It's taken me several (Hell, many, many) passes of Aaron Lennox's ?Heliopause 03? to get a handle on it; it's extremely subtle. Its understatement lends itself to both elegance and eloquence, and there's a bit of a confusing clash between the artwork and the physical phenomenon which sparked the recording.
The heliopause is the boundary where the solar winds are stopped by the gas and dust, or interstellar medium, which pervade interstellar space. It's the beginning of the end of our sun's influence, marking the outer reaches of our solar system.
The cover art depicts this but adjoins the science with alchemically-inspired graphics (anthropormorphized sun) placed on a concentric, outward-moving grid and met with and illuminated triangle; what, on the one hand, you must assume is the aforementioned interstellar medium, but is also suggestive of the Eye in a Triangle (although there's no explicit eye depicted here). Then, upon opening the jewel case, you are met with the Eye in the Triangle surrounded by Zodiac symbology, under which reads, ?'Heliopause03' is inspired by the naturally occurring VLF radio waves created by the sun and its interaction with the magnetosphere of the planets in our solar system...The instruments used to create this work include an array of acoustic and electric guitars, piano, prepared instrumentation and field recordings.'? Rather perplexing.
All this before you even pop the disc into the player. Then there's the whole question of the '03' at the end of the main part of the title. Is it serialization of some sort? The question, like the apparent contradiction between the basis of the work and the representative artwork, continues to be unanswerable.
All that said, the music is sublime.
So what is this? Electro-acoustic komische drone? That would fit, on a cursory listen, but upon close listening there are far too many brazen changes happening in the fabric of the sounds to consider it strictly as drone. It's almost as if Lennox is taking us through a gallery, revealing vignettes of sound, little synaesthetic plays that dazzle our senses, harnessing the narcotic glaze and natural hallucinatory elan of the universe, ofttimes rendering one paralyzed by the mesmerizing manipulation of sound by Lennox, who seems to be hitting full stride on this release. It could be a metaphor for some psychic shift. I don't know and won't speculate on such things. But the sounds are riveting, because, while you can sit around and ruminate on the rather confusing duality created by the source inspiration for the recording and the quasi-mystical artwork which accompanies the sound, it's the former which stands as the most impressive feature of the package, as well it should be. Lennox did get that right. 8/10 -- P. Somniferum (28 November, 2007)