Stephen Vitiello is an electronic musician and media artist. CD releases have been published by New Albion Records, Sub Rosa, 12k and Room 40.
As a sound artist, I am particularly interested in field recording. This part of my practice began in 1999 when I had a residency on the 91st floor of the World Trade Center (part of the WorldViews program). I recorded the sound outside the building but also of the building itself. After the World Trade Center residency, my interest in field recording started to take me beyond New York, out to open spaces all over the world.
For the last 3 years, I have been going back and forth to Mountain Lake Biological Station (MLBS) a wonderful resource for scientists, and occasionally for artists, in the Appalachian Mountains. I have been recording ambience, and at times, collaborating with a scientist, Dr. Kasey Fowler-Finn to record substrate-borne vibrations created by insects, only heard through the surfaces of plant stems, ground cover and tree limbs.
In September 2017, I went back to MLBS with a filmmaker, Matt Flowers, to record environments for my work with Dr. Fowler-Finn but also to experiment with the Sennheiser AMBEO VR Mic and a camera designed for VR use.
Fall comes early in the mountains. We set up the microphone and camera in a field of flowers with bees in the foreground and the buzz of cicadas in the background. For this video, all of the sound is coming from the AMBEO VR Mic. For future projects, I will mix the AMBEO VR Mic in with additional sounds, possibly voices in the landscape. The hope with this short video is that the small events such as the landing of a bee or the force of wind on the flowers becomes a space for contemplation.
„The power of the AMBEO VR Mic allows you to feel the space around you and brings clarity to these small sounds as well.“
I love that when used the way we did, we were able to capture foreground and background with both clarity and depth. I feel like I’m just getting started with what this microphone can do but also, the experience gives me ideas for future projects already. The ease of a single unit, which can capture so much sound and at such quality makes it a joy to use.
About Stephen Vitiello
Stephen Vitiello is an electronic musician and media artist. CD releases have been published by New Albion Records, Sub Rosa, 12k and Room 40. His sound installations and multi-channel works are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Lyon. Over the last 25 years, Vitiello has collaborated with such artists and musicians as Pauline Oliveros, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Taylor Deupree, Scanner, and Steve Roden. In 2012, Australian Television produced the documentary, Stephen Vitiello: Listening With Intent. Originally from New York, Vitiello is now based in Richmond, VA where he is a professor of Kinetic Imaging at Virginia Commonwealth University.
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Image Credit: Nicolas Büchi / ZHdK Cast