Recorded inside of a collection of 100-foot grain elevators.

As part of a 2003 artist’s residency in Buffalo, New York, multidisciplinary artist Stephen Vitiello was given access to the city’s historic grain elevators, affectionately known as Silo City. There he utilized the unique acoustic properties inside the structures to create Buffalo Bass Delay.

Referred to by architect Le Corbusier as “the magnificent FIRST FRUITS of a new age”, the grain elevators are an artifact of Buffalo’s industrious past. “Buffalo was the L.A. of 1900”, explains the late experimental filmmaker and drone pioneer Tony Conrad, who provides liner notes to Buffalo Bass Delay, “the first movies shot by electric lighting, houses by Frank Lloyd Wright, gateway to the West, and the most advanced transportation and industrial technologies of the day.”

Conrad describes the grain elevators as “huge honeycombs of vertical cylindrical shafts, each tube the size of a New York apartment and running from over a hundred feet high almost to the ground.”

The acoustic phenomena of echo, reverberance and delay found inside these structures are what Stephen Vitiello captures in his field recordings on Buffalo Bass Delay, the cultural memories of Buffalo’s past coalescing with the ghostly echoes of the city in 2005, when the piece was recorded

Buffalo Bass Delay, newly remastered by Lawrence English, arrives via Room40 on May 29 and is available to pre-order now.

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