Well, this is truly a batty notion. For his latest ambient concept piece under the Field Works banner, Indianapolis electronica artist Stuart Hyatt recorded the echolocations of bats — no, really — and used them as the basis for his songs. Even more impressive: Somehow he managed to recruit a roster of indie artists to contribute to the project, which features everything from neo-classical keyboard passages and synthetic knobtwiddling to post-rock soundscapes laced with all the squeaks and chirps and flapping noises you would expect (assume you even thought about how a bat-based album might sound in the first place). At the very least, it’ll be the strangest album you listen to today. At best, it could give bats some good press for a change.
THE PRESS RELEASE: “Stuart Hyatt returns with another sonic wonder in the Field Works series, bringing the listener into truly uncharted acoustic territory. Ultrasonic is perhaps the ﬁrst-ever album to use the echolocations of bats as compositional source material. For this special album, Hyatt has assembled an extraordinary group of contributors: Eluvium, Christina Vantzou, Sarah Davachi, Ben Lukas Boysen, Machinefabriek, Mary Lattimore, Felicia Atkinson, Noveller, Chihei Hatakeyama, John Also Bennett, Kelly Moran, Taylor Deupree, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, Julien Marchal and Player Piano. Ultrasonic is part of a broader storytelling project about the federally endangered Indiana bat. Generously funded by the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute and the National Geographic Society, each album contains an ofﬁcial printed booklet of The Endangered Species Act of 1973.”