summit of "Swieta Góra"...'. The Berkshires is a 'highland geologic region located in the western parts of Massachusetts and Connecticut ... the term "Berkshires" is normally used by locals in reference to the portion of the mountain range that lies within Massachusetts.' 'Swieta Góra' (which is Polish?) translates to 'Holy Mountain'. So, this leaves us up in the mountains, for a contemplative walk in the highlands guided by Heather Trost's calm musical motifs. Ouroboros is a relaxed listen, and I somehow come to think of another release by AHAAH's label Living Music Dupli-cation: Mountains of Tongues, released over a year ago. Well, of course that album was something completely different as it presented music from some other cultural tradition(s) and paths - the Caucasian music differs quite from the North-American, even though Trost and Barnes have been exploring 'World Music' (from where Europe meets Asia) though AHAAH. Anyway, mountains are somewhat similar, and the 'sound' of the mountains can be compared. Where the calmness of "Berkshires" gets (almost) too calm and slow-floating, the power and punch of the high-rising "Swieta Góra" is at times quite massive, with a highly creative and playful sound palette. Maybe Ouroboros could be the right soundtrack for a peaceful, lonely hike in the mountains even if it's quite an unconventional recording for such use.

'Carl Jung interpreted the ouroboros as having an archetypal significance to the human psyche. The Jungian psychologist Erich Neumann writes of it as a representation of the pre-ego "dawn state", depicting the undifferentiated infancy experience of both mankind and the individual child.' (Wikipedia)

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