Exactly What You Lost

by Seht & Stelzer

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about

Grim times. Both Stephen (aka Seht) and I had broken up with our respective girlfriends as we were making "Exactly What We Lost". What began as simply a typical mailing-sounds-through-the post project took on some unanticipated emotional heft. Of course, the sounds we shipped across the planet to each other were pretty cool too.

The initial idea was to make ordinary "field recordings" of our neighborhoods in Wellington NZ (Stephen) and Boston USA (me), then play the sounds back into each other's cities and sculpt the results until they resembled music. Stephen sent me an airplane passing overhead. I strolled through a pharmacy with a tape recorder. Stephen sent some chirping birds. I recorded some birds of my own. Stephen sent me some light traffic. I played the tape in the park at the end of my street while kids were playing in a fountain. And so on. But then... ah, major life changes, romantic calamity etc. The album, as it started taking shape, began with a flurry of everywhere-at-once anxiety, then steadily wound down, slower and sparser. By the time it worked itself out, "Exactly" was resigned to an elegiac tone, leaving behind all the layers of action until the whole mess just seemed to hide beneath a rug for a good cry.

The cover pics were snapped by Stephen out a car window on the last vacation he took with the lady he lost. Me, I asked an ex for a suitable title, and she supplied it. Then I moved out and started life over. Both Stephen and I turned out fine. At the time, though, it was pure misery. At least we got a decent record out of it.

credits

released November 1, 2006

Composed and recorded at Dorking Labs II (Wellington, NI, NZ) and Intransitive (Cambridge, MA, USA) 2005-2006 by Stephen Clover and Howard Stelzer. Mastered by Seht at Dorking Labs II.

Photos taken on the road to Cape Reinga - Te Rerenga Wairua, January 2005 by Seht.

Originally published by Intransitive Recordings in 2006 as a CD in a limited edition of 500 copies.

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about

Howard Stelzer Lowell, Massachusetts

Stelzer's music is assembled out of cassette tapes, tape machines, and a stubborn refusal to admit defeat. By day, he teaches middle school in Lowell MA, where he and his family live in a really big room behind a power plant. At night, he hunches over stacks of tapes and makes this stuff. No one knows why. ... more

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