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Ouroboros is a Greek word meaning “tail devourer”, and is one of the oldest mystical symbols of transformation, in the world. It can be perceived as a serpent enveloping itself, where the past (the tail) appears to disappear but really moves into an inner domain or reality, vanishing from view but still existing.
PRELUDE is the ouroboros of Heartswin, the former designation for Sar Friedman, the antecedent of Medicine Voice. It is a record that doubles as the final chapter of this mythological journey, ending at the beginning, the ancestral foundations of the 2016 Medicine Voice album I And Thou.
Says Sar: “Prelude is very much a catharsis.. it’s all come full circle…endings and beginnings.. endings as beginnings… sanctifying the cyclic nature of all things… it’s been important for me, on many levels, to properly release these songs … a gesture of completion, to honour the once-upon-a-time moments & people that so powerfully shaped the ‘heartswin-medicine voice’ mythos … to send my love and gratitude…. and also to set myself free again….”
We start in Seattle and an introduction from Oren Ambarchi leads Sar Friedman to the venerable Randall Dunn (Sunn O))), Boris), who produces three of the tracks on this EP. Surrounding Sar are an outstanding collection of players: Don McGreevy (Earth), Milky Burgess (Marissa Nadler, Master Musicians Of Bukkake) and Hans Teuber; a shared experience that triggered the earliest moments of metamorphosis into Medicine Voice.
We end in London, with the epic 18-minute work Tammuz, recorded a year earlier and here signalling the culmination of an eight-year life in the city. With contributions from Joe McKee (Snowman) and Olivia Chaney (Zero 7), Tammuz is a farewell, a shedding of skin, another ending precipitating a beginning.
PRELUDE is the ouroboros of heartswin: creation out of destruction, rebirth out of death. Prelude eats its own tail to sustain life, freeing the old to make way for the new.
Medicine Voice is Sar Friedman from Sydney.
Sar Friedman has been singing, recording and touring in various bands and experimental groups for over a decade – most notably serving time in Stephen McBean’s Pink Mountaintops, Leopard Leg, Melodie Nelson and known also for her solo work under the name of Heartswin.
1. 366 (2:25)
2. Roar (4:40)
3. Bombshell (4:07)
4. Tammuz (17:55)
Musicians: Sar Friedman, Don McGreevy, Milky Burgess, Hans Teuber
Produced by Randall Dunn
Recorded at Avast Studios, Seattle 2011
Musicians: Sar Friedman, J Milo Taylor, Serafina Steer, Olivia Chaney, Joe McKee, Cecil Cuthbertson
Produced by Sar Friedman and J Milo Taylor
Recorded at Suborg HQ, London 2010
Mastered by Joe Talia
Cover Painting by David Asher Brook