Release Date: August 23, 2019
Catalog #: RR8016
Format: Digital
21st Century
Chamber
Solo Instrumental
Electronic
Percussion
Piano

Then Elephant Speaks

Bill Whitley composer

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.

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Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Then Elephant Speaks Bill Whitley Elena Talarico, pianos; Lucia Foti, harp; Stefano Grasso, vibes; Francesco Zago, electric guitars 8:40
02 The Circles (Version for Piano & Electronics) Bill Whitley Elena Talarico, piano; Francesco Zago, electronics 4:21
03 Then Elephant Speaks (Shaun Michaud Remix) Bill Whitley Elena Talarico, pianos; Lucia Foti, harp; Stefano Grasso, vibes; Francesco Zago, electric guitars 8:43
04 The Circles (Version for Piano & Electronics) [Shaun Michaud Remix] Bill Whitley Elena Talarico, piano; Francesco Zago, electronics 4:16
05 The Circles (Version for Solo Piano) Bill Whitley Bill Whitley, piano 3:05

Tracks 1 — 4
Recorded at Indiehub in Milan, Italy
Session Producer, Mixing & Mastering Francesco Zago

Then Elephant Speaks
Session Sound Engineer Stefano Giungato

The Circles, 2017
Session Sound Engineer Gabriele Simoni

Then Elephant Speaks (Remix)
Session Sound Engineer Stefano Giungato
Remix Artist/Engineer Shaun Michaud

The Circles, 2017 (Remix)
Session Sound Engineer Gabriele Simoni
Remix Artist/Engineer Shaun Michaud

Track 5
The Circles, 2010
Recorded at GungHo Studios in Eugene OR
Session Engineer Billy Barnett

Executive Producer Bob Lord

Executive A&R Sam Renshaw
A&R Director Brandon MacNeil
A&R Quinton Blue

VP, Audio Production Jeff LeRoy
Audio Director Lucas Paquette
Mastering Marina Altschiller

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming
Publicity Patrick Niland, Sara Warner

Artist Information

Bill Whitley

Composer

Bill Whitley works with shapes and patterns, correlating musical materials to kinetic sculpture. His music is defined by interlocking, often hypnotic patterns interspersed with passages of intense rhythmic energy, while placing linear content in the foreground.

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Notes

Like most of my work, THEN ELEPHANT SPEAKS begins with a journey inward, culminating in a discovery, followed by a return to where it began. Elephant was being written when the Stoneman Douglas shootings occurred. Elephant’s wisdom, patience, and strength, in the midst of this tragedy, was the voice I hoped to hear.

Bill Whitley