This is an asynchronous duet between Sara Callaway, playing violin, and Stephen Vitiello, playing with samples of Callaway’s violin after the fact. At first the emphasis of the recording is simply Callaway’s pizzicato action, all pointilist plucking, and then it is on layers that suggest a small chamber group playing something that is equal parts classical minimalism and rural bluegrass, the artful construction informed by a pop sensibility yet fully eschewing song form.
The major transition occurs approximately halfway through, when there is a shift in the balance of power, when the synthesis overtakes the sample, when dense shimmers and industrial roiling come to the fore. Into the mix then arrives a voice, which Vitiello says he can’t recall the source of (“The voice at the end is someone else, unknown buried in the depths of my hard drive”). It manages to both confirm the pop-like gestures, and, with its ethereal, disembodied sensibility, also confirm the avoidance of allegiance to pop.