Here’s something quite different for EarthEar: music made by and for bats, recorded in Italian caves. Mariolina Zitta, whose “day job” as an educator introduces children to the roots of human music-making, using sticks, rocks, and voice, here deepens her explorations of cave music that began with her earlier CD, Perle di Grotta (Cave Pearls), which centered on the melodic “playing” of stalactites.
Beginning with recordings of bats made by American researcher William Gannon (University of New Mexico’s Museum of Southwestern Biology), Zitta has woven recordings of cave ambiences with a sensitive music-making using didgeridoo, voice, logs, bone whistles, seed rattles, and ringing stalactites, creating some of the most accessible yet also authentic interspecies music we have heard at EarthEar. The disc is also commendable for its brevity: rather than extend the experiment beyond the limits of either the listeners’ attention or the musicians' muses, Zitta wisely offers us a stellar 38 minutes of musical grace; the formless quality of the compositions means that it is fully satisfying to simply repeat the disc if we wish for more.
Mariolina has this to say:
The idea to dedicate sonorous compositions to the acoustic world of bats originated from a sort of admiration for these fascinating and very refined creatures that express themselves in frequencies beyond our ability to hear.
The fusion between this type of sonority, the sounds of natural objects, and the vocal modulations has permitted me to travel into the heart of a still unexplored, sonorous nature. The bat, icon of the night, has introduced me into the experience of an inaccessible parallel acoustic world, spurring in me emotions that are absolutely unequaled.
Concert for Bats is the latest in EarthEar’s ongoing collaborative release program, in which independent artists receive a full half the revenue from EarthEar sales of their titles, while retaining all rights to the work and to receive all revenues from CDs they sell themselves.
One of the real pleasures of the disc is the variety of textures and rhythms found in the bat calls. The disc is also commendable for its brevity: rather than extend the experiment beyond the limits of either the listeners’ attention or the musicians' muses, Zitta wisely offers us a stellar 38 minutes of musical grace, easily repeated.
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Concert for Bats