Original work by Stephen Vitiello

One string left and a head for the sea

This is an extract. The full piece is 25'32".

The piece opens with the mise en scène (diegetic) sound of a room and the furniture within it.

Memory, attachment, meaning and its very personal signifiers are evoked as the artist bows, plucks and holds his late mother’s almost stringless dulcimer, one of the few objects he took from her home after she passed. Meanwhile the remaining string defies categorisation with its rich, varied and almost digital sound, looped and worked to sculpt the mountain scenery from whence the instrument originates. Improvising repetitious and echoing phrases serve as a ritual through which to process the loss felt after the richness of a loving exchange has ended. At the same time, digital processing creates a means to sculpt the work's form and echo the living aspect of that exchange that continues. The bounce of the dulcimer and the digital looping conjure the spirit of return, while the conjuring itself becomes a process for emotion.

As indicated by the name, the melody implies a lyrical layer to the track which is left open to the listener, and takes inspiration from the shape of the carved Appalachian instrument itself.

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