Ouroboros has been intricately connected from the beginning to the occult, so much so in fact that it is difficult, if not impossible, to think of one without the other. Marco Grosso, the person behind Ouroboros, with the opportunity of his newest release, “Lux Arcana”, makes clearer in this interview his goal and intentions with his project, and kindly provides the readers with some intriguing information about his fountains of inspiration, his occult practices and the practical and more spiritual way they are reflected in his work. Makes for quite an interesting read, so enjoy!!
Heathen Harvest: Tell us a bit about how the idea of the Ouroboros project was formed in your mind, how it began and what your activities have been with it from 2004 to the present (releases, unreleased material as well as any kind of other activities)?
The project officially started in 2004, but the general idea was developed in 2003; In the meantime I have tried to focalize the way to combine esoteric elements with the music; I have tried to combine Latin with music and Subliminal Sounds, and it was the right path. The first step, “Solve et coagula”, is a good start, a little raw, and I think that was an important step for someone to begin. I think it is not my best work, but not bad at all. “Nigredo” is very important work and actually I think that my best tracks ever written are into that CD, a great work that involved me in technical and musical progressions. “Lunarya Fisica” is a pretty interlude and a gift for my fans; I have tried to combine Dark Ambient with elements taken by Space Music of Tangerine Dream
and Popol Vuh
“Lux Arcana” is a mature work and the musical idea and esoteric elements are well combined, the tracks are all connected and the general concept draws an esoteric path. I think it will be a good “door to another dimension”, for the first time all the listeners can enter the etheric plane directly with my music. Many tracks are just recorded for the new album, and some unedited tracks and remixes are boxed in my archive through these years; I hope to release a CD containing all these tracks in the future. My musical activities involve many projects, such as Dust Eater
, Mind Infinity
, Apotheke, Mannequin and Alhamabra, and I write texts and music for many bands, so I’m always writing music.
HH: Does the word “Ouroboros” have a personal significance to you? Why did you choose it as a name for your project?
The concept of circle that Ouroboros represents is inherent in my music, where in some passages some sounds, loops or mantras are played and inserted in a cyclical way, so that to suggest him, even mixed with other sounds in order to conceptually recreate (at least this it is the intention) the Ouroboros. Every release represents an evolutionary step toward a great elevation, to utilize some energy to a superior plan, for then one day to close a cycle and to reopen another one to a thinner level. Phonetically Ouroboros sounds good also, so it’s a perfect path for my music.
HH: Which records companies have you worked with so far? How did the collaboration with Sabbathid Records occur, it being mostly a black metal company and situated in Japan, and are you happy with the result of the collaboration?
After years of self recorded CDs, which was useful as a maturing experience, I have finally been contacted by Sabbathid Records in 2006, which has believed in my project, and has allowed me to publish the “Lux Arcana” CD in 500 printed copies. I thank Kohey for the collaboration, and I can say with satisfaction that if he will give me other opportunities, I will continue with his label.
HH: Have you done any live performances, and if so where and when? Do you intend to do any in the future?
No, Ouroboros will always stay a project of study, it would be impossible to reproduce live the structure and the esoteric impact of the pieces. Besides, we would need a stage equipped with a stage setting that would be expensive and bulky, so Ouroboros will be expressed only on CD.
HH: What is the process you usually go through to make music? How does the inspiration occur for a song, is it the concept first and then the music, or vice versa?
The inspiration can arise from a thousand things; a sound, an image, a thought, a film, a concept, a geometrical form or from the reading of a text. This stimulus in front of a keyboard changes itself later to an atmosphere, then to a series of sounds, until it becomes a complete track, made of subsequent arrangements, recordings that will become concrete. Sometimes the concept is born first and then the music, sometimes the music and then the concept, but the result is the same: Ouroboros makes another step to the path.
HH: “Lux Arcana” denotes a musical evolution from the two previous albums, “Solve Et Coagula” and “Nigredo”. Your dark ambient soundscapes are more concise, and there is a more intense orchestral element in the music. Do you see yourself following a specific musical direction in the future?
Yes and no; for Ouroboros the sense of experimentation is important, so I try to insert different and always new sounds, new musicians that insert new elements, so every release is different from the previous one, but I’m conscious that the musical style of Ouroboros is gathered in a specific genre, so I can’t escape the general mood of dark ambient, but I try to be original and not a clone that copies others.
HH: Is “Lux Arcana” a concept album? Inform the readers a little about the concepts behind each song, of their titles and lyrical content. Is a particular song from the album more significant to you, and if so why?
Lux Arcana is as a distant and almost invisible light in means of an imminent storm, following it won't get you lost in the rain and in the dark that disorientates and frightens. Every song is a step from the dark to the light, the listener from the initial void of darkness will reach for the spiritual light, making a path that can start a personal evolution from “raw and material” to “thin and spiritual”, not the definitive illumination or the Truth Revelation, but a step to the consciousness of Himself. More important is the track “Vox Interior”; there exists in the song a particular vocal mantra that is really recorded during a magic rite.
HH: At some point you released the Lunarya Fisica EP, in 33 copies. Are there any plans for a re-release of that EP in the future?
No, it will remain a little gift for the “die hard” fans of mine, and if someone wants it, about 10 copies are still available at my address.
HH: Apart from the occult, what are your artistic influences?
The artists that influence me are many; for example Dead Can Dance
, Pink Floyd
, Gregorian Chants, 80’s music, classical music, and some Italian musicians like Franco Battiato
and Paul Chain
. Also artistic works from Leonardo Da Vinci
, De Chirico
paintings or Renaissance art are most important in my musical creations, and don’t forget I’m a journalist and writer, so all the cultural readings are involved in the process of creation.
HH: Tell the readers a bit about your occult pursuits, how did you first realize it was your path, and which traditions do you follow?
After 12 years of age I have begun to ask myself the “why” of certain things, also in connection to strange phenomena that have happened to me and that then I didn't succeed in explaining to myself...I began to read, to study, since then I have met many people that have initiated me to certain hidden hermetic principles.From there I have transformed my way to see and to interpret life and the conception of the divine, always with the wish to never stop researching and experimenting. I have studied with Rosicrucian
masters and pagan occultists, I have participated in many magical rites of some magic traditions, but I am a free man with a free choice, so I study all the magic paths, because all of them contain the truth, in a little piece for everyone.
HH: Italy is a deeply religious country, Catholicism being an important part of its general mentality and culture. To what extent and in what ways has it influenced you musically, and more generally perhaps? Does it become an obstacle in your occupations to live in such a religious country?
Catholicism as we know it today, is a poor imitation of the original message of Christ, it’s a corrupted institution that wants to rule the life of people, and in Italy can control many people that are blind on the real intents: control over them and possession of power and money. In my music and in my life is not present any influence, but I like some of the Sacred Art created over the centuries….the real message of Christ is in the Gnosis texts. I’m not a Satanist, but I hate Catholicism like the other religions, all religions are a control on man, God and Man speaks without any human intermediate, direct connection between Human and Spiritual is a personal and unique path that everyone must be walking without any external control. I haven’t any obstacle in my occupation, but many people are thrilled by these subjects, so only through conferences that I do I am able to speak about them to really interested people.
HH: You mention in your Myspace profile that the goal of Ouroboros is “to realize through music, the path of Great Opera of Alchemy, in the research for the Philosophical Stone”. How did you decide in the course of your magickal path, that music was the means to achieve that goal?
In magic traditions “sound” is a very important vehicle for realizing and concretizing effects and transformations: you can see this with Gregorian Chants effects on persons, the power of mantra’s vibrations, and in the Bible you read that God created the universe and the Earth with sound; In pagan rites the invocations to the spirits are done with a particulars recall, so for me the music and magic path are the same way to realize the Opera.
HH: In what ways has music helped you advance magically, and how do you intend to use it in the future?
A great help is about the concrete effects that I can achieve on myself and on the listener of my tracks: I have inserted subliminal sounds and mantras that can induce the most sensitive listener to enter a state of active meditative trance; It is as having recorded a meditation that can introduce the mind and the spirit to a trip into thin planes; Naturally the effects and levels of such a trip are subjective to the spiritual evolution reached by the individual.
HH: Do you use any other forms of art to achieve that goal – painting, writing, etc?
Yes; writing books or articles, studying esoteric texts, practicing meditation, Reiki, magic rites, learning to divinate, learning to contact spirits, and sometimes paintings or photographs.
HH: What is your relation to the Tarot, which decks do you normally use and what kind of spreads? Do you have a Tarot card you think represents you, and why?
My relation is about Tarot esoteric and hermetic study, conferences about it and a divinatory use; I normally use the Marseil Deck or a special deck with Chakra compendium, that I use with the Oswald Wirth spreads. There are three cards that represent me, the cards about my Past, my Present and my Future: The Magician and two times Justice….there’s an explanation, but I will let the readers search for it….
HH: Do you have any definite plans for the future?
The future is always uncertain, so I try to live my life in the best way, searching for more knowledge and harmony, doing the things that make my happy, and trying also to do everything in the best way.
HH: And finally, would you like to leave a message for the Heathen Harvest readers?
Thanks to you, first of all, and thanks to all that have read this, and buy my CD, it will start a voyage into a new spiritual dimension…