Review of Low Flying Owls [12k1099]

Salt Peanuts (NO)

Between is a rotating collective of minimalist sound artists that began one night at 200-year-old Kinse Ryokan in Kyoto in 2012, distilling the essence of 12K’s label mission and aesthetics of exploring the realms of experimental and ambient music. Low Flying Owls was conceived in early 2022 when 12K’s founder and electronics player Taylor Deupree and guitarist and electronics player Stephen Vitiello set up a small studio at a beach house in Venice, Florida. They crafted long-form soundscapes of guitars and electronics and envisioned a broader sonic canvas with like-minded musicians.

Throughout the next months. Deupree and Vitiello weaved into the basic soundscapes organic contributions from clarinetist-vocalist Molly Berg, keyboardist Corey Fuller, percussionist-visual artist Marcus Fischer, synth player and sound artist Federico Durand and guitarist Michael Grigoni, which were recorded in the United States, Japan and Argentina. Fischer and Fuller also played in the debut, self-titled album of Between (12K, 2012). The title of the album, Low Flying Owls, refers to a spontaneous sighting that became a marker of the time and place of the project and relates to the essence of this project: seven individual voices on equal ground with eyes and ears on a distant horizon.

The titles of the nine, chamber, electro-acoustic songs were culled from a poem about hands which became the launching point for the project visuals. All these visuals are in a 46-page book that features collage work by Fischer attached to the album and corresponds with the delicate, caressing and suggestive soundscapes of the album. Low Flying Owls realizes beautifully Between’s modest, communal mission: «Collaborating is the art of listening, not to yourself, but to the others around you. When you learn to listen you learn the art of restraint, of letting your movements take a back seat to your ears and letting yourself inhabit a new mental and physical space … It is the building of deep worlds with small movements with a focus on restraint and speaking only when needed, only enough to add color to those around you and, most importantly, knowing when to stay silent».

Low Flying Owls invites the listener to be encompassed by its fragile yet peaceful and optimistic sounds and colors, with its inspiring depths and imperfections.

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