MCDOWELL CREEK, Kan. - I'm so glad this wild winter storm didn't come in over the weekend, as I was able to drive to the Salina Art Center on Sunday and take in Stephen Vitiello's exhibition, "Tall Grasses."
Stephen Vitiello is a composer, electronic musician, and "soundscape" artist. He is known for recording the sounds of a particular place and using those sounds in his compositions. One of his best known works is "The World Trade Center Recordings," made in 1999. Two years before the destruction of the World Trade Center, he recorded the sound of wind around the 91st story, with city traffic in the background. He has also used the sounds of bells, firecrackers, planes, insects, and barking dogs in other works.
For his Salina installation, Vitiello recorded sounds on a ranch west of Salina. Being a fan of the prairie, I was eager to hear what an artist of Vitiello's stature had done with Kansas's signature landscape.