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The Clear Distance (CD)

Bill Seaman, Stephen Vitiello - The Clear Distance (CD)
The first collaboration recorded on CD between the two American artists and musicians, based on a process of reciprocal sending of electronic and acoustic sound sources, reworked successively by each and then together, gives rise to a series of delicately crafted and wonderfully evocative atmospheric pieces.
"I got a note from Stephen. As the consummate archiver he had inherited a tape of an interview with me in 1985 done with Kevin Concannon, in particular about my music production. He points out that in it I mention 'a device called a digital delay' that I had been exploring. A Deltalab Effectron II Digital Delay, which let you make little short 1 second loops and manually inject other sounds among other things—nice kind of kluge aesthetic. We knew each other through Electronic Arts Intermix where Stephen worked for some time. I had started out as a Video Artist exploring Image/Music /text relations. I had liked Stephen's work in the past with Molly Berg called 'Between You and the Shapes You Take.' I also enjoyed 'Captiva' with Taylor Deupree.. More recently I had started a collaboration with Michael Grigoni (who lives here in Durham, NC) that was put on pause due to his course schedule. Stephen sent me his lovely album with Grigoni—'Slow Machines.' So I wrote Stephen a note and asked 'Would love to collaborate with you if you ever feel like it!' and he responded 'Sure, I'd be happy to work on something together. Let me know what you're thinking - or when something feels like a time and idea to start. I can generate some material and send it your way, or just as happy if you want to send me something.' He sent me some things.
I had just completed working with a very good recording engineer on some new piano recordings, which I edited into short sample libraries, which I in turn sent to him. I often use these to build up my tracks in a very physical manner in Ableton live, often exploring chance relations and juxtapositions, then choosing what I feel 'works'. Later I sent him some other things—DX7 and analogue synth.
We started working on both our own linear tracks with the materials and others, and also exploring the re-arrangement of each other's work samples juxtaposed with some other parts of the library of materials. Stephen also began to include some found sound that was quite lovely. I was hoping he might convince Molly Berg to contribute—I really love her sound.
Stephen sent me acoustic guitar, some ebow which I love, and some experimental abstraction of guitar. Later he sent some tracks with Molly on them. We both went at the material and did a series of back and forths. Stephen arranged some of my Piano samples into a lovely repetitive long work which is the center of our digital release. I went back in and further arranged the arrangement and added some new layers. Stephen added Banjo in one case to the album material…in any event we seemed to find a good method of sending, experimenting and responding to each other—then moving forward with the best of those digital volleys."
Bill Seaman
Bill Seaman (born 1956 in Kennet, Missouri) is an Amercian media artist, musician and composer. Seaman's artworks often investigate a media-oriented poetics through various technological means. Such works often explore the combination and recombination of media elements and processes in interactive and generative works of art. Seaman enfolds image/music/text relations in these works, often creating all of the media elements and articulating the operative media-processes involved. He is self-taught as a musician/composer.
Electronic musician, visual and sound artist, Stephen Vitiello (born 1964 in New York City) has collaborated with numerous artists, musicians and choreographers, including Pauline Oliveros, Tony Oursler, Constance De Jong, Nam June Paik, Julie Mehretu, Eder Santos, Scanner aka Robin Rimbaud, Andrew Deutsch, Yasunao Tone, Tetsu Inoue, Steve Roden, Machinefabriek, Lawrence English, Taylor Deupree, Chihei Hatakeyama, Frances-Marie Uitti, Dara Birnbaum, Jem Cohen, Joan Jonas, etc.
Mastered by Lawrence English at Negative Space.
published in April 2023
in stock
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