With three lyrically rich singer-songwriter albums already to his name, it might appear paradoxical that Jason Vitelli, hailing from Brooklyn, is now unveiling a new project that’s completely instrumental. However, as he points out, his latest creation, “Ambient Corridors,” is a return to his musical origins.
Back in 2003, following his studies in composition and scoring, Jason began composing music for student films, documentaries, and short films, all while collaborating with an accomplished film composer. Much of the music featured in this project has been carefully selected from that earlier period, then refined and revitalized, as he explains, “It’s a return to my musical roots, re-establishing the work I had done years ago and building upon it.” Though his electronic toolkit from the turn of the century might have been simpler compared to today’s software libraries, his creative imagination and compositional prowess, evident in the orchestration, original sampling, and sound design, were finely honed.
Over the course of 12 tracks, Jason blends acoustic instruments such as cello, viola, piano, electric guitar, and various woodwinds with his electronic manipulation of found objects to create an impressionistic auditory journey. “I’m drawn to the combination of synthetic and real elements,” he notes. “The interplay between human and programmed performances can give birth to something entirely new.”
His track titles often emerge as visual and auditory afterthoughts, influenced by imagery and the sensory fusion of synesthesia. For instance, “Chukchi Sea,” named after an Arctic ocean, evokes images of frozen landscapes. “It wasn’t my initial intention when composing it,” Jason reflects, “but the piano’s icy tones made me think of vast, open expanses and inhaling cold air. These tactile elements revealed themselves through listening.”
Another track, “Lost and Found,” is structured in a manner similar to a Bach prelude and fugue. “It drew inspiration from Baroque-era music, and one could envision it being played on a pipe organ in a cathedral,” explains Jason. “The melodies from the beginning and the second half entwine at the end—lost elements finally finding each other.”
Among his tracks, “Exit Love Story” employs the moody interplay of a synthesized jazz trio and shares its name with an independent film. Jason’s musical journey includes performances at historic New York listening rooms, roles as a sideman in jazz combos, and even busking in the subway. His debut album, “No Photographs,” and its successor, “Confluence,” were followed by the critically acclaimed “Head Above Tide,” praised by the Nashville Music Guide as “…a musical phenomenon, one that has opened up new realms of possibility in an endless universe of new worlds, all within a haunting album.”
“Ambient Corridors” is the first of what Jason Vitelli envisions as a series of instrumental releases, offering a contrasting perspective to his singer-songwriter projects. “I’ll continue releasing songs, but this is another facet of my creative self that I’m revealing. Being able to convey something without words is a powerful tool.” He also reflects on how instrumental music allows listeners more room for interpretation. “Songwriting often originates from inner turmoil and psychological struggles, resulting in a linear narrative. This can leave less room for the listener’s own interpretation. In contrast, instrumental compositions offer abstraction, granting the mind more breathing space. Regardless, this music reflects who I am at the moment of creation. Who knows, I might be an entirely different person by the end of the day.”
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