Dan Serbanescu on the latest releases by Alone in The Hollow Garden and Temple of Clear Light, the new Age of Aquarius, archetypal shadows, geometric design concept and more.
Alone in The Hollow Garden has released three releases on the same day, the 5th of February of 2023, was there a specific aim behind that?
To be more specific, we’re talking about two A.I.T.H.G. releases and one Temple Of Clear Light release. While A.I.T.H.G. is more ritualistic and uses a lot of acoustic instruments, T.O.C.L. is more like an occult/esoteric electronic side manifestation.
Two of the albums were supposed to be released on the 21st of December 2022 at winter solstice, but for various reasons, I postponed the date.
There is no specific aim behind this triple launch, I just constantly experiment in the realm of sound and magic and I enjoy releasing my materials regardless of any marketing rules. Maybe three albums released at once may seem too much but I don’t care. I always trust the spontaneous creative expression and how I feel in the moment.
How did Alone in The Hollow Garden manage to compose the three releases to release them at the same time?
They are not composed at the same time. Chthonian Gateways was finished somewhere in October, followed by some months when I approached the tenor saxophone and searched for a unique way to adapt its sound and include it in the ritualistic realm, so “Void Transmissions” was born, being maybe one of the most simple, flowing and minimalistic A.I.T.H.G. works.
After that, Temple Of Clear Light’s Eosphoros was channelled and recorded in only one month, this January. I can’t stick to only one type of sound so I constantly express myself in any way I find supporting the energy cycle I find myself in.
With each album holding a different concept, music and aim, how did Alone in The Hollow Garden keep that intact and in place while working on the three of them?
You might say that every album has a different concept, but there is one thing that unites all, the desire to know oneself on a deeper level. Every album is a marker in my evolution and always correlates with my spiritual path & archetypal universe, in which I gathered elements from very different cultures that I resonate with at a deeper level.
Like in music, I’m not made to follow only one path as there is no such thing as one truth, everything in this realm being a matter of individual experience.
In what ways do these three releases differ from any previous albums written by Alone in The Hollow Garden?
Each album is a landmark on my journey and I cannot respond logically and tangibly on this matter. They all differ as they were created in different timelines and as I’m constantly changing and evolving.
What is behind the name and artwork of the Eosphoros album?
The Greek Eosphoros defines the planet Venus as the Morning Star, associated with Lucifer, the Light Bringer. So both the music and artwork are Luciferian allegories, symbols of self-illumination, gnosis, inner power and transformation.
Some of the song titles featured on the album are also variations of Lucifer in different languages like Hêlēl in Hebrew, or Iblis in Arabic. On a graphic level, all my artworks are sigils meant to embody the different energies I work with.
“Channelling the Black Flame of Gnosis through six surprising and illuminating sonic manifestations” is a statement that describes the Eosphoros album, how do you see that coming into place through the album’s music?
Most of my music is a form of meditation or ritual offering. It’s not something that can be explained at a mental level, it’s a reflection of my inner state or a specific magickal act expressed through sound and vibration.
Void Transmissions MMXXIII
How does the sound of Void Transmissions MMXXIII represent itself in the album’s artwork?
The linocut engraving I made for Void Transmissions MMXXIII is a depiction of an ethereal entity channelled from the void. At least this is how it appeared to me. The process of creating artwork for my albums is very instinctual and spontaneous but at the same time, they are visual reflections of the music and conceptual themes. They always work together in creating a ritual space.
What is the significance behind naming Void Transmissions MMXXIII album tracks as Aether, Khaos and Erebos?
In Greek mythology, Aether, Khaos and Erebos were the three “Airs”. Aether is the primordial god of light, the blue ether of the heavens. Aether’s mist filled the space between the dome of the sky (Ouranos) and the earthly air. Khaos was the mist that enveloped the mortal, earthly realm, while Erebos (the God of Darkness) was the lower air, filling the dark places under the earth and the realms of the dead.
The musical journey on this album is carried through breath, sound and vibration; how do you see that coming together on Void Transmissions MMXXIII? And in which ways are these directions related to the song names?
As the theme of the album is referring to the three airs, I chose a wind instrument as a centrepiece for the musical structures created. So the connection is obvious and intentional. It may seem very unusual to use a tenor saxophone in ritual ambient music but I think I succeeded to achieve an interesting approach this way.
The Chthonian Gateways album is diving into the archetypal shadows and how they are recognized through personal experiences; how does that reflect on the album’s artwork and sound?
In the last few years, I think we all have lived with depression and we all got to visit and know many dark places inside us. So almost daily, our mission is to visit our shadow side, acknowledge it, extract our lessons and transmute it into something useful for our paths.
Katabasis is a main theme in all mythologies and if we dive deep into the subject we can recognize a lot of ancient archetypal patterns in ourselves. Creating music and art is my highest form of alchemy and magick and is always linked to my personal experiences or the stages I find myself in.
The symbolism on the Chthonian Gateways cover art is quite interesting; can you walk us through the symbolism and the meaning behind it?
The artwork is a visual metaphor of the underworld visitation pointed at with a few key elements that can be identified and correlated. Maybe a visual equivalent to V.I.T.R.I.O.L…
To be honest, I prefer not to talk too much about the symbols I use in my artworks, as most of the time they have power as personal sigils. And I also like to leave the freedom of interpretation for the people that are immersed in the space opened by my music and vision.
What is the secret behind naming the album’s last track 23 Gateways ov Completion knowing that the album’s name is an embodiment of the underground gateways?
23 Gateways ov Completion was initially featured on the Dark Ambient vol. 23 compilation released in 2022 by Sombre Soniks. There were 23 artists involved and the label asked us to include the number 23 in the title. This number is closely related to Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth and the ideology behind it.
The sacred number 23 is a gateway between the day-to-day consensus reality and the realm of possibility for those ready to know themselves at a deeper level, embrace their true Will, expand their consciousness and awareness, empower themselves and forge their reality.
Geometry and mirroring are witnessed intensively overall on Alone in The Hollow Garden cover art designs, where is all of that coming from?
I’m a graphic artist at the core and as far as I know myself I was fascinated by the ancient art of Egypt, Sumeria, India, Tibet and Greece and also by the mysteries of deeply occult, esoteric or alchemic art.
Sacred geometry, numerology, Kabbalah, and Tarot are interconnected and I was always interested to study symbols, sigils, shapes, symmetry, and numbers, so I have drawn a lot of inspiration from these magickal domains.
Up Close & Personal
Looking back at the work Alone in The Hollow Garden put in writing those three albums and how different and evolved they are; how does that personally reflect on you?
There is a new energy at the dawn of this new Age of Aquarius, a lot of information that I, like many other human beings, don’t know how to process, because I don’t know it yet. We face a very fast evolutionary sequence in these times on Earth and all known structures will slowly collapse, making space for the uncertainty of the future to arise.
Eventually, I try to process this unknown energy through my creative force and make things meaningful for me and my evolution. Maybe receiving this unprecedented flow of information gave birth to three albums so different from each other in such a short time, but it’s my way of processing the current energetic climate.
Thanks for the invitation for doing this interview. Hope the Unsafe but Sound readers will enjoy it as I did.