Upon hearing Anima Mundi, several things might come to mind depending on the level of attunement with it is possessed at that moment. If one is thinking of the technical side of craft of music making itself, the origin of the different artifacts and tropes within the structures of organised sound will come to mind. On the emotional and psychological sides of the experience, this is the kind of music that must needs be voluntarily sought, not rationally but in an opening of the senses to it. Such a description may sounds sketchy and vague. What it entails is a mental working through the two basic dimensions of music: the horizontal and vertical, the momentary whole and the narrative development. It will need several trials, especially for those unaccustomed to letting go, but Anima Mundi will reveal a very interesting path in and out.
The title that Hoarfroast has chosen for this album is indicative of the nature of a music that asks for the correct method of experience in a connection with what some would call our primitive self. But there is no such thing as a primitive side, but the metaphor itself is useful and has a certain meaning. In truth, where we come from, that is, our past, and what we are now, simply constitute our whole at this present moment. Hence, in answering the call of the soul of the world and the hidden part of ourselves, which answers to the motions of the spheres more than we would like to admit, we are engaging in some retrograde motion or ritual but rather understanding a different aspect of our nature through our relation to Nature.
A prominent element in Hoarfrost’s Anima Mundi is the female voice that haunts the mind and chills the ear, sending a cold finger sliding down the back of our spines. The noise structures produced through programming sometimes remind of a more varied and elaborate take on the compelling work of Endvra in Black Eden. Hoarfrost demonstrates a patience shared by that dark ambient, but it also provides an incredible amount of variety masterfully fused into their overarching concept. It therefore boasts of the strengths of both worlds, the deep ambient rooted in repetition and the classical-like experimentation of sounds. Hoarfroast’s greatest triumph in Anima Mundi is its successful channeling of all these into one great purpose that extends far beyond the conceptual and that is shown in the direction of the manifold aspects of its music. From her soft whispers to its terrifying and painful screech in ‘Mimesis’, from the cello that smells of tree wounds and tastes of bark to the chiming which alludes to the music of the spheres and the flow of what some call living energy. These are not, like in most other places, to be taken as enticing distractions, but as meaningful and completely functional parts of a flowing and evolving idea.
Anima Mundi appears non-threatening yet hides danger, however unbeknownst it may be to its own creator. To that, only it can and will answer to inner questioning. Such a work will be “enjoyed” by some, entirely ungraspable to the majority, perceived by those who happen to be in tune with its particular intention through unconscious realisation, understood by a few, but travelled through in full awareness by only a handful. This writing has not the intention of deterring the listener, but of signaling what have now become unconventional ways to those who would brave lonely mountains and old forests both within and without. To venture down the path guided by Hoarfrost is to walk under the moon.