Stephen Vitiello: processed/edited location recordings

A limited edition of 250 vinyl copies – the folks at Farpoint threaten “no plans for reissues” – hosts 30 minutes of often spellbinding soundscapes founded on sources captured by Stephen Vitiello in Ireland and Wyoming, the final edit of the 4-track master (originally conceived for an installation titled Just Listen) presented to us in a stereo mix. Each side reveals a well-defined nature in the overall balance of moods. In the first, the most prominent effects are attributable to the melodies arising from seamed particles of tolling bells (in the title track) and what sounds like recalibrated music boxes in a piece called “GlassMarimbaFrog Caller”. Those suggestions are interspersed with male voices speaking quietly, water, birds and other rural (or less) appurtenances to create a somewhat heartwarming ambience. The second half is less outlined in terms of timbral exactitude – though we do know that a “semi-tuned piano” taped in a log cabin is the sonic root of “Shake” – generating at various times a relieving numbness which, at some juncture, prompted an otherwise unlikely association with the soothing lysergic fumes of certain tranceful productions from Germany during the 70s. In the appropriate frame of mind, vague coincidences with private remembrances might also materialize unexpectedly. Vitiello’s inclination to enhance the implications of daily accents and a welcome lack of acoustic sensationalism explicate our will of reiterating the experience.

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