It was in a dream that Johannes d’Hoine had emerged from the winter of suspended animation. Horror Vacui, his last record, had marked a nadir: in trying to whittle the musical gesture to its core, he’d inadvertently tapped into some ungodly frequency, reduced to a shadow of a man by the bleakness of his compositions. And the world had followed suit, as though his imagination had unleashed catastrophe onto the air waves, a self-fulfilling prophecy on a global scale. Had his music infected others, or was the plague merely a mirror to his own deleterious tendencies?
After the fall, the double bass had remained a consolation, seeming to speak to the low-pitched times. But, by some curious operation, every time that he took to it, beautiful melodies would slip between his fingers, asserting themselves despite him. In the dream, the quag of thoughts that had been clouding his mind now crystallised. A lit door, d’Hoine walking towards it. No need for Freud: d’Hoine had conjured the dream to resolve the problem. And so the composer began to shy away from the darkness he had previously sought and started looking towards the light.
Sol Invictus was to be his own fiat lux, an invocation of the lighter regions of his mind. It was time to cast off the short days, to invite beauty and organic matter into his music. And so he conjured the elements: first wind, which needs air and breath to resonate. Hanne De Backer took to visiting under cover of night, saxophone secreted under her coat. Then Berlinde Deman, with her rare Renaissance serpent. For the record, the trinity united at Vooruit, joined by artist Stijn Grupping, who had devised a light installation that responded to sound. I saw them that spring. I saw rays dance a ritual over the room. And out of darkness, Jon Doe becoming One with light.
released November 4, 2021
Composed, Recorded and Edited by Hannes d'Hoine
Mixed by Hannes d'Hoine (with a little help from Yves De Mey)
Serpent by Berlinde Deman
Bass Clarinet and Baritone Saxophone by Hanne De Backer
Mastered by Uwe Teichert
Text by Clodagh Kinsella
Released by ESC.REC