Rusty Crutcher

Serpent Mound

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Serpent Mound is the fifth of Rusty Crutcher's "Sacred Sites" series. The title's 1,300 foot-long Native American animal effigy mound is located in Adams County, Ohio. Lakota flute, rattles, ocarina, percussion, and field recordings give color and texture to the warm, cavernous, and mystical atmospheres created by Crutcher's synthesizers. The evocative chanting by Jiccarilla Apache Matthew Andrae reminds us that though the location is mystical, it was made that way by man. The great serpent comes alive with the undulating percussion and breathy vocalizations of "Fertility." One mysterious piece is "Shedding Skin," a heady and sensuous bellydance performed to sonic shivers of the Northern Lights. The closing "Breath of Night" layers crickets and serpent breaths, while bass and tenor voices circle each other serenely; all are embraced by a dome of resonant sound. The vibratory effect of the crickets and the warmth of the drone reminds one of the life-wave of vertebrae, the pull of tissue, and the length of the serpent's sound. Kevin Zoernig contributed additional piano and keyboards.

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