"Corona di Cervo"
New EP by Ox en Mayo Alto
Ox en Mayo Alto are back. They have just released the first single from their EP "Corona di Cervo", which will be out on April 22nd. The first track provides deep insights taking their fans' curiosity for the complete work to the extreme.
"Corona di Cervo" again tells a coherent story that emerges when you listen to the total of five songs in one piece. This is how we know and love the sound collective. The tracks are called:
- Árnica, bálsamo de los ojos.
- el sorbo de la fuente con el dado de estrel....
- brañas del bosque, desniveladas, orquídeas ...
- lo crudo, más tarde, durante el viaje.
- humedad, bastante...
- Arnica, eyebright, the...
- draft from the well with the star dice on top....
- forest sward, unleveled, orchis and orchis, singly,....
- raw exchanges, later, while driving, clearly....
- Humidity, much...
Does this trigger your curiosity? If yes: it is definitely worth it. I have already listened to the songs in their entirety, and I have to say: I am fascinated by the precision with which Ox en Mayo Alto deliver here – while at the same time telling another story that seems like something out of a fairy tale dream. You can already enjoy the opera's overture via Bandcamp.
Ox en Mayo Alto – "Corona di Cervo"
The names of the songs are based on the poem "Todtnauberg" by the Jewish-Romanian poet Paul Celan. He wrote it after visiting Martin Heidegger after the end of the Second World War. Ox en Mayo Alto used the Spanish translations by Felix Luque and Enrique Foffani for their setting.
A modern post-rock narrative with a history
The band turned the poem into a post-rock narrative and transposed it into our modern times. The elements from nature, which were also part of Ox en Mayo Alto's predecessors, are also an essential part of the picture again. Just like in Clan's poem:
"Todtnauberg" by Paul Celan
Arnica, eyebright, the draft from the well with the star dice on top,
in the cabin,
written in the book —whose name did it record before mine?—, in this book the line about a hope, today, for a thinker's word to come, in the heart,
forest sward, unleveled, orchis and orchis, singly,
raw exchanges, later, while driving, clearly,
he who drives us, the human, he also hears it,
the half- trod log- trails on the high moor,
The complete voice-over, which you will probably notice right away, comes from fragments from films by the Soviet director Andréi Tarkovsky ("Mirror, Stalker" and "Sacrifice"). All elements OEMA picked are about shaping time within a dead world.
The album cover is an interpretation of the romantic oil painting "Alpheus and Arethusa", created by the British painter John Martin (1789-1854).
A new chapter Ox en Mayo Alto
Ox en Mayo Alto recorded their EP in November 2021 at Islandia Estudio and Fusis Estudio in Córdoba, Argentina. Manuel Collado and Sebastián Palacios took care of the recording technology. Manuel Collado was responsible for the co-production, mixing and mastering.
I am delighted that Ox en Mayo Alto gifted "Corona di Cervo" to me – or made it available for me for listening to it upfront. I feel honoured to participate in the musical development of this wonderful project. After "Los famosos días de la fiebre" and "Mot, the Valuator, Incredible God" the Argentinians opened a new chapter with this record. Maybe it also tells how they – and all of us – dealt with (or should I say "are dealing with") the worldwide pandemic.
Nevertheless, the five pieces do not join the long list of "lockdown escapades" that have become some kind of o trend at some point. Ox en Mayo Alto also looked into the small details as we know them. I think they even did this more intense than with their previous records.
I wouldn't say it's because when I first dived into their first two music stories, I consumed them along with the visual parts like the accompanying videos, while this time, I was deliberately focusing on the music. This special kind of intensity resonates in every bar and somehow pulls me into a spell of thoughts and feelings set to music.
It continues mystically
The fact that this time, there is no visual material apart from the album cover, neither moving nor static, is indeed no coincidence. I would say that we should definitely remain attentive and not lose sight of Ox en Mayo Alto. I am pretty sure they will have one or two surprises in store for their fans again soon.
Thematically, by the way, the EP has nothing to do with COVID. It is about a legendary golden deer. The French philosopher and author Jean Chevalier (1906-1993) described it as follows:
"The golden deer is found in Cambodian legends. The solar character of the animal appears here, unlike other representations, in its malefic aspect. As often happens, the solar animal is related to drought; it is convenient to obtain rain to kill the deer, and this is the purpose of the trot dance so popular in the Angkor region. In addition, in other regions, the penetration of the deer in a village announces fire. The same idea of evil deer and bringer of drought is known in ancient China. Interestingly, Origen makes the deer "the enemy and the serpent catcher" (i.e., the enemy of evil, expressly the symbol of Christ). Still, the serpent is an animal of earth and water, to which the animal of heaven and fire is opposed. The deer is like the eagle, a snake-eater, an eminently favourable but bipolar sign, since it destroys with fire, and drought suffocates everything that lives on the water."
If you are attentive followers of Ox en Mayo Alto's discography, you are already familiar with mystical animals like deer, oxen, and foxes. And also, once again, the human emotional world plays a leading role. Fear and hope, worry and euphoria are always present and run like a thread through the third chapter of Ox en Mayo Alto.