TTW#31 - Fantom Auditory Operations / Michael Esposito - The Child Witch of Pilot’s Knob
Cassette only - limited edition of 200 copies
SOLD OUT AT SOURCE
A: Witch Girl of Pilot's Knob
B: Child Witch and the Watcher
Field recording (EVP captures) and track compositions by Michael Esposito.
EVPs captured at a cemetery in Pilot's Knob, Kentucky, PAW Case File PAW120. Situational Specific Frequency Tests and Results captured in 2009 at a cemetery location where in the late 1800s, reportedly accused of witchcraft, a woman and her daughter, Mary Evelyn Ford were burned alive in Marion County. The daughter was buried at Pilot's Knob cemetery and her mother at a separate location. At the cemetery a dark foreboding figure has also been seen. People have named this figure The Watcher. It is said that this evil presence tries to get the little girl but cannot pass beyond the crucifix decorated fence that surrounds her grave.
Michael Esposito is an experimental artist and researcher in Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP). He is a descendant of Alfred Vail, who invented the Morse code with his partner Samuel Morse, and Jonathan Vail, office manager and assistant to Thomas Edison. Michael studied communication theory at Purdue University, University of Notre Dame, American University in Cairo, Egypt and Governor's State University. He is the co-founder of Phantom Airwaves - an institution dedicated to the study and education of EVP research. Michael has developed concepts, theories, and testing methods of capturing and presenting EVP using structures and frequencies commonly found in relationship to experimental music. He combines EVP with field recordings and related frequency tones of research sites to provide an audio-archeological picture of both sides of the veil. This allows him to present EVP to the audience in a manor that enables them to hear the voices more audibly and understand the voices within the context of their environment.
Michael has participated in hundreds of paranormal investigations globally using his techniques and theories within the field of EVP. He and his partner Heidi Harman have collected tens of thousands EVPs and video. He has appeared in a number of films, television shows and documentaries as well as lecturing to a variety of audiences. Phantom Airwaves attempt is to take EVP research a step further developing a body of work researchers and scientists my use in the future to unlock the mysteries of our own mortality.
Aquarius Records (US):
We listed three new tapes from aQ beloved tape label The Tapeworm on the last list, of a batch of four new releases. This one, #4, got left behind by the post man and only just now showed up. Which was a bummer at the time, cuz it might just be our favorite of the bunch, and the reason why can be summed up in one word: EVP! Okay, maybe three words: Electronic Voice Phenomena, which is the sound of the spirit world communicating through radio static, or lost transmissions, little snippet of voices, often just a word here or there, seemingly reaching across from the other side.
This particular set of recordings comes to us from Michael Esposito, an experimental artist and EVP researcher, who over the course of his life has collected thousands of EVP recordings and who has appeared on various television programs and in a number of films and documentaries. According to the label, Fantom Auditory Operations is “an attempt is to take EVP research a step further, developing a body of work researchers and scientists may use in the future to unlock the mysteries of our own mortality”, but to these ears, it actually sound more like EVP set to music, strange bits of dark ambience, fields of hiss and whir, tolling bells, rumbles and whirs and various layers and textures, as well as field recordings, wild animal calls, crackling fires, all set amidst a series of fractured melodies and undulating drones.
Apparently the recordings here were captured in a Kentucky cemetery, where in the 1800s a woman and daughter were convicted of witchcraft and burned alive. The daughter was buried in this cemetery, while the mother at another location. There is also apparently spectral figure that has been sighted, perhaps trying to get to the girl (or her spirit), but who is kept at bay by the crucifix decorated fence surrounding her grave.
It almost doesn't matter if you believe any of that or not, cuz ultimately it's all about the sounds, and the sounds here are truly captivating, ominous and otherworldly, woven into a soundscape that's tense and haunting and super cinematic, with snippets of classical music, looped bells, the tape speed constantly fluctuating, everything warped and woozy, the only constant, the crackling sound of the fire, that presumably haunts the girl and her mother to this day.
So cool. And if you love the Ghost Orchid, a long time unanimous aQ fave, you're gonna want this too!
Vital Weekly (NL):
On the Tapeworm release Esposito uses recordings from a graveyard in Kentucky where in the late 18th century a witch was burned alive, along with her daughter. More hiss and crackling of tapes - but do we hear voices, I sometimes wonder - come along with the church bells. The whole thing has quite chilling effect on the listener and certainly is all bleak and dark. It is somewhere in the middle of a horror soundtrack and a radioplay, to be broadcasted just before the midnight hour. Sometimes things are so scary that one keeps on listening (or watching, in the case of a movie) and this is one such thing. A pleasant trip in the horror house. (FdW)