Bill Whitley x Francesco Zago x Elena Talarico – The Circles (Version for Piano & Electronics)

“In this minimalist composition, the authors tell their story using the art of sound, which serves as the only tool for transmitting the entire spectrum of emotions. Feel the excitement inside your body when the melody of the piano barely touches on each cell of your body. It is living, like a human soul, in which a huge driving force is felt.” (Automatically Translated with Google Translate)

“В этой минималистической композиции авторы рассказывают свою историю с помощью искусства звука, который служит единственным инструментом для передачи всего спектра эмоций. Почувствуйте волнение внутри своего тела, когда мелодия пиано едва касается каждой клеточки вашего тела. Это живая, словно душа человека музыка, в которой чувствуется огромная движущая сила.”

Composer Bill Whitley is no stranger to storytelling through the art of composition. Central themes in his works include that of embarking on a journey, the thrill and spontaneity of discovery, and the comfort and reflectiveness of the eventual returning home. These form a story arc as old as time, beautifully transcribed and made new through Whitley’s compositions.

THEN ELEPHANT SPEAKS is no exception. Like the symbol of the elephant, the works on this album are strong and powerful, representing the search for truth. The instruments, whether they be piano, harp, vibraphone, electric guitars, or electronics, build patiently, gathering up every second to create one living, breathing force.

According to Whitley, as the piece Then Elephant Speaks was being written, the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School occurred. The event influenced not only the mood of the piece, but the approach to remixing the songs as well. Like every great story, the narrative belongs in the hands of different perspectives which all work together to find truth. Motifs are shared among the original compositions and remixes, but each reiteration makes you rethink what you once knew about the piece, giving a new truth to the listening experience.

Whitley’s second composition on the album, The Circles, is remixed twice. Each of the three tracks share the spirit of the cyclical journey, but each offers a unique perspective. The original track sets a relatively conventional tone with piano melodies over electronic harmonics. The first remix takes the same melodies and asserts a greater electronic influence over the composition, driving the piece into a realm of ambient music. The second remix, one that was written seven years earlier than the first two, is the skin and bones; uninterrupted piano leading the listener through the sonic journey.

Reviewed by Nagamag on September 6, 2022