The Littlest Magpie

Just another UMW Blogs weblog

Stephen Vitiello

April 5th, 2011

Stephen Vitiello is an American audio and video artist as well as a musician, often creating songs which he sells in CD form. He has collaborated with a number of different artists as well as had his own solo exhibitions and commissioned work. Location is an important part of his work – obviously because the acoustics of his chosen location or gallery can change/shape the form his audio work takes, but also because, as in the case of his World Trade Center piece where he recorded the noise of the building creaking under the winds of Hurricane Floyd, the location’s native noises are sometimes what form the audio aspect of his art. He has had/will have exhibitions at the High Line, NYC, Museum 52 in London, and the Stone in NYC.

His audio work is striking, the combination of sounds both jarring as he manipulates their volume, repetition,and basic sound structure as well as blends audio to make a cohesive whole. I do not recommend listening to Box Music late and alone at night; the quiet, discordant notes are extremely, fantastically creepy. The available track he has up on his website, Glass Marimba Frog Caller, has the simple but slightly foreboding inclusion of a music box playing against a background of an unidentifiable jittering noise (perhaps one of those wooden toy frogs with the playable bumps down the back?). Other works, like The Gorilla Variations, are much more soothing. His work is undeniably beautiful and often haunting. Vocalization is rarely used and, when it is, is often jumbled or otherwise made incomprehensible. The fact that the artist lives and works out of my home city is extra exciting.

Glass Marimba Frog Caller

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